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Lawsuit prevented early election ballot mailing

The first day for county voter registration offices across Pennsylvania to mail out election ballots has come and gone, and the ballots remain unsent.

Sept. 14 was the first day ballots could be mailed, however, a lawsuit by the state’s Democratic Party to keep the Green Party’s candidate for vice president, Angela Nicole Walker, off the ballot, halted certification of the November ballots.

Therefore, county officials could not mail the ballots to voters.

The Democratic Party was appealing a lower court’s decision allowing Walker’s name on the ballot to the state Supreme Court.

Lehigh County Chief Clerk of Elections Tim Benyo spoke with The Press Sept. 14.

“The ballots are not finalized,” Benyo said.

“Pennsylvania cannot send out the ballots.”

Benyo said processing the applications for mail-in ballots has been ongoing.

“Oct. 20 is the drop-dead date to send out ballots,” he said. “We will send out the ballots then, even if they are not correct; if they are not complete; or if the court case is not remedied by then.”

Benyo said signs would be placed at polling locations in Lehigh County telling voters not to choose Walker, if the court orders her name removed from the ballot.

Benyo said the situation is “not a terribly new groundbreaking area.”

“We are in a holding pattern,” Benyo said.

This story is updated.