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Lehigh County Sued by 4 Residents Over Ballot Drop Box Security, Lawsuit Filed by Advocacy Group | WDIY Local News

Obi Onyeador

A lawsuit has been filed against Lehigh County regarding security around ballot drop boxes. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

The lawsuit, along with a preliminary injunction, was filed Sept. 1 in the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas.

It names the Lehigh County Board of Elections - county executive Phillips Armstrong, Jennifer Allen and Dennis Nemes - as well as chief clerk of elections Tim Benyo and deputy chief clerk Diane Gordian as defendants.

The suit demands that ballot drop boxes be placed inside a building, and only be accessible Monday-Friday during normal business hours.

It also demands that the county monitor the boxes in-person to ensure that voters are only dropping off their own ballot, unless authorized to drop one off on someone else’s behalf.

The lawsuit points to an investigation by Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin earlier this year, which determined that at least 288 people dropped off more than one ballot during the 2021 election.

During the May primaries, Martin directed county detectives to review surveillance video footage and physically monitor drop box locations, a plan that the lawsuit acknowledged drew criticism from both the Pennsylvania Department of State and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The plaintiffs are four Allentown residents, and the suit was filed by the advocacy group America First Legal Foundation, which was founded by former Trump Senior Advisor Stephen Miller.

The group also includes several other former Trump officials, including former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

(Original air-date: 9/12/22)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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