NYT gets fact-checked on Pennsylvania election story
Copy of Women are voting — and the GOP is terrified

The New York Times is being fact-checked by local Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Jonathan Lai, who claims that a recent report of theirs was false.

According to the Times, "the agency that runs elections in Philadelphia offered replacement ballots in the midterm elections to more than 2,000 voters whose ballots would be invalidated by a recent ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court."

The ruling the Times is referring to is a recent one saying that voters who don't put the dates can't be counted. Allowing voters to fix those dates is allowed and those ballots would then be counted.

The Times tweet of the story read, "The city agency in Philadelphia that runs elections defied the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Saturday by offering replacement ballots in the midterm elections to more than 2,000 voters whose ballots would be invalidated by a recent court ruling."

So, while the story might clarify that ballots without dates can't be counted, it leaves out the fact that those ballots could be corrected.

As Lai explained, with links to local news reports, the state Supreme Court decision ruled that helping people fix their ballots does not invalidate them and it's legal according to the ruling.

The Philadelphia City Commissioners posted on the city website a list of voters whose ballots lacked the correct date or a signature. Those voters were then instructed to go to City Hall on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday to request a replacement ballot and avoid "potential rejection" of the ballot.

“Voters on these lists may instead cast a provisional ballot, but should only do so if the voter is unable to request a replacement ballot at City Hall prior to the end of Election Day,” the commission said in the statement.

This case began in the lower courts after the GOP sued to stop counties from contacting voters about mistakes on their ballots and allowing them to fix the ballots. The judge, in that case, ruled against the Republican's opposition.

“Petitioners have not proven that there is a clear violation of the Election Code or the law interpreting the Election Code,” wrote Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler in the opinion.

The case was then appealed to the state Supreme Court which had a 3 to 3 tie vote because recently a justice passed away. That vote, Lai explained, means that the ruling returns to the lower-court ruling.

"The RNC lost an attempt to block counties from curing, and the PA Supreme Court deadlocked on the appeal, automatically affirming that ruling. Ballot curing doesn’t defy the court," said Lai.

The final Supreme Court result means "counties *are* able to help voters cure flawed ballots, though they aren’t required to," said Lai.

In a close election, Lai claims every ballot can count, and there are currently 2,168 ballots with either no date or an incorrect date on the outer envelope. Commissioners expect the number to grow.