Mail-In Ballots in Pennsylvania

In mid October 2020 Pennsylvania based Franklin Free Press (https://fcfreepresspa.com/unsolicited-mail-in-ballots-worry-residents/) reported that people had been receiving unsolicited mail in ballots through the post. However, the story went on to say that it was more likely that people had received applications to opt for a mail in ballot.

“There are groups trying to get residents to choose mail-in voting over casting their ballots in person. They buy mailing lists and send mail-in ballot applications to names on the list.”

Those “groups” were not official, so, it appears that there has been a concerted effort to push voters to vote by mail, certainly in Pennsylvania, and, probably in other states too. Pennsylvania have a system that allows citizens to vote by mail, and in October, they estimated that around 1 MILLION people would vote by mail in the state.

“Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro explains why people may think they received unsolicited mail-in ballots this fall. He thinks they probably asked for mail-in ballots for the general election when they applied for them during the primary. Over a million Pennsylvanians did that, he said.”

In 2016, 266,208 mail in ballots were processed in Pennsylvania, but in 2020, mail in ballots have increased dramatically with a figure of 2,614,011 reported. The postal ballots have been challenged by the Trump administration and the result is that mail-in ballots that arrived after election day have been segregated from the main ballots in anticipation of a legal challenge to a decision which allowed mail in ballots to be received up to three days after election day. Also, the Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar’s decision to extend a deadline for voters whose mail-in ballots lacked proof of identification, to provide it, changing the deadline from November 9th to November 12th.

So, it looks likely that, with over 2.5 MILLION votes in the system, Pennsylvania has been overwhelmed, and, iregularities could have occured. Decisions to allow ballots to be counted after the election date and “curing” of ballots to take place well beyond the election date may have been implemented to cope with ten times more ballots than normal, but, these decisions are not lawful which is why they have been challenged. An article by Daniel Payne on Just the News website (https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/elections/key-swing-states-year-mail-ballot-rejections-plummeted-2016-rates), shows that the rejection rate for mail-in ballots in the 2020 election in Pennsylvania was 0.95%. That is, 2,528 votes rejected due to problems with signatures, missing adresses and improper markings, This election, 2020, we would expect to see 24,833 mail-in ballots rejected, however, just 0.03% have actually been rejected, or 784 votes. THAT is a major cause for concern and is worthy of investigation. In fact, this historically low rate of rejection for mail-in ballots is repeated in all contested states.

It must be stated that in election year 2020, huge efforts have been made to “cure” mail-in ballots that have been rejected. This means that voters have been contacted to amend their ballots to enable them to be counted. For example problems with signatures accounted for around a quarter of rejections in 2016, but the majority of mail-in ballots rejected were due to the fact that they were received late. The Trump administration is issuing lawsuits which focus on the unlawful curing of mail-in ballots, including accepting mail-in votes after the election deadline, but they are also claiming that vote counts were unlawful due to official observers being excluded. The much lower rate of rejection of mail-in ballots together with the prevention of scrutiny of the count, is a matter for concern.

In Pennsylvania, poll watchers were placed behind metal barriers around 30 feet away from the vote count. Some desks of people counting votes were over 100 feet away. A Trump administration lawsuit gained a judgment in a Pennsylvania court, allowing poll watchers to be positioned 6 feet away from the counting desks. There have been numerous stories of Republican poll watchers being denied access to the counting process and with such a massive increase in mail-in ballots, this has provided a catalyst for numerous lawsuits.

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