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Sat Oct 31, 2020, 12:47 PM

Why does Pennsylvania not allow processing of ballots until Election Day?

What is the purpose/reason for that law?

17 replies, 1060 views

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Reply Why does Pennsylvania not allow processing of ballots until Election Day? (Original post)
Flaleftist Oct 2020 OP
Liberal In Texas Oct 2020 #1
Freddie Oct 2020 #6
Binkie The Clown Oct 2020 #2
Greybnk48 Oct 2020 #4
Ms. Toad Oct 2020 #7
Blue_true Oct 2020 #12
Greybnk48 Oct 2020 #3
Blue_true Oct 2020 #13
Bayard Oct 2020 #5
LisaL Oct 2020 #8
Hoyt Oct 2020 #9
LisaL Oct 2020 #10
Hoyt Oct 2020 #14
Blue_true Oct 2020 #11
DeminPennswoods Oct 2020 #15
beachbumbob Oct 2020 #16
Amishman Oct 2020 #17

Response to Flaleftist (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 12:49 PM

1. Just a wild guess

but a lot of times there were only a few mail-in/absentee ballots and if the election is pretty much a blow-out there is no need to even open and count them. Saving $.

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Response to Liberal In Texas (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 12:55 PM

6. Probably

In the past you had to have a reason for an absentee ballot (out of town, etc.). This is the first year for no-reason mail voting and the law didnít catch up. Naturally the majority-R heavily gerrymandered state legislature wants to keep it that way.

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Response to Flaleftist (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 12:50 PM

2. If the vote counts leaked early it could influence voter participation, positively or negatively. nt

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 12:55 PM

4. This is the logical reason, for sure. n/t

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 12:58 PM

7. That's a different question.

There are several stages of processing absentee ballots.

1. Validating the signatures/identity - this does not expose any more voter information than the publically available "check the status of your ballot."

2. Opening the inside envelope and scanning the ballot. This reveals moderatly more information - but very generically. The people opening the ballots (assuming it is not automated) might notice general trends. But nothing useful.

3. Tabulating the count - no jurisdiciton that I'm aware of even permits this before the close of the polls on election day.

Most jurisdictions permit step 1 (and often step 2) days or weeks in advance - which is why the earliest totals you see are generally absentee.

It is assinine to prohibit #1 until the day of (which PA does). That is the most time consuming part of the process and can be done without disclosing any of the information you suggest might be driving the policy.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 01:05 PM

12. In Florida, votes are counted right away. It is a felony to leak or report the count before

Election Day.

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Response to Flaleftist (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 12:53 PM

3. It's not allowed in Wisconsin, either.

It's because we still have minority Teabagger/Trumpism rule due to the jerrymander. Walker had a woman counting crucial votes in her basement on a P.C., Kathy Nicklaus, for our elections. When she was caught, she still did it the next election! Who can stop her?

Because of the R-legislature and an R-supreme court, it was allowed.

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Response to Greybnk48 (Reply #3)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 01:07 PM

13. Bingo.

Surprisingly, Florida counts mailin vote right away. It is a felony to leak results or tamper with them. We have paper ballots that get stored in lock boxes after they are counted.

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Response to Flaleftist (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 12:55 PM

5. Kentucky is the same

You can see online that your ballot was received by the clerk's office, but that's it.

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Response to Flaleftist (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 01:00 PM

8. PA used to not allow any early voting.

So when they had few mail in ballots that was fine. Obviously not anymore, but we all saw what happens when states try to change their voting procedures-republicans sue.

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Response to Flaleftist (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 01:00 PM

9. Most states do that, probably to keep results from being leaked.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #9)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 01:01 PM

10. I don't think most states do that.

Many states allow votes to be scanned, but it's illegal to release the results before the election.

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Response to Flaleftist (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 01:03 PM

11. Long time Republican Legistlature. If that changes, voting and counting votes will change. nt

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Response to Flaleftist (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 01:10 PM

15. It's the law. Before this year, we had strict absentee ballot rules

When you applied, if you were physically unable to go to the poll, you had to provide the reason and your doctor's name, presumably for potential verification. The only other excuse was that you would be out of town on election day. Otherwise, you had to vote in person.

Last year in a great compromise, the state legislature (R) made voting much easier by allowing no excuse absentee voting. In return for that Gov Wolf (D) agreed to eliminate the check box for straight party voting.

Prior to this year, election boards just didn't get that many absentee ballots to process.

Wolf has been trying to reach a compromise with the state legislature to allow for early start to canvassing (doing all but counting), but they couldn't reach an agreement.

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Response to Flaleftist (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 01:24 PM

16. GOP control

 

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Response to Flaleftist (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 02:04 PM

17. Old school approach, but probably a good idea given the states corruption history

The only significant case of ballot box stuffing in the past 10 or 20 years was in Philly. (Fabrication of a significant number of votes).

This state needs an enema.

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