ACLU of PA - Let people vote

Let People Vote: Support Pro-Voter Policies for Lancaster County!

In the 2023 election, almost 500 Lancaster County residents had their ballots rejected because of minor errors when submitting their mail ballots, such as forgetting to sign the outer envelope, omitting the secrecy envelope, or neglecting to write the date on the outer envelope. Lancaster County board of elections did not notify voters that their ballots would be disqualified. Another 90 ballots were delivered after Election Day, either because of voter error or postal delays, and did not count.

Meanwhile, voters in many other counties are notified and offered the opportunity to correct the same types of mistakes and have their vote counted. And unlike Lancaster, many other counties also provide drop boxes so that voters have a convenient, secure way to drop off their ballots, bypassing the postal service – and possible delivery delays – altogether.

We, the undersigned, urge the Lancaster County board of elections to adopt policies that ensure that eligible voters are not disenfranchised for making minor mistakes with their mail ballot packet and that voters, no matter where they reside in the county, have access to a drop box as a reliable way of returning their ballot.

Specifically, we ask the Lancaster County board of elections to:

  1. Promptly notify voters whose mail ballots will not be counted because the county has identified an error with the ballot packet. This notification should include clear and specific instructions for voters to correct those errors.
  2. Make the list of voters with rejected ballots available upon request to nonprofit organizations and political parties who would like to contact voters to let them know their mail ballot will not be counted and let voters know about their options to correct errors.
  3. Provide additional secure and accessible drop boxes for voters around the county. The drop boxes should be distributed equitably, including in locations far from the election office, not served by public transportation, and in communities of voters who have been historically disenfranchised, with 24/7 access and signage in English and Spanish.

By implementing these measures, you can demonstrate your commitment to ensuring that every eligible Lancaster County voter has a fair and equal opportunity to participate in the democratic process.

We ask that only residents of Lancaster County sign this petition!