Voters mailing it in

In this Progress file photo, Clearfield County Director of Elections Dawn Graham is shown going through the large number of mail-in votes received at the county elections office. According to Graham, the county received almost 5,000 mail-in votes at that point for the June primary.

The national legal battle over mail-in voting has reached the halls of Clearfield County government.

At Tuesday’s commissioners meeting, Solicitor Heather Bozovich said the Republican Party has filed a lawsuit against all 57 county election boards in the state over the mail-in and absentee ballots.

The Democratic Party likewise has filed a countersuit in state court.

Bozovich said on Friday that Clearfield and several other counties have filed a motion to dismiss the Republican lawsuit.

“A lot of the allegations don’t have to do with our county,” Bozovich said.

She said the county was served with a set of 15 written discovery requests and Bozovich said she and the Director of Elections Dawn Graham will be working on a response.

A discovery request is a request for information/documents.

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If the lawsuit is not dismissed or resolved, the judge has scheduled an evidentiary hearing on Sept. 22 and 23, Bozovich said.

“The judge is pushing the case along to make sure a decision can be made before the election,” Bozovich said.

At the request of Bozovich, the commissioners approved a joint defense agreement that would allow Bozovich to communicate confidentially with attorneys from other counties in similar position as Clearfield County.

Commissioner John Sobel said it is his understanding that many of the issues listed in the Republican lawsuit are issues in more urban areas.

Bozovich said that is correct. For example she said, one of the issues the Republican Party has raised are the location of ballot drop boxes. She said the Republican Party is claiming some counties have drop boxes that are not directly monitored. She said this is not the case with Clearfield County. She said the county does have a drop box for mail in and absentee ballots but it is in view of the county’s security guards.

The counter lawsuit by the Democratic Party is still in the early stages and Bozovich said they will likely obtain a scheduling order in the near future.

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