Nearly 250K Ballots Sent to Pa. Voters With Unverified IDs

Nearly 250,000 ballots, state data show, were mailed to Pennsylvania voters without their identities being verified, according to the election integrity organization Verity Vote.

Citing the information provided by Verity Vote, 15 Pennsylvania state House representatives sent a letter to acting Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Leigh Chapman on Tuesday.

Citing testimony from Deputy Secretary for Elections and Commissions Jonathan Marks, the legislators pointed out that ballots are being “mailed to unverified applicants.”

“But less than two weeks” after Marks’ testimony, the legislators continued, “the Department of State sent out guidance informing the counties that the verification is done prior to the mailing of ballots.”

“Either the ballots are mailed to unverified applicants or ballots are not mailed to unverified applicants but both statements cannot be true,” the state representatives wrote. “Due to this conflicting information, conscientious election workers could unknowingly accept and count ballots for which no verification has ever occurred.”

According to Just the News, Marks was asked by state Rep. Francis Ryan about “the large number of requests submitted to the Social Security Administration Help America Vote Verification (HAVV) system.”

The deputy secretary for Elections and Commissions responded, explaining that the HAVV systems were being used to verify Social Security numbers for mail-in ballot applications.

However, Marks added, if someone submits an invalid Pennsylvania ID or if the last four digits of their Social Security number cannot be verified for a mail-in ballot application, then the counties must still send the ballot to the voter without verifying their identity. But, he added, “the ballot doesn’t count unless the voter provides a valid form of ID.”

“I want to make sure we’re clear about the distinction between the two processes: Voter registration, there is no federal requirement or state requirement that those numbers match or that every voter has to have one of those two numbers,” Marks stated.

“With mail-in balloting, it is a requirement. If when you apply, your PennDOT ID cannot be verified or your last four of SSN cannot be verified, the county can still issue the ballot, but the ballot doesn’t count unless the voter provides a valid form of ID — either a PennDOT ID or the last four of SSN that can be verified or one of the other forms of identification provided for in the statute.”

What Marks appears to be arguing is that the vote ought not to count if a mail-in ballot is submitted without a valid form of identification. But as the Pennsylvania legislators write in their letter, it could.

“County election officials,” the legislators continue, “have access to the results of the PennDOT matching verification and the SSN4 HAVV matching verification, but they have no substantive role in that matching process. County election officials report that, for some applicants, a letter may be generated and mailed to the voter, notifying them that the ID they provided did not match the SSA records. The letter instructs those voters to produce a valid form of identification to the county board of elections. However, if proof of ID is not received, the county election officials report that they can and do count the ballots without the ID from the voter. In addition, several counties report that they can and do ‘fix’ the invalid ID in the system and accept the ballot (with no action taken by the voter).”

Despite possibilities of a potential quarter of a million votes being miscounted, the election integrity group Verity Vote, which warned of the 250,000 unverified ballots being miscounted, citing data from the state itself, told Just the News it is being attacked for their report.

“Election directors,” Verity Vote said, “are trying to do the right thing and fix it for people for their ballot to be counted.” But while they have “pure motives,” the law is supposed to be correctly applied, and “it’s possible that ballots that shouldn’t be accepted, could be.”

The group noted that it is “really frustrating that nobody’s doing anything about this,” and the Pennsylvania Department of State “doesn’t feel like they have to respond to these [legislative] members.”

And according to Phill Kline, director of the election integrity nonprofit Amistad Project, the problems seen in the 2020 presidential election are being repeated in the 2022 midterms.

“The left has refused to abide by commonsense procedures, laws and rules that make it easy for legitimate voters to vote and difficult for fraudulent voters and people to commit fraud,” Kline told Just the News.

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