What should you do if there's a problem with your 2022 ballot?

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

Elections statewide — and in York County — are facing more scrutiny than ever thanks to rampant, largely unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.

"As far as any potential fraud goes, we need the evidence of it," said Julie Haertsch, York County's elections director.

For example, Haertsch said the office recently looked into a call from a woman who alleged her mail-in ballot had been filled in before she opened it. However, the individual had already thrown out the ballot — leaving investigators with no evidence to consider.

Last year, an Associated Press review of every potential case of voter fraud in the 2020 election found just 475 ballots flagged as suspicious in the six states that tipped the election in President Joe Biden's favor. In Pennsylvania, only 26 ballots out of the 6.9 million cast statewide that year were deemed suspicious. Biden won the state by a nearly 81,000 vote margin.

Nonetheless, an important question remains: What do you do if you suspect there's fraud or if there's a problem with your mail-in ballot?

York County elections officials and the Department of State have the same answer: Reach out to your county elections department with evidence.

More: Scott Perry, in the center of a Jan. 6 storm, insists he's a simple man

More:Weather events led to more significant power outages in Pennsylvania: report

More:Time to turn the furnace on: Temps could drop below freezing in York County this week

If evidence of fraud turned over to the elections department, Haertsch said the county will turn it over to District Attorney Dave Sunday's office.

"They will do an investigation," she said. "They will interview the person, they will manage the complaint, and at that point in time it's out of our hands because we can't investigate the fraud."

York County elections director Julie Haertsch commends five York County residents as they are inducted into the Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame during a ceremony at York County Administrative Center in York City, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

District Attorney spokesperson Kyle King said they are in frequent communication with the elections department, although he could not provide specifics on individual investigations.

The Department of State recommends that if you suspect fraud or your mail-in ballot has been tampered with, contact the local county elections department as well as the district attorney's office.

"If the voter believes their ballot was tampered with in the mail, the voter and/or the county can also make a report with the U.S. Postal Inspector's office," Department of State press secretary Grace Griffaton said via email.

>> Please consider subscribing to support local journalism. 

Haertsch said if people have concerns about fraud, they should contact the elections department with both the concern and evidence, and the department will turn over any evidence to the DA.

"I want people to know that if they suspect fraud, before they do anything with the evidence, please call us and we'll give them the advice, we'll tell them what their options are based on that particular situation and we'll work with them," Haertsch said.

The general election is on Nov. 8. For more information on the upcoming election, visit the York County Elections website at https://yorkcountypa.gov/503/Elections-Voter-Registration.

 — Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.