(WHTM) — The primary election is one week away, and a lot of registered Pennsylvania voters will decide to drop those ballots off in drop boxes, which have been a controversial topic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the goal was to limit physical contact. Mail-in ballots were created and the Department of State said, “Let’s have drop boxes,” which were then challenged by Republicans in the legislature. The Supreme Court, however, upheld them.
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Flash forward, some counties have them but others don’t. Except for a few circumstances, it is illegal to drop anything but your own mail-in ballot off at a drop box. In Lehigh County, however, there is video evidence from last November of hundreds of people dropping off more than one.
The District Attorney in Lehigh County, Jim Martin, said he is going to have detectives keep an eye on the drop boxes. The secretary of state expressed concern in a letter, saying that feels like voter intimidation. Martin countered by saying they would be in plain clothes and noted the furor over drop boxes is a bit overstated.
“There are probably another thousand drop boxes in Lehigh County. They’re called mailboxes, you can mail your ballot back to the office without any scrutiny whatsoever,” Martin said. “There was no smoking gun, we didn’t see anyone depositing a bag full of ballots or anything like that.”
Martin did not prosecute last November, saying there was a mask mandate and he could not identify most of the violators, plus, it would not be fair because many others did the same and were not charged, like Gov. Tom Wolf’s wife who dropped of his ballot.
Martin said he is just happy to talk about it to educate more people about the fact that voters can only drop off their own ballot in most cases. The primary general election in Pennsylvania is on May 17.