In Centre County, election administrators are defending the security of mail-in drop boxes after close to 20 ballots were found in several boxes before the opening date allowed.
The mail-in drop boxes were officially opened for next week’s election ballots last Tuesday, but officials say at three locations, several ballots were discovered already dropped off.
“There was no way voters could take anything out of the boxes, but we did find 18 ballots in boxes before they were officially opened.”
Officials say the ballots have been set aside for now and the state’s election office was contacted, along with the voters who dropped them off.
“Those voters have been contacted and we have let them know what they’re options are.”
So how did the ballots get in the boxes early?
“We had metal bars in to block access, but because of the wear and tear on the boxes, there was another opening that those voters found.”
The mail-in ballot drop boxes, and their security, continue to spark controversy nationwide.
There are eight of them in Centre County and no plans discontinue using them at this point.
“We are going to cover the boxes completely afterwards, so nobody can get anything in them. But the boxes remain secure. Thousands of voters here have used them with no problems in previous elections.”