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New Voting Controversy Emerges: 'Naked Ballots'

Pennsylvania also investigating improperly tossed absentee ballots from military members
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2020 8:56 AM CDT
Updated Sep 27, 2020 10:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – The battleground state of Pennsylvania is dealing with two controversies related to mail voting—one involving "naked ballots" and the other involving nine absentee ballots sent in by members of the military that were opened by mistake. Seven in the latter group were later found in a dumpster, and all were for President Trump. Coverage on both:

  • Naked ballots: Pennsylvania requires people voting by mail to use two envelopes—they stuff their ballot into a "secrecy envelope," then put that envelope into a larger one to be mailed back, reports the AP. If people neglect to use the inner "secrecy" envelope, the returned ballot is known as a "naked ballot."
  • Court ruling: The state's Supreme Court ruled last week that "naked ballots" must be discarded. Because so many people are voting by mail for the first time in 2020 and unfamiliar with the process, a top state election election is warning that up to 100,000 votes might end up being tossed, reports the Washington Post. The newspaper notes that Trump won the state by only 44,000 votes in 2016. Generally, more Democrats than Republicans are expected to vote by mail.

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