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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

McClure Drops 24/7 DropBox at 911 Center

At Monday's meeting of Northampton County's Elections Commission, nine people objected to a 24/7 drop box at the 911 Center. This decision was made, not by the Elections Commission, but the county administration. But Comm'r Frank DeVito summed up the dissenting views succinctly when he stated the benefits of a  24/7 dropbox are minimal in comparison to the suspicions aroused. "The appearance of corruption is just as important as corruption itself," he warned. Fortunately, someone was listening  to DeVito and the nine voters who attended the meeting.  That person was Executive Lamont McClure. And in response to the concerns raised, he dropped the 24/7 dropbox at the 911 Center. It will instead be open from 8:30 am until 8 pm. 

The reason for the dropbox is to provide secure locations where voters can drop off ballots without having to worry whether a mailed ballot was received. The reason for the extended hours is to accommodate voters who are unable drop off a ballot during regular business hours. 

At yesterday's meeting, Comm'r Maude Hornick complained there should be a drop box in the Slate Belt. The County has placed them in each of the four county council districts. The drop box at the 911 Center is  in Region Four, which does include the Slate Belt. 

The larger question, and one that still needs to be answered, is whether this is the province of the Elections Commission. Since this relates to the conduct of an election, I believe the Elections Commission should decide whether they are needed as well as the hours of operation. I nevertheless commend Executive McClure for listening to the public's concerns and doing something  that is very difficult for an elected official to do - change his mind.  

The dropboxes will be available on October 4. 

If you vote by mail, the Elections Office reminds voters to make sure the ballot is enclosed in the sealed privacy envelope, that the return envelope is signed and dated, that there are no identifying marks or symbols on the privacy envelope and that the ballot is returned to the Election’s Office by 8:00PM on November 2nd.

Ballots that fail to comply with these requirements will be rejected
Voters may only drop off their own ballots. I know very well that husbands and wives will innocently bring ballots for both, but this is illegal. Third party return of ballots is prohibited unless the person returning the ballot is rendering assistance to a disabled voter or emergency absentee voter and has a signed “Certification of Designated Agent” form. A copy of this form can be downloaded at vote.pa.gov
Counterfeiting, forging, tampering with or destroying ballots is a second-degree misdemeanor pursuant to sections 1816 and 1817 of the PA Election Code. (25 P.S. §§ 3516 and 3517) 
Voters can track the status of their mail-in or absentee ballots at vote.pa.gov 


Craig DeFranco said...

Thank you for the information Bernie. The law is the law and it should be followed by everyone. It is not a suggestion. One cannot pick and choose what parts to follow, further integrity must be maintained to assure compliance. These dropboxes should receive the same security as the Elections Office and we should be assured all ballots, however collected, receive the same scrutiny as though they were received at the Elections Office or designated poll on election day. Ballot harvesting would not be allowed in the office and neither should they be allowed at the dropbox. Security measures must be in place to assure this is completed. Perception is reality.

Anonymous said...

But now the authorities are going to have to deny that they installed an invisible box anyway and are using it to steal the election. Nothing is too batshit crazy for the MAGA crowd.

Anonymous said...

Catch me if you can between 8 and 8. They can't. We're still kidding ourselves. Nobody's paying attention.

Anonymous said...

Actually quite clever to make a big deal of the 24/7 box so we all ignore the Dropbox issue overall. Brilliant typical strategy. It worked too

Anonymous said...

But, with the existing procedural protections, how could fake ballots come in this way and be counted?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The danger is not fake ballots. There is a danger of ballot harvesting.

Anonymous said...

I just had a BRAIN storm. They should put voting machines in a truck like a food truck and drive around so people can vote. Thumb print and video them as they enter to vote. Solves the ID issue. Solve the drop box issue, Solves the excuse people cannot get there to vote. Solves the problem of political scum standing outside polling places to harass would be voters. YOu could even put a law enforcement officer in each vehicle.

Anonymous said...

So if real voters are voting, who cares how they got turned in? Those voters would've first needed to request a MIB, right?

Anonymous said...

Commend Mclure for changing his mind? What if he changes his mind again when no one's there to correct him?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lamont for thinking of people and trying to make life easier for us all. Sincerely A Republican who is Voting for Lamont McClure!

Anonymous said...

Good Job. I am glad on person had the guts to publicly call out authoritarian McClure. The guy said it and you published it Bernie. Without the main stream media you deserve credit for shinning a light on the McClure excess. He knew this could hurt him in the election and backed off.