Lehigh County official testifies all ballots were counted only once

Written by on February 4, 2021

Lehigh County official testifies all ballots were counted only once

By Tyler Pratt

February 4, 2021

Chester County election workers process mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 general election in the United States at West Chester University, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in West Chester Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Timothy A. Benyo, chief clerk for Lehigh County’s Voter Registration and Elections says November’s election was accurate, and things went mostly smoothly, all things considered. But he also recently told a Pennsylvania House of Representatives panel there were some “quirks.” 

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In the fall, people got a lot of mail-in ballot applications. Some were from political action groups. Benyo assured the PA House State Government Committee the computer system knew to only process one per person. 

“These aren’t going to be processed because they’ve already applied for it,” Benyo says. 

Mail delays were stressors for some voters hoping to keep track of exactly when applications and ballots would arrive. This was compounded by a message sent out by the county several weeks before the election.

“People that had already received ballots were getting notices another second ballot shipped out and it caused a lot of confusion,” Benyo says. 

Benyo said the process is a work in progress. 

“We’re definitely moving in the right way to make sure people are more engaged in the process and know what’s going on,” he says. 

Benyo and other county election heads proposed new mandates for mail-in applications. One is making sure ballots not sent from the local county election office are labeled “third party,” and are in large print. 

The Commonwealth is also in the process of moving to a new software system for managing future elections. 

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