Posted by Curt on 6 November, 2020 at 5:51 am. 1 comment.


By Nicholas Ballasy

In a guidance to her state’s counties dated Oct. 21, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar advised that a voter whose mail-in ballot was rejected would be eligible to vote in-person with a provisional ballot on Election Day as a way to “cure” their ballot.

Now, GOP Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly, state General Assembly candidate Joseph Hamm and four other plaintiffs are suing Boockvar over her guidance.

After some county election officials questioned the guidance, Jonathan Marks, deputy secretary of state for elections and commissions, clarified on Nov. 2 how the department of state wanted counties to handle the rejected mail-in ballots.

Marks advised county election officials to inform “party and candidate representatives” about the identification of the voters whose ballots had been rejected as a way “to facilitate communication with these voters.”

According to the lawsuit, the counties of Berks, Carbon, Blair, Clinton, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lycoming and Perry ultimately declined to implement the guidance. The suit argues that individuals who submitted rejected mail-in ballots shouldn’t have been given provisional ballots on Tuesday,

Just the News was able to reach representatives for Adams, York, Montgomery and Bedford counties, who said they were not familiar with the contents of the Oct. 21 guidance.

A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of State told Just the News that every county in the state received the Oct. 21 guidance.

Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati have called for Boockvar to resign over her handling of the rejected mail-in ballots. They argue that Boockvar “fundamentally altered” the way the state runs its elections.

“The Department changed the rules again on November 2 when they provided last-second guidance directing counties to provide information to help voters whose mail-in or absentee ballots were incorrectly completed so those voters could vote on a provisional ballot,” Corman and Scarnati wrote in a joint statement.

“The late release of this ‘guidance’ resulted in inconsistent application across the counties — some of whom contacted voters as directed and some who did not,” the state senators added. “There is no basis for this guidance in current law. The Secretary created this new process out of thin air.”

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