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Trump campaign sues Pennsylvania over mail ballot drop boxes

Jonathan Lai, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in News & Features

"Permitting absentee and mail-in ballots of non-disabled electors to be collected at locations other than the offices of the county boards of elections and/or through 'drop boxes' and other un-monitored and/or unsecured means and to be counted when not cast in the manner mandated by the Election Code allows illegal absent and mail-in voting, ballot harvesting, and other fraud to occur and/or go undetected, and will result in dilution of validly cast ballots," the suit says.

It also says some counties violated state election law by counting mail ballots that were sent without secrecy envelopes, which are placed inside mailing envelopes and help keep ballots anonymous. In addition, the lawsuit argues the state should allow voters to serve as poll watchers in counties other than where they live.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal challenges to electoral systems in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, as Democrats and Republicans try to change the rules before November. Democrats and liberal-leaning groups have sought to extend mail ballot deadlines in Pennsylvania, for example, as well as other voting expansions in other states.

While all elections are messy, complicated affairs, administering them this year has proven to be a monumental task, with Pennsylvania officials contending with new voting machines, high-interest presidential election turnout, the coronavirus, and the most significant election law changes in decades. The ongoing litigation means some details of how the November election is run may yet change in the four months before Election Day.

That could have a significant impact on how votes are cast and counted. Even small differences matter. In 2016, Trump won the state by 44,000 votes, or less than 1% of the votes cast.

 

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