Judge rules Pennsylvania county does not have to provide in-person monitoring of ballot boxes

Says boxes are "secure" and with video oversight.

Updated: October 19, 2022 - 1:00pm

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A Pennsylvania judge this week ruled that a major state county does not have to provide in-person monitoring of ballot boxes there, declaring that the boxes are secure and that electronic oversight of the locations is sufficient. 

Judge Thomas Capehart in his Tuesday night ruling turned down all four requests made by the plaintiffs, four Lehigh County voters, specifically that the county "provide in-person monitoring" of its ballot boxes, that the county locate its boxes "in buildings," and that the boxes only be available for deposits during certain hours of the day. 

Capehart argued in the decision that all the county's drop boxes "are secure, are video monitored, and are located inside a building” except for one. 

The demands from the petitioners, Capehart argued, were “likely to create confusion and uncertainty around the election” with just a few weeks to go before the midterms.The confusion, the judge claimed, would serve to “further erod[e] the public’s confidence in our election process.”

The court, Capehart said, “will not second guess the wisdom or efficacy of [the Lehigh County Board of Elections].”

Pennsylvanians next month will elect members to both the U.S. House and Senate as well as multiple state-level offices including a new governor.