40,000 voters in Butler County Pennsylvania requested mail-in ballots but election officials have confirmed that only 24 percent of those ballots – over 30,000 ballots – have not yet been returned for tabulation.
Butler County went for President Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a 2-to-1 margin, about 66 percent to 29 percent. It is located north of Pittsburgh and boasts approximately 150,000 registered voters. This means nearly one-fifth of all voters in that county have to scramble if they want their votes counted in the 2020 General Election.
“At first we thought that maybe it just was a delay in the postal system” due to the high number of ballot requests that were tendered, Leslie Osche, chair of the Butler County commissioners said to reporters. “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.”
“Our main focus, because it’s too late now to worry about this,” Osche said, “we need to make sure we get these people their ballots.”
“Somewhere between the post office and the Pittsburgh sorting facility something happened,” Butler County official Aaron Sheasley said. “We don’t know what.” He added: “We haven’t given out any numbers” about the number of missing ballots “because we simply don’t know.”
Potentially thousands of mail ballots requested by voters in Butler County, Pennsylvania appear to be lost, a county official says. The U.S. Postal Service has been asked to immediately investigate what happened to them. https://t.co/lVshDFyCjF
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 30, 2020
Chuck Bugar, the American Postal Workers Union Pittsburgh chapter president, said records show none of the missing ballots in Butler County made it to a Postal Service facility. “There’s no pile of ballots that have been taken from the Butler County election committee that are sitting around,” Bugar said. “There’s no record or indication that they entered the mail.”
County election officials say voters can come to the Bureau of Elections and vote in person. They must provide identification and they will be issued a new mail-in ballot that a voter can return immediately. The original ballot that was mailed will be voided.
Voters can also vote at a local polling place in the county. They should call the election authority in Butler County for other alternatives as well.
Pennsylvania awards 20 Electoral College votes in presidential elections.