LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Lancaster County’s board of elections has scheduled a special meeting to consider allowing voters who make mistakes because of a mail-in ballot instruction error a one-time do-over.
Friday afternoon, the county posted an agenda for a meeting next Wednesday at noon with one action item: a “motion to allow mail-in voters who may have been impacted by an error in the instruction sheet for the November 7, 2023, General Election the opportunity to replace their ballot.”
That would be a change for Lancaster, which is among a majority of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties that don’t allow mail-in voters to “cure” ballots — or fix problems with them — after returning them.
On Thursday, John Tremont (D), a county commissioner and the election board chair, had said of ballots returned without the correct yellow secrecy envelopes despite the incorrect instructions: “As of right now, that would be called a ‘naked ballot’ and not counted.”
But he also said: “We are looking at the law and options, and we’ll let people know if we make a change on that.”
Now, that change could come Wednesday.
Mail-in ballots going out after the error was discovered contain the correct instructions. In Lancaster County, all mail-in voters should place their ballots inside the yellow secrecy envelope — and then place that sealed envelope inside the larger white envelope, which must be signed, dated with that day’s date, and either hand-carried to the election office (150 N. Queen Street, Suite 117, in Lancaster) or stamped and mailed back to the address printed on the outer envelope.
Voters in any county with any questions about their mail-in ballots should contact their county’s election office before returning the ballot. Errors can almost always be addressed before the ballot is returned; they can only sometimes be addressed after it’s returned.