Media Contact

April 29, 2024

BUTLER, Pa. - Two Butler County voters sued the county today for not counting their provisional ballots in this month’s primary election. The voters forgot to include the secrecy envelope when they returned their mail-in ballots, but when they attempted to cast provisional ballots to fix their errors, the county board of elections decided not to count them.

The county did allow voters with other mail ballot errors, such as a missing signature or handwritten date on the return envelope, to fix their mistakes via the county’s “curing” policy.

The case has been filed in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas. The voters are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, Public Interest Law Center, and the law firm Dechert LLP.

“Every county in this commonwealth should provide people a chance to fix their mistakes and cast a ballot that can be counted,” said Mike Lee, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “Every eligible voter who wants to participate in an election should have that opportunity.”

The ACLU of Pennsylvania and Public Interest Law Center successfully litigated a similar case in Delaware County after the 2023 primary election. In that case, the county rejected provisional ballots from all mail voters with disqualifying errors.

A Delaware County common pleas judge ruled in the voters’ favor, and the county did not appeal the decision.

“Provisional ballots are a vital safety net for our electoral system, but they only work if voters are able to use them,” said Mimi McKenzie, legal director of the Public Interest Law Center. “There’s no dispute that our clients are eligible voters and that their mail-in ballots will not be counted. Denying their provisional ballots means denying their voice.”

A copy of the complaint filed today in the case, Genser v. Butler County, is available at