2020 Rejection Rate of Pennsylvania Mail-in Ballots Over 25 Times Lower Than in 2016
Just the News conducted a county by county review to determine the rejection rate of mail-in ballots by the state of Pennsylvania in 2020. The study found that only 0.036 percent of mail-in ballots were rejected this year compared to 1 percent in 2016.
“Mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania so far this year have been accepted at almost 30 times the rate predicted by historical rejection numbers,” wrote Just the News’ Daniel Payne.
Payne notes that only 951 of 2,614,011 mail-in ballots were rejected in 2020.
Due to concerns about COVID, the number of mail-in ballots has skyrocketed throughout the country this year.
In 2016, Payne points out that the state of Pennsylvania received 266,208 mail-in ballots and rejected 2,534 or 0.95 percent. He explains that if we apply this rate to the number of mail-in ballots received by the state this year, we would expect approximately 25,000 to be rejected. Instead, only 951 were denied.
Now, what about those 24,000 ballots that were accepted? We know that mail-in votes tend to favor Democrats. We also know that President Trump’s 600,000+ vote lead in the state on Tuesday night has completely evaporated and he now trails former Vice President Joe Biden by 28,877 votes (according to Real Clear Politics data at 5:00 am ET on Saturday).
Although we have no way of knowing how many of those 24,000 votes went to Biden, I think we can safely say that Biden benefited from the state’s more liberal acceptance rate this year.
According to the Bucks County Courier Times, in the months leading up to the election, Democrats were concerned that great numbers of mail-in ballots would be rejected.
The headline for an article published on October 12 reads: “More than 1 million people could lose their vote on Nov. 3. That’s the best-case scenario.” Its lede tells us, “Rejected ballots in the 2020 election battle between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden could become the post-election focus.”
The article cites several reasons why a mail-in ballot might be rejected. The signatures may not match, witness signatures may be missing, or a voter may fail to use the right envelope.
Next, the Times cites a a USA TODAY, Columbia Journalism Investigations and PBS series FRONTLINE investigation. This group found that, “Absentee ballot rejections this November are projected to reach historic levels, risking widespread disenfranchisement of minority voters and the credibility of election results.”
As it turned out, they needn’t have worried.