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Centre County Mail-In Ballot Dispute Update

Centre County’s ballot battle moved into court on Thursday, with attorneys on both sides saying it’s an issue with a sizable potential impact as we head into the November general election.

In Thursday’s court hearing, it’s evident that election laws, especially those pertaining to mail-in ballots, are open to interpretation.

The case centers on 95 mail-in ballots, from the recent primary election, that have been challenged as to whether they’re valid ballots due to problems with how they were dated.

The county’s election board wants to include them in the final certification for the primary vote count, but a court suit claims the ballots should be tossed out.

Both sides agree that the ballots aren’t going to change any primary election results but argue it’s the bigger issue that’s at stake.

“Because the fall elections tend to be much closer, it would be nice to know going in, ‘what are the rules.’ The counties are all over the place. Mifflin County, for example, did not count the ballots. Centre County looked like it was not going to count the votes, these ballots, and then decided to count them. So, it’s all over the place.”

Attorney Louis Glantz, who represents those backing the ballot challenge, says the ballots should not be counted, according to current state and federal law, and adds in a brief “it is also in the public interest to have our elected officials follow the law.”

But the county solicitor argues the county election boards should have jurisdiction on ballot date questions.

Another, separate, question was whether or not the ballot legal challenge was filed in time to be considered? The county says no but those filing suit disagree.

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