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Blair County still counting Pennsylvania primary votes

Some provisional ballots rejected because of errors

HOLLIDAYSBURG — About 400 Blair county residents left their mailed ballots at home and showed up during last week’s primary to vote in person, an option allowed under the state’s updated voting procedures.

But among the 400 were 40 voters who failed to complete their provisional ballots as required, thereby prompting the county board of elections to reject the ballot and the votes cast on Monday.

The common fatal flaw was voter failure to sign the provisional ballot in two places.

“We’re required by law to reject them for lack of signatures,” elections board Chairman Amy Webster said.

The elections board, made up of Webster and fellow commissioners Bruce Erb and Laura Burke, also rejected a ballot where the voter printed his name in one area, then signed in another, when he should have signed his name in both locations.

Decisions by the county board can be appealed to common pleas court, with that option used several years ago in a contested congressional seat race with votes cast in several counties.

Blair County’s results from Tuesday’s primary are still under review. Commissioners, after finishing their elections board meeting on Monday, were returning to the highway yard to glean votes from the approved provisional ballots.

They also needed to finish write-in votes cast in at least six precincts. The write-in results from the other 87 precincts were reviewed last week.

While Tuesday’s primary contained no neck-and-neck races for president or for state office nominees, political party nominations, for county committee and national convention delegates, remain on hold.

During Monday’s review of the provisional ballots, solicitor Nathan Karn pointed out that voters who signed up to get mailed ballots, then voted in person, will still get a mailed ballot for the November election.

“They cannot call in and change their mind,” Karn said.

But like in the primary, those voters can still vote in person.

And in early 2021, the county elections office will distribute applications offering voters the chance of renewing or ending their option of receiving mailed ballots.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.

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