Lehigh County DA: Hundreds broke law by depositing multiple mail-in ballots in drop boxes

Written by on April 5, 2022

Lehigh County DA: Hundreds broke law by depositing multiple mail-in ballots in drop boxes

By Tyler Pratt
April 5, 2022

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Hundreds of people in Lehigh County broke the law by dropping off more than one mail-in ballot at a county-approved drop box during the November 2021 election, according to the district attorney’s office.

But District Attorney Jim Martin said no one will be prosecuted because identifying most of the violators is impossible.

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Martin’s office began an investigation after receiving a complaint Jan. 20 from Joe Vichot, chairman of the Lehigh County Republican Committee.

Martin released the findings Monday.

Detectives watched video surveillance of five ballot boxes placed throughout the county, according to Martin. The investigation found at least 288 people deposited at least more than one ballot in the drop boxes.

Depositing anyone’s ballot other than your own is a violation of state election code. Last fall, Gov. Tom Wolf revealed his wife Frances dropped his mail-in ballot off for him.

The law states violators can be punished with up to a year in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both.

Martin said in many cases it was impossible to tell how many ballots were being deposited in the Lehigh County drop boxes. Among those who broke the rules, most only dropped one or two other ballots, according to Martin.

He said people wearing masks made identifying everyone next to impossible, so he’s not pursuing legal action.

“I have concluded that there will be no prosecution brought as a result of this investigation because to prosecute those few whose identity can be proven would be unfair and unjust given the much larger numbers who cannot be identified and who also deposited multiple ballots,” he said in a news release.

He said the complaint received was “well founded.”

He said the only way to avoid such violations is to have ballots delivered in-person to an election official.

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