In 2016, the state rejected about 1% of mail-in ballots; this year it is running so far as 0.03%.
By Daniel Payne – Updated: November 16, 2020 – 4:28pm
Mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania so far this year have been accepted at almost 30 times the rate predicted by historical rejection numbers, raising potential questions in a state in which Democratic challenger Joe Biden is maintaining a lead of just several thousand votes.
A county-by-county review by Just the News of accepted and rejected mail-in ballots throughout the state of Pennsylvania show that, when added up, the state only rejected 951 of 2,614,011 mail-in ballots this year, or a rate of 0.03%.
That is significantly less than the historical rate of mail-in ballot rejection, which generally hovers around 1%. For first-time mail-in voters the rate can jump as high as 3%.
In 2016, the state saw about 266,208 mail-in ballots; just under 1% of them, 2,534, were rejected, roughly in line with historical expectations, according to the 2016 Election Administration and Voting Survey.
At that historical rate of rejection, around 26,000 mail-in ballots would be rejected from this year’s final Pennsylvania tally. Such numbers would not have been unexpected: Last month, for instance, the Bucks County Courier Times estimated that, based on predicted vote-by-mail turnout, around 28,000 Pennsylvanians might have had their ballots pulled, rather than the 951 that were ultimately dumped.