A mail ballot mystery is unfolding at an otherwise unremarkable post office box in South Philadelphia.
City elections officials last week received applications from more than three dozen Republican voters across a pocket of the neighborhood. Those applications requested that mail ballots be delivered not to the voters’ homes, but to P.O. Box 54705, an address registered to a recently formed GOP political action committee, according to state data.
Many of those voters told The Inquirer they have no idea why their ballots were sent there. Some said they never even applied to vote by mail.
And yet one out of every six Republican ballot requests in the 26th Ward — the section of deep South Philly south of Passyunk Avenue and west of Broad Street that voted twice for Donald Trump — listed the P.O. box. That made it the largest single destination for ballots in the city other than nursing homes or elections offices….
At a time when Republican lawmakers and candidates have attacked mail voting and falsely portrayed it as rife with abuse, the ballot requests and interviews with voters reveal an effort by one GOP operative to use mail ballots that may violate or at least push the boundaries of state law.
For example, the mailing address portion of the form — where the P.O. box was written — is in a visibly different handwriting from the rest of the form on many of the applications, according to two sources who have reviewed the documents. And that handwriting appears on multiple forms, suggesting that the same person wrote in the P.O. box for the voters.