– In light of a news report of a man recorded on video dumping multiple mail-in ballots into a drop box in Lackawanna County a day before the May 18 Primary Election, Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) said his Voting Rights Protection Act would have prevented such an incident from happening if Gov. Tom Wolf hadn’t vetoed the bill.
“Any notion of impropriety in an election, even if the act wasn’t malicious, brings serious doubt to the election results,” Grove said. “The incident in Lackawanna County would have easily been prevented had the Voting Rights Protection Act been in place as the bill requires all drop boxes be staffed by bipartisan judges of elections.”
The bill also would have required drop boxes be in a fixed location with video surveillance and voters returning ballots go through an identity verification process. Drop boxes would be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily seven days prior to an election and ballots would be secured each night. Drop boxes would be limited to one for each 100,000 residents of a county.
To combat ballot harvesting, an elections inspector would review each ballot for completeness to ensure it includes a date and signature. There would also be enhanced penalties for ballot trafficking and harvesting.
The bill would have also improved access to drop boxes by allowing voters to drop off another family member’s ballot after the inspector reviewed and verified a matching address.
Though Wolf vetoed the previous version of the Voting Rights Protection Act, an updated version of the bill has been introduced by Grove. House Bill 1800
is now in the full House awaiting consideration.