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PA Dems Scramble to Limit Naked Ballots09/24 06:05


   HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Democrats are launching a digital ad targeting 
Pennsylvanians voting by mail to explain how to correctly fill out and return 
the ballots, hoping to avert worried predictions that 100,000 votes or more 
could be invalidated because the ballots aren't put in the proper envelope.

   The so-called naked ballots have become a huge concern for Democrats in the 
state since the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled last week that ballots had to 
be rejected if not enclosed in the proper secrecy envelope. The ruling was a 
victory for President Donald Trump's campaign in the battleground state.

   Democrats so far have been far more likely than Republicans to request 
mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. Trump won 
Pennsylvania by a mere 44,000 votes in 2016, and polls show a close race 
between Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

   A 30-second digital ad released Thursday walks voters through the process of 
correctly filling out and returning a Pennsylvania absentee ballot. The June 
primary was the first election with widespread mail voting in the state and 
most voters have little experience with the method.

   "Remember, you must place the ballot in the secrecy envelope first for your 
vote to count," the ad's male narrator says. After walking voters through a 
four-step process, he closes by saying: "That's all there is."

   The ad is aimed at voters who have already requested a mail-in ballot.

   "With vote-by-mail requests surging, it's important that every voter using a 
mail ballot for the first time has all the information they need so that their 
ballot will be counted, including the importance of sealing their ballot in the 
secrecy envelope," Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said in a 

   The Democratic Party said it and the Biden campaign will also engage in 
additional outreach, including videos of various political leaders correctly 
filling out a mail ballot, to combat the problem.

   Philadelphia's top elections official, a Democrat, this week warned of 
"electoral chaos" in Pennsylvania if the state's Republican-controlled 
Legislature does not clarify state law to allow counties to count mail-in 
ballots returned without secrecy envelopes.

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