Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

But also — sometimes you’re just paranoid.

The latter, unfortunately, still defines many Republicans in the commonwealth who continue to try to find an incontrovertible “smoking gun” that will somehow, against all odds, put public opinion on their side in their desire to overturn Act 77, the 2019 legislation that ushered in mail-in voting.

While this outlet still believes there is much work to be done to improve and guarantee the security of mail-in voting, Broad + Liberty would also note that many mechanisms in place for security purposes appear to be working. Yet, given that news typically only reports on what’s broken, some of these successes have gone unnoticed, so we felt obliged to highlight one in particular.

In the runup to the November election, Broad + Liberty was notified that a citizen of Delaware County believed he had witnessed a ballot drop box being stuffed with handfuls of ballots. This citizen was so shocked and concerned, he appropriately began by calling the police and filing a report.

We began to investigate immediately, and first among those efforts included a request to the county for video of the dropbox. To the county’s credit, the video was provided on the same day we requested it, and it completely contradicted what the eyewitness believed he had seen.

This is an isolated incident, and as such, it doesn’t prove that Delco’s drop-box security measures are foolproof. But it does go a long way — a very long way — in showing that the box-by-box video system was both a necessary tool and could work to gain absolute clarity against allegations of tampering. In this instance, the system worked.

This isolated incident is also instructive because it shows how quickly the county is able to produce video of contested moments. It should set a precedent we hope the county will adhere to in future disputes.

On a larger scale, state Republican officials asked the Department of State for an explanation after some vote totals displayed through the DOS website were changed on election night, a story eventually amplified by the 800-pound blog Gateway Pundit.

“Audit the Vote PA posted a video recently that shows 386,151 in-person votes were removed from Pennsylvania Republican Supreme Court candidate Carolyn Carluccio on election night,” Jim Hoft wrote on Gateway Pundit.

“Carolyn Carluccio lost 386,151 in-person votes at 9:46 PM on Election night,” while “Daniel McCaffery lost 117,549 in-person votes at 9:46 PM on Election night.”

The difference of 268,602, Hoft wrote, swung the election to McCaffery.

We inquired with the Department of State, which responded: “After voting concludes on Election Day, counties periodically report updates on their unofficial vote totals either electronically or manually to the Department of State throughout the evening. Shortly before 9:30 p.m. on election night, a county uploaded an incorrectly formatted data file to the Department of State’s Election Returns website, temporarily resulting in inflated ‘Election Day’ vote tallies for every candidate in all state-level elections. The error was discovered quickly and the incorrect data file was immediately removed, resulting in the appearance of a decline in unofficial ‘Election Day’ vote tallies cast in multiple statewide races. 

“The reported unofficial numbers for total votes and mail-In votes were not affected,” the DOS concluded.

The DOS explanation satisfies Occam’s Razor, the principle that asserts that with “other things being equal, simpler explanations are generally better than more complex ones.”

To be sure, many of the integrity mechanisms in place in counties from Delaware to Erie are a result of Republican activists who have kept a critical watch on their locality and raised critical issues. Chester County is the perfect example of this in which activists, armed with photos of clear violations of Pennsylvania’s “ballot harvesting” law, eventually painted the county into a corner such that a judge imposed new levels of drop-box security.

And there’s no denying that there are verifiable, proven cases of voter fraud: just ask Ozzie Myers, the former congressman from Philadelphia who was recently sentenced to prison (again) for stuffing ballot boxes. More recently, a Superior Court Judge in Bridgeport, Connecticut, ordered a new Democratic primary election for mayor be held after he found allegations of serial ballot harvesting and drop box stuffing credible. Just this week, a Louisiana judge ordered a new election for sheriff after it was determined that illegal votes had been cast, “it is impossible to know what the true vote should have been.” 

Those who claim that there is no such thing as election fraud and dismiss calls to strengthen election protocols and the adherence to them — typically Democrats — are unequivocally wrong. As long as human beings are involved in elections, some among us will attempt to cheat. 

On the other hand, right now too many Republicans have fallen into a mania that no amount of evidence can break. This unhealthy cynicism has run on for too long. GOP’ers obsessed with mass drop box manipulation and so forth could be getting a far better return for the expenditure of their political energies. 

Indeed, we might assert some Republicans have fallen down this rabbit hole because it gives a feeling of contributing without having to do the serious grunt work of phone banking and door knocking, or excuses away the party’s broader failure to build a coalition in the commonwealth large and durable enough to withstand meddling. 

