State Watch

Pennsylvania politicians go topless to warn mail-in voters against ‘naked ballots’


Local leaders in Pittsburgh posed topless for a social media campaign to raise awareness about “naked ballots,” or mail-in ballots without secrecy envelopes. 

Two Allegheny County council members and a state representative-elect used images of mail-in ballots strategically placed to cover their chests. Text below the images reminds voters to put their ballots in secrecy envelopes before they mail them to avoid having their votes thrown out.

So-called “naked ballots” were an issue during Pennsylvania’s primary election in August, where thousands of voters used the state’s mail-in voting system for the first time. Earlier this month the state’s Supreme Court ruled that the naked ballots sent in the primary could be counted but not in the general election.

In addition to local efforts to curtail confusion, earlier this month the Democratic National Committee launched an ad in the heavily contested swing state informing voters against naked ballots as well. 

“Immediately when I heard the term naked ballots, and being a woman in the male-dominated environment of politics, where they are always trying to control our bodies, I thought, ‘Why not take some control back? And also get the voters’ attention,” Bethany Hallam, a Democratic councilwoman at large for Allegheny County, told the Guardian.

Hallam told a local CBS station that state experts predict 100,000 Pennsylvanians will send in “naked ballots” ahead of Nov. 3, invalidating their votes.

Tags 2020 2020 election mail-in ballots mail-in voting naked ballots Vote by Mail

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