Thought a mail-in ballot was the best way to go? The Board of Elections announced on Tuesday, Nov. 9, that they were throwing out 487 mail-in or absentee ballots. Under discussion? Ballots missing secrecy envelopes were not allowed. Ballots where voter signatures were disqualified. Ballots where the outside envelope wasn’t sealed were allowed. In some cases voters had written 2012 instead of 2021 on the outside envelope. (We’re sure those last were all Republican voters.) Ballots with so-called “out of range” dates like that were allowed.
In addition, some voters wrote their birth dates on the secrecy envelopes instead of the date of mailing, those too were allowed. And some Nosy Parkers suspected ballot stuffing, because they thought those beady-eyed cameras stationed over drop boxes picked up “multi-ballot drop box incidents.” The ballot boxes were wrestled out of sight, and the ballots sequestered. After examination, the incidents were declared inadvertent.
In addition 808 of the nearly 1,000 provisional ballots were allowed; the others were disallowed primarily because the voters did not complete their voter affidavits.
Why the fuss over every little, bitty ballot? Races hang in the balance: Newtown Borough is a mess, with possibly three seats on the Borough Council up for grabs, plus the mayoral race, with the Republican, John Burke, ahead at 606 votes on election day, and Rebecca Bancroft (D) trailing with 565.
It’s even worse in New Hope, where the mayor’s race was separated by 26 votes, with the Republican in the lead. In New Britain, the Democrat, James Donovan, held the lead with 424 votes, the Republican had 411.
Thus, the pressure was on the Board of Elections to make a decision on every last ballot.
And guess what? After all the throat clearing and complaining about impossible deadlines, and using all their fingers and toes, the result was?
Nada. No answer.
Bob Harvie, the Chairman of the Board of Elections said that they might have a final tally by … well, after the write-ins are counted…early next week.