FACT CHECK: No, Pennsylvania Did Not Reject 372,000 Mail-In Ballots

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims Pennsylvania rejected 372,000 mail-in ballots after discovering 90 percent were duplicates.

Verdict: False

The state rejected mail-in ballot applications, not actual ballots. Many were rejected because the voters had already requested a mail-in ballot, according to a report from ProPublica and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Fact Check:

Social media platforms have been replete with misinformation around mail-in voting. This particular Facebook post claims that 372,000 mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania were rejected “after discovering 90% of them were duplicates.” (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show Crates Of Mail-In Ballots Abandoned On The Side Of The Road)

That is, however, incorrect. The screen grabbed tweet misinterprets a recent report published by ProPublica and the Philadelphia Inquirer that found 372,000 requests for mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania had been rejected. Of those rejected applications, about 336,000 were denied as duplicates “primarily because people who had requested mail-in ballots for the state’s June 2 primary did not realize that they had checked a box to be sent ballots for the general election,” ProPublica and the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“They could explain what that means. A duplicate: you have applied before, we already have an application on file for you. Sit back, relax, it’s going to be coming in the mail,” Lee Soltysiak, Montgomery County’s chief operating officer, told ProPublica and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Some news sites, such as TheBlaze, initially claimed that Pennsylvania rejected mail-in ballots. TheBlaze has since corrected its story. The false claim also went viral on Twitter, as Business Insider politics reporter Grace Panetta pointed out.

“This tweet has 8k retweets, 11k+ likes, and it’s completely false. Those were *ballot applications* caused by people applying more than once, NOT actual ballots!!” she tweeted. “This is a great example of why you should double-check before RTing something about voting.”

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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