In 2016, Donald Trump won Pennsylvania by just 45,000 votes. Since then, Republicans have outpaced Democrats in Registration (Democrats lost voters while Republicans gained) and have made the push to win the state. In the last several weeks we have heard numerous stories about delayed ballots in counties that Trump won with vast majorities. In Westmoreland County, tens of thousands of ballots were delayed, which is alarming considering Trump won that County by more than 30 points.
Now, in Butler County, Pennsylvania, a county that Trump won by more than 35 points in 2016, Elections officials made a stunning and infuriating discovery.
“The Butler County Bureau of Elections director says an unknown number of mail-in ballots were lost by the postal service.
“At first we thought that maybe it just was a delay in the postal system,” Leslie Osche, chair of the Butler County commissioners, told KDKA. “And that could still be the case. But nonetheless, when we realized that, we changed our strategy and now have begun to tell folks that if they haven’t received a ballot, they still have multiple options.”
Many people who applied for ballots have told KDKA that they have not arrived. Federal postal investigators are now looking into what happened.
In the meantime, the Butler County Bureau of Elections director is urging those voters to go to the Bureau of Elections or fill out a provisional ballot at their polling place on Election Day.”
The elections officials admit that the USPS may have lost an “unknown number” of ballots but they can’t tell us how many and then place the onus on voters to rectify the situation by voting with provisional ballots. Aside from the fact that the ballots may have been stolen or otherwise destroyed to prevent voters from voting, for the election officials to make it the voter’s problem amounts to voter suppression. Imagine if you are unable to go anywhere and were relying upon those mail ballots to cast your vote, now you are just not going to be able to vote at all.
Again, this is at least the 5th documented case of ballot irregularities with at least 3 of those irregularities eclipsing the number of ballots Trump won the state by in 2016. Mistakes happen, but short of the county hand-delivering ballots to those who lost them, it won’t be enough to fix the problem.