Election 2020

Pennsylvania Rejects 372,000 Requests for Mail Ballots

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

In what is bound to be more fodder for the lawyers who will tie the election up in legal knots, officials in Pennsylvania have rejected mail-in ballot requests from 372,000 people.

According to officials, 336,000 of those rejects came because of duplicate requests for ballots from voters. Apparently, voters “didn’t realize” they checked a box on their ballot request for the June 2 primary that indicated they wanted to be sent a ballot for the general election too. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, voters have “also been baffled by unclear or inaccurate information on the state’s ballot-tracking website, and by a wave of mail ballot applications from political parties and get-out-the-vote groups.”

“The volume of calls we have been getting has been overwhelming,” said Marybeth Kuznik, elections director in Armstrong County, northeast of Pittsburgh. It’s been preventing her office from working on anything else: “It has been almost like a denial of service attack at times because it seemed that sometimes all I could get done was answer the phone!”

Though it may deter some people from voting, the mass rejection of ballot applications is unlikely to have a big effect on turnout. Voters who submitted duplicate applications should eventually receive a ballot. Those who don’t can still vote at the polls on Election Day.

In their eagerness to make sure everyone — legal or illegal — gets to cast a ballot, Democrats are confusing the hell out of people. Conspiracists might say that’s a feature, not a bug in the system, but voters are being absolutely buried under election material. Confusion is a natural outgrowth of the stupidity and duplicate efforts.

Overall, one out of every five requests for mail ballots is being rejected in Pennsylvania. An estimated 208,000 Pennsylvania voters sent in the spurned requests, some submitting them multiple times. Although the state’s email rejecting the requests describes them as duplicates, it doesn’t explain why, prompting some people to reapply. ProPublica and The Inquirer identified hundreds of voters who submitted three or more duplicate applications; one voter appears to have submitted 11 duplicates.

There has to come a point where we have to leave voters to their own devices. We can’t take everyone’s hand and walk them through the process. They’re adults, presumably sane and rational. Not comprehending simple, straightforward instructions on how to vote is not the responsibility of the government to fix.

We were told when Democrats began to embrace mail-in voting that we shouldn’t object to the process. After all, it works fine in other states. Opposing mail-in ballots could only mean Republicans want to “suppress” the vote.

What’s happening in Pennsylvania has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the competence of the bureaucracy and its inability to adjust procedures to handle 15 or 20 times the volume of mail-in ballots — not just the ballots, but the nuts and bolts of delivering them and counting them.

Many of us could see the coming nightmare. Now that it’s upon us and about to be realized, Democrats have to figure out a way to blame Republicans for this towering gaffe of historical proportions.

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