Republicans Sue To Limit Drop Box Use in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Sept. 1, America First Legal — a conservative group founded by Mark Meadows and Stephen Miller — filed a lawsuit on behalf of voters in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania against the Lehigh County Board of Elections challenging the rules regulating the use of drop boxes throughout the county. The plaintiffs allege that the current lack of guidance regarding the use of drop boxes  violates the Pennsylvania Election Code, which the plaintiffs argue requires that “mailed and absentee ballots must be returned either by mail or in person by the person to whom the ballot belongs.”

This lawsuit is the latest in a string of conservative-sponsored litigation to upend mail-in voting in Pennsylvania. In their complaint, the plaintiffs reference a 2021 investigation into drop boxes by the Lehigh County district attorney, after which the district attorney announced that he would station detectives at drop box sites to monitor them. However, following the district attorney’s announcement, the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth and the American Civil Liberties Union advised the district attorney that such monitoring amounts to unlawful “voter intimidation” under state law. The plaintiffs admit that “there is no assurance that the District Attorney will implement a similar plan for the general election” but ask the court to ensure that the defendants are only able to continue to use drop boxes in extremely limited circumstances anyway. They request that drop boxes are only used “provided they institute adequate procedures to assure that only the voter delivers an absentee or mailed ballot to the drop box, such as placing the drop boxes inside [a building] and open only during normal business hours where the delivery of the ballot can be verified.” They also ask the court to prohibit the use of drop boxes unless “they are physically monitored in-person.” 

Read the complaint here.

Learn more about the case here.