PITTSBURGH – The ACLU of Pennsylvania sent a letter of concern to Allegheny County Division of Elections Manager David Voye today after receiving reports of two issues with mail-in ballots that have the potential to disenfranchise voters in Allegheny County.
The first issue involves a printing error that saw an unknown number of mail-in ballots missing the voter declaration on the outer envelope sent to Allegheny County voters. Mail-in ballots returned without a signed and dated voter declaration are ineligible to be counted.
The second issue involves hundreds of mail-in ballots returned to the county as “undeliverable” and questions about what county election officials are doing to follow up with voters whose ballots were returned.
“With just two weeks until Election Day, these reports of misprinted envelopes and undeliverable ballots are alarming,” said Sara Rose, deputy legal director and author of the letter to county officials. “With so much at stake this election year, we hope that Allegheny County election officials will explain how they are taking swift action to remedy these issues so that no voter is left disenfranchised on November 8.”
On the issue of the misprinted envelopes missing the voter declaration, the letter asks county election officials to review the outer envelopes of all mail-in ballots and to contact each and every voter who is missing a voter declaration to ensure their vote is counted.
As for the hundreds of mail-in ballots returned as undeliverable, the letter asks county election officials to ensure that the ballots were mailed to the correct address and to notify voters whose unvoted ballots were returned. The letter also asks the county to make public the list of voters whose ballots were returned so that voting rights and civic engagement organizations can help with that outreach, if need be.
You can find a copy of the letter here.