HARRISBURG – Today Sen. Cris Dush (R-25), chair of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, sent a letter to Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Leigh Chapman requesting the Department of State instruct all counties to immediately discontinue the use of ballot drop boxes.
“The reason is simple: the chain of custody for any ballot submitted in such fashion is unverifiable if such actions are not taken and thus any election which does not take those steps cannot qualify to be certified,” said Dush, whose committee continues to receive evidence showing ballot drop boxes eliminate the chain of custody before the qualified elector can be verified.
“I can say this with certainty due to the number of people who have sworn affidavits which indicate they never applied for, nor received, nor utilized a mail-in ballot when one had been recorded for them,” Dush said. “It is also evident from the video and counting evidence which shows clearly that more ballots had been placed into ballot boxes than there were people who had brought them to the ballot drop boxes.”
Since the introduction of drop boxes in 2020, there have been numerous examples from around the state proving they breed misuse:
- Video evidence from Lehigh County shows ballot stuffing in the 2021 General Election;
- Video evidence from Lackawanna County of a man allegedly stuffing multiple ballots into a drop box during the 2021 Primary Election;
- Video evidence from Montgomery County shows ballot stuffing in the 2021 General Election;
- Testimony from a Luzerne County Judge of Elections indicates an individual admitting to repeatedly stuffing a drop box, not realizing it was even illegal; and
On May 5, Acting Sec. Chapman sent a letter requesting Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin refrain from putting detectives or other law enforcement near ballot drop boxes to deter illegal multi-ballot drops. District Attorney Martin, who provided to the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee information showing hundreds of people dropping off multiple election ballots, has indicated he is not changing his plan.
“Mail-in ballot drop boxes have never been authorized by the legislature and the reason for that is becoming more blatantly obvious as more video and hand counting of ‘ballots’ dropped at these locations are examined,” said Dush.
Last month, the Senate approved legislation that would prevent the future use of unsecured ballot drop boxes.
Senate Bill 1200, sponsored by Dush, would require mail-in ballots that are not returned in the mail to be returned only to the County Board of Elections office, effectively eliminating drop boxes in Pennsylvania.
Eliminating unsecured ballot drop boxes will not negatively impact voter access. There are more than 10,000 publicly available locations across the Commonwealth that voters can use to return their ballots.
CONTACT: Zack Ankeny