Republicans must spend their time restoring faith in the election system to encourage voters to participate. Far too many Republicans are skeptical of the process and outcomes, possibly resulting in lower turnout. To that end, Republicans in the legislature must advocate for practical improvements within the existing election framework, such as overwhelmingly popular voter ID requirements, which would go a long way in restoring confidence.

Pennsylvania’s election systems are neither perfect nor impenetrable. We doubt there exists such a system. But the current paranoia has gone on long enough.

13 thoughts on “From the Editors: Mail-in voting isn’t perfect, but it does not have to be as bad as you think”

  1. Repubs never thought states would begin to issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. So they supported the motor voter laws which began in the 1990’s.

    Now we are expected to embrace and trust universal mail in ballots won’t be bastardized and corrupted in favor of the Democrats?

  2. To The Editors:
    You are correct: GOP’ers obsessed with mass drop box manipulation and so forth could be getting a far better return for the expenditure of their political energies.

    You are also correct: some Republicans have fallen down this rabbit hole because it gives a feeling of contributing without having to do the serious grunt work of phone banking and door knocking, or excuses away the party’s broader failure to build a coalition in the commonwealth large and durable enough to withstand meddling. (Please provide website or contact info that people can volunteer to help.)

    Again, you are correct: Far too many Republicans are skeptical of the process and outcomes, possibly resulting in lower turnout. (As another example, the ONLY reason the “software glitch” was noticed in in Northampton County, PA was because of the type of voting machine used which allowed the voters themselves to notice the problem. “It was a human error, based on someone from our team that programmed the election,” Bennett, senior vice president of customer operations for ESS, responded when asked by a reporter why the voting machines had errors. “They made a mistake putting the printed text on the card as opposed to the screen,” she continued. “Someone from our team inadvertently put the wrong name.” So… the REALITY is the POTENTIAL to FLIP votes is very real. PA needs to count the mail-in ballots before election day. Not pause the night of, and then suddenly give the result to the Dems the next day, or next week, or next fortnight.

    Correct once again: Pennsylvania’s election systems are neither perfect nor impenetrable. We doubt there exists such a system.
    (Your last sentence was totally not correct – “But the current paranoia has gone on long enough.”) No… it has exposed they can cheat with the software and there are plenty of examples of the C.I.A. messing with other countries’ elections. These tyrants and Communists will stop at nothing unless you stop them.

  3. We are all sick and tired of election fraud, krakens, symposiums, and pillow talk. We want to move on and believe that our efforts at trying to win elections could actually be fruitful. While better candidates, an effective ground game, improved fundraising, and efficient marketing might improve results, Republicans cannot win without aggressively facing head-on and attacking the many vectors of election fraud that have been devised by the Marxist-progressives to capture and manipulate our elections at every level, all the while gaslighting us into believing that we stand anything resembling a fair chance. I have been investigating Delco elections for 2 years. I don’t use the “f” word (fraud) lightly, but I have many, many questions about Delco election processes:

    1. Why does Delco not follow all requirements put forth by the PA Department of State for Logic and Accuracy Testing? I have observed this process for 3 election cycles. They improved some of their practices but still do not comply with the directives. Lack of proper testing can throw an election. Ask Keri Lake.

    2. Why does the county not perform a secure build validation on the election software used in its scanners, as required for certification of its election management system? Where are the attestations of the validation having been done?

    3. Why doesn’t the county audit mail-in ballots as part of the 2% required statutory post-election, pre-certification audit? There is no exemption of mail-in ballots from this process and yet the county does not include them in the audit. Why does the county no longer reveal to the public the results of that audit prior to certification? What are they hiding?

    4. Why does Delco have about half the drop boxes in the entire state, why are they open 24/7 during election season, and why is there no livestream of the boxes available to the public? Why hasn’t the county responded to citizen requests for better surveillance which could have been paid for by not 1 but 2 $2.1 million dollar election integrity grants? Where are the chain-of-custody logs for the last several years showing a paper trail of how the mail-in ballots are gathered? Why hasn’t the county released those records requested through FOIA requests?

    5. The county changed its election ordinances to bar individuals it deems to be “election deniers” from being appointed by the minority party to the Board of Elections? What are they afraid of?

