News Flash

County News & Press Releases

Posted on: November 27, 2023

Board of Elections Votes to Accept Undated, Misdated Ballots

A hand placing an envelope into a ballot box.

The Bucks County Board of Elections voted today during a public meeting to reverse a previous decision and accept undated and incorrectly dated mail-in and absentee ballots cast in the Nov. 7 election.

Following the vote, Board of Elections staff opened and scanned more than 250 previously rejected ballots, and added their results to the election’s unofficial tallies.

The Board’s unanimous decision in favor of counting the ballots followed a Nov. 21 federal court ruling out of the Western District of Pennsylvania which held that rejecting timely received ballots based on undated or misdated envelopes is a violation of the Civil Rights Act. 

“This is a great day for democracy,” said county Chief Clerk/Deputy COO Gail Humphrey, who oversees the Board of Elections Office. “We know when we create and then mail the ballots out to voters for each election, and are required by the state to record when the voted ballots are returned to us. That their timeliness was ever in doubt is nonsensical.” 

Ballots added to vote totals as a result of Monday’s update include:

  • 141 ballots with no date 
  • 119 with an incorrect date
  • 1 military/overseas ballot with no date

Earlier this month, the Board of Elections had voted not to count the undated and misdated ballots after hearing recommendations based on a state Supreme Court decision that upheld state law invalidating such votes. But the Board on Monday revisited its previous decision in the wake of last week’s federal ruling.  

Whether undated and misdated ballots should count has been a live issue in Pennsylvania elections since the General Assembly’s expansion of mail-in voting access took effect during the 2020 elections. 

The Bucks County Board of Elections’ record of accepting these votes in some elections, as it did after the 2022 primary, and reluctantly rejecting them in others reflects the evolving state of jurisprudence around the Commonwealth’s election laws.

To view unofficial results of the Nov. 7 election, or certified results of previous elections, click here or visit BucksCounty.gov/Elections.

Media Contact: James O’Malley, 215-348-6414, [email protected]

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