Pa. ramps up effort to educate voters, dispel misinformation

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Roughly 8.8 million Pennsylvanians are registered to vote, and 2.3 million of them have requested mail-in ballots. An estimated 1.9 million mail-in ballots are currently on the way to voters.


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The Pennsylvania Department of State is turning its attention to the next crucial part: educating voters and dispelling misinformation ahead of Nov. 3.

Election officials say 18,000 mail-in ballots were rejected during the Pennsylvania primary. Kathy Boockvar, secretary of the commonwealth, cited a number of reasons, like a missing signature or an untimely return.

Now that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that “naked ballots” — ballots turned in without the required security envelope — will not count, the Department of State is spending time letting voters know how to properly send in their ballots.

“We are going to be doing our very extensive public information campaign on our website, online, on social media and through paid advertisement campaigns,” Boockvar said.

In Philadelphia, the City Commissioners opened seven all-access voting centers and is planning to open at least eight more in the coming days. The centers allow Philadelphians to register to vote; print, fill out and cast a mail-in ballot in person; and drop off completed mail-in ballots. Officials are still working to test voter equipment, train and hire poll workers, and get polls ready for in-person voting.

“It will be very safe and secure,” Boockvar added. “I have great pride in the preparation and professionalism of our county election offices.”

It’s unclear at this point, though, how many ballots could be rejected on Election Day, or if there would be enough rejected ballots to impact the general election.

There are many variables, including inaccurate information spread on social media.

“Check before you retweet,” Boockvar advised. “There’s so much misinformation out there.”

Pennsylvanians must register to vote by Oct. 19. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is Oct. 27, but Boockvar urges people to not wait until the last minute.

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