    6. Why does the county fail to fulfill FOIA requests for public records involving elections, even after requesters win appeals through through the PA Office of Open Records (OOR), but instead drags the requesters into court, to have their cases dismissed? The Delco Director of Elections is not a designated OOR officer. Why then does he control the release of election records requested through FOIA? By law, only a designated officer should release those records. Why is the election department violating the Sunshine Act?

    7. Why were the election anomalies of Nov 2020 in Delco never investigated? Oh, I know DA Stollsteimer claims he investigated, but the fact is, that he did not.

    8. By PA statute, any centralized counting should take place in Media, Delco’s county seat. Why is Delco’s counting center located in Chester?

    9. Delco has 428 precincts. Why does Delco’s contract with Fort Orange Press in Albany, NY print ballots for 429 or 430 precincts? Why can’t the election department give a straight answer on this matter? Why are we outsourcing the printing of ballots to other states? Is there no qualified printer in PA? In Delco?

    10. In Nov, 2022 and May, 2023, (and perhaps in other years) Delco pre-canvassed thousands of ballots prior to Election Day, without observers present, as required by law. They were caught. In Nov, 2024, they were careful NOT to make the same mistake.

    11. Why does the county’s Office of Judicial Support somehow manage to bungle scheduling and posting of Judges’ orders to the court dockets whenever there is a case they don’t want to be heard?

    *Citizens have a duty to serve as a check on their government at all levels, but especially on the county level. There are no checks and balances on single-party rule and administration of elections in Delco. Complacency has brought us to this place. Maladministration and fraud in our elections cannot be tolerated. Delco is rife with shenanigans!

  4. Mail-in voting is here and it is a legal way to vote in Pennsylvania. The Republican party can sit on the sidelines and wring its hands about it or it can learn how it works and use it to increase Republican voter turnout. The last election cycle in Pennsylvania in November demonstrated that approximately 2 million registered Republicans didn’t make it to the polls. This is an abject failure on the part of the Commonwealth Republican party leadership. If it had embraced mail-in voting it is not unreasonable to assume that many of the close races that the Republicans lost could have been won.

    1. The GOP will never catch up with the democrats in harvesting mail-ins since the democrats operate the election management systems at every level. Delco GOP put much effort into this in 2023. It was a failed experiment. The ratios are statistically inexplicable and likely impossible.

    2. Imagine if GARRETT Ziegler didn’t do Marco Polo report, imagine if people didn’t do investigations into adverse effects of Jabs, imagine if people didn’t look into Faucis emails, imagine if nobody looked into the collusion between Big tech and government, imagine if Rand Paul stopped looking into Fauci , imagine if Judicial Watch didn’t look into FBI and found weaponization, imagine if parents didn’t file RTKS to find cultural Marxism in their schools , imagine if the Republican Party stood behind these people and stopped gaslighting them. Amazingly of the 27 European union Countries 68% do not allow mail in voting, HMMM why? Fraud. Republican Party is no longer relevant that is because it’s a UNIPARTY in Pennsylvania, they lack a spine, and cower to Communists, mail in voting is a fraudulent ridden system period. And shunning those of us who have evidence of criminal concealment, conspiring, and spoilation of election materials you will continue to lose voters. Bunch of establishment old guard Republicans whose money trail is drying up. Embracing mail in ballots like a bunch of crumbs , their goal is to isolate ,contain and destroy. I say MAN UP and get into the fight, LOYALTY TO COUNTRY NOT PARTY

        1. Leah, Realistically – this sample size is too small. 1,035 people were surveyed. It is hard to believe that a poll this small represents tens of millions of voters. Was there fraud (intentional deception to secure unfair gain, and deprive other voters) in 2020? Yes, there was. Time Magazine gloated about it.

  5. This article totally dismisses the process of COUNTING mail ballots and only focuses on drop boxes. We’re past the issue with stuffing drop boxes and are now focusing on the COUNTING of the mail ballots – because that is where the fraud is happening. The counties can switch-out ballots in more than one area of the process of counting. Once the mail ballot is dropped in a box – USPS or county drop box – it is handled only by government employees throughout the rest of the process. This is the concern we have – and it’s a LEGITIMATE concern. Whoever wrote this article seems to not have done much research as to why we are still objecting to mail-it-in voting. Not to mention – we don’t want centralized voting! We want the counting of ballots to be done at the local, precinct, level by the people.

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