More than a dozen counties in Pennsylvania have seen election directors or deputy directors leave in the last year since a new law was passed to accommodate no-excuse mail-in voting across the state, three county officials familiar with the movement tell NBC News.
“The general assembly, the courts, and the governor have created a s—show of an election. Nobody truly understands what’s what,” one county election official said, “nobody has a grasp.”
The heightened concern comes after the Keystone State took weeks to report its primary results in June and as local election officials face ever-changing demands on the election process this year. With less than 45 days to go until the general election, the race in the battleground state is expected to be tight and top Pennsylvania elections officials have already said not to expect results on election night.
An email among a group of Pennsylvania directors of elections, provided to NBC News, shared that nearly one in four counties across the state has seen leaders in their election offices leave.
At least one, in Mifflin County, left for a promotion to the Pennsylvania Department of State and has since been replaced. Others though, left after the new state law around mail-in ballots was passed last fall, or retired — and some of these positions are still left unfilled.
“The loss of so many county election officials in a single year, more than anything else, should be a canary in the coal mine for state-level stakeholders to recognize that the current paradigm is unsustainable,” the email reads in part, also warning that there’s a potential for more officials to leave before November 3rd….