A PA News Outlet Fails to Prove Voter Fraud is Rare in the State With Questionable Photo

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Posted: Jun 30, 2020 12:50 PM
A PA News Outlet Fails to Prove Voter Fraud is Rare in the State With Questionable Photo

Source: AP Photo/Mac Levy

On Monday the Philadelphia Inquirer published a story about how the Trump reelection campaign sued the Pennsylvania state and country officials over mail-in ballot boxes, using a questionable photo. 

The image used by the outlet is of a woman who appears to have two ballots in hand standing before the ballot box. Justin Lai, the author of the article, had previously used the same photo in an article on June 2 about the introduction of the mail ballot drop boxes. 

The caption of the photo reads, “A voter submits her mail ballot using the ballot drop box at the south portal of City Hall in Philadelphia on May 28, 2020.” Therefore, there is no question that the photo is from the most recent primary election in Pennsylvania. 

Justin Clark, a senior political adviser, and senior counsel to Trump's reelection campaign tweeted the initial photo, next to a zoomed-in copy that shows the voter with two ballots in hand.

According to the Pennsylvania Election Code, you can only drop off your own ballot, no one else’s. This rule also applies to family members or others in your household.

Even if this had been another family member’s ballot the woman had been dropping off, which many were quick to comment on Clark’s post, it still does not ease the worries about the Democrats trying to steal the election through mail-in voting. There is no substitution to voting at an actual polling site. 

Pennsylvania is no stranger to voter fraud either. 

On May 21, a former judge of elections and Democratic committee person pleaded guilty to conspiracy to strip Philadelphia voters of their civil rights by fraudulently stuffing the ballot boxes with votes for the candidates in 2014, 2015, and 2016 primary elections. Domenick J. DeMuro, 73, admitted to accepting $2,500 in bribes to inflate the vote totals for three Democratic candidates for Common Pleas Court judge from 2014-2016. 

The suit filed by the Trump reelection campaign comes after Pennsylvania officials altered the state’s absentee voting system, making it more accessible to vote by mail.   

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, signed a law in October 2019 allowing residents to vote by mail without requiring an excuse such as not being in the jurisdiction on Election Day. 

The campaign became concerned with the governor’s executive order that extended absentee ballot deadlines. Wolf’s order was issued only one day before the primary election this month, and changed requirements for some counties, while others remained the same. The matter brought into question the fairness of the mail-in voter system in the state. 

“Free and fair elections are essential to the right of Americans to choose through their vote whom they elect to represent them,” the lawsuit reads.  “Upending our entire election process and undermining ballot security through unmonitored by-mail voting is the single greatest threat to free and fair election.”