Luzerne County DA’s Office probing report of multiple ballots dropped in box

The Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office is investigating a report involving multiple ballots deposited in the counter-top drop box inside the election bureau, DA Sam Samguedolce announced.

According to his release, election bureau employees noticed someone place four ballots in the box.

The ballots were segregated, and the bureau notified the DA’s Office, it said.

“The matter is currently under investigation, and the Election Board will be asked to decide what, if any, action should be taken with respect to the ballots,” it said.

Sanguedolce noted the political party or parties of the voters listed on the ballots has not yet been identified.

The discovery occurred days after Sanguedolce teamed up with county election officials to highlight voting procedures for the upcoming Nov. 8 general election in an open letter to county voters.

This letter reiterated mail ballot voters using drop boxes can only deposit their own ballot unless they have formal paperwork authorizing them to deliver another person’s ballot.

“It is against the law to deposit another’s ballot in the drop box — even that of your wife, child or parent,” the letter said.

Voters who need someone else to drop off a ballot for them can contact the county Election Bureau for the necessary paperwork at 570-825-1715 or elections@luzernecounty.org. The bureau has posted more details about the rules governing the required form and an online link to the form under the 2022 general election ballot drop box section at luzernecounty.org.

“While most cases reported thus far resulted from people not understanding the new law, depositing multiple ballots subjects the depositor to the possibility of both criminal penalties and cancellation of improper ballots,” said the letter written with county Administrative Services Division Head Jennifer Pecora and county Acting Election Director Beth McBride. “It is our intent to see that everyone eligible to vote has his or her vote counted.”

The drop box sites are all under video surveillance, it reiterated.

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

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