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Lehigh County Holds Off on Ballot Drop Boxes Pending Court Decision | WDIY Local News

Obi Onyeador

Lehigh County is delaying the rollout of ballot drop boxes while it waits for a decision in an ongoing lawsuit. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

The county said in a news release Tuesday that it is awaiting a decision in the lawsuit Gill, et al., v. Lehigh County Board of Elections, et al.

This suit was filed in September on behalf of four county residents by America First Legal, an advocacy group founded by former Trump administration officials Stephen Miller and Mark Meadows.

It demanded that Lehigh County’s ballot boxes only be accessible Monday-Friday during normal business hours, and that the county monitor the boxes in-person to ensure voters are only dropping off their own ballot, unless certified to drop one off for someone else.

The suit also pointed to an investigation by District Attorney Jim Martin, which determined that at least 288 people dropped off more than one ballot during the 2021 election. Martin declined to prosecute anyone, as very few people seen dropping off ballots could be identified.

The county said it is unable to deploy drop boxes until the decision in the case is rendered and, depending on the decision and potential further action, the deployment may be delayed.

Lehigh County has previously provided election drop boxes for voters to deposit mail-in ballots, including during the 2022 primary, 2021 and 2020 general elections.

Lehigh County reminded voters that they can return their ballots in-person to the Board of Elections located at the Lehigh County Government Center, 17 South 7th St. in Allentown, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Ballots can also be mailed via the U.S. Postal Service. Return postage has been prepaid, so a stamp is not necessary to return by mail.

(Original air-date: 10/18/22)

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