Lehigh County DA: Hundreds illegally put more than one ballot in drop-boxes
Read District Attorney Jim Martin's memorandum on investigation involving November 2021 election.
An investigation by the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office found that there were “likely hundreds of instances” where people deposited more than one ballot in a voting drop-box last fall — a violation of state voting law.
But District Attorney Jim Martin said there will be no prosecutions because it is impossible to determine the identity of most of the violators.
“...[T]o prosecute those few whose identity can be proven would be unfair and unjust given the much larger numbers who cannot be identified and who also deposited multiple ballots,” Martin said in a press release issued Monday.
Martin said the investigation confirmed a Jan. 20 complaint from Joe Vichot, chairman of the Lehigh County Republican Committee.
Vichot testified about the ballots at a state Senate Committee hearing last week where he showed a video that appeared to show a man dropping off multiple ballots.
Martin issued a 22-page memorandum on the investigation. He said following Vichot’s correspondence, the matter was referred to Chief County Detective Michael J. Millan, who assigned three detectives to the case.
Five drop-off ballot boxes, all of which were under video surveillance, were placed in locations in Lehigh County between Oct. 18 and Nov. 2, Election Day, 2021. Detectives attempted to watch all videos associated with the drop-boxes.
Over the time that drop-boxes were in place, a total of 7,196 ballots were deposited and counted. He said at least 288 persons deposited more than one ballot in the various drop-boxes.
Martin said that it is clear that “many more” people dropped off more than one ballot based on a review of the number of people who dropped off ballots versus the number of ballots that were in boxes.
“However, based upon the observation of the detectives, there was only one instance where it appears that more than two ballots were deposited; and then, either five or six. That person cannot be identified,” Martin said.
He said the vast majority of others captured on video depositing their ballots in drop-boxes also cannot be identified.
Martin said more than 14,800 ballots were delivered through the U.S. mail.
“I have concluded that the complaint of the Lehigh County Republican Committee is well-founded,” Martin said in his press release.
“I note that the only way to cure this violation would be to have ballots delivered in person to an election official.”
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