Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb launched a long-expected Senate bid in his state Friday morning, becoming the latest to join a crowded primary field in one of the country’s most competitive races.
Lamb, a 37-year-old Marine, first won a special election in a Pittsburgh-area swing district in 2018, months before Democrats took control of the House. He is vying to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in a state that President Joe Biden narrowly won, as Democrats look to expand their slim 50-50 majority.
An October 29 story in the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that election officials in several Pennsylvania counties were debating how to alert voters that their mail-in ballot might not meet state requirements. “Officials across Pennsylvania are trying to help voters fix mail ballots that would otherwise be disqualified because of technical mistakes in completing them, creating a patchwork of policies around how—or even whether—people are notified and given a chance to make their votes count,” reporter Jonathan Lai explained. Some jurisdictions were contacting voters directly; one county, according to the paper, sent the “flawed” ballots back to the voters.
But there was a much bigger story behind Lai’s article: Election officials clearly violated the law by inspecting mail-in ballots before November 3. According to Pennsylvania’s election rules, county election boards were required to “safely keep the ballots in sealed or locked containers” until pre-canvassing legally began at 7 a.m. on Election Day.