Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin said Monday there were likely hundreds of instances where people deposited more than one ballot into drop boxes between Oct. 18 and election day, Nov. 2, 2021.
Joe Vichot, Chairman of the Lehigh County Republican Committee, submitted correspondence on Jan. 20., 2022 to Deputy County Solicitor, Sarah Murray, regarding alleged multiple ballots deposited at drop boxes during the 2021 November election, according to a news release from the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office.
On Feb. 1, 2022, the Election Board of Lehigh County through Deputy Solicitor Murray referred the matter to the District Attorney for investigation. Martin said he referred the matter to Chief County Detective Michael J. Millan, who assigned County Detectives Richard G. Heffelfinger, Steven C. Furlong and Robert V. Egan to the investigation.
Based upon the investigation, Martin said he found that there were likely hundreds of instances where people deposited more than one ballot into drop boxes established for receipt of ballots between Oct. 18 and election day, Nov. 2, 2021. Over the time that drop boxes were in place 7,196 ballots were deposited and counted.
Based upon the review by the detectives, at least 288 people deposited more than one ballot in the various drop boxes, all of which were under video surveillance, according to the news release from the DA's office.
This is a violation of the provisions of the Election Code, which require that each voter deposit/deliver only their own ballot.
"Based upon the sampling, it is clear that many more than just those observed deposited more than one ballot," Martin said.
There was only one instance where it appears that more than two ballots were deposited; in that case, either five or six were deposited, Martin said. That person cannot be identified.
Martin said the vast majority of others captured on video depositing their ballots in drop boxes also cannot be identified. More than 14,800 ballots were delivered through the U.S. mail, and no video exists as to these, the DA's office said.
There will be no prosecution brought as a result of the investigation "because to prosecute those few whose identity can be proven would be unfair and unjust given the much larger numbers who cannot be identified and who also deposited multiple ballots," Martin said.
Martin said the complaint of the Lehigh County Republican Committee is well-founded, and that there are hundreds of instances where voters violated the Election Code by submitting more than their own ballot.