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Did Pennsylvania Have More Mail-In Ballots Recorded Than Were Requested?
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Did Pennsylvania Have More Mail-In Ballots Recorded Than Were Requested?


On Friday, November 27, Doug Mastriano, Republican state senator from Pennsylvania, tweeted a screenshot of what is said to be “Pennsylvania Official votes,”  from “11/24 8pm,” which he claims was “posted on our Department of State dashboard but had since been deleted.” 

The voting information is accompanied with the following caption: “Pennsylvania reports having mailed out 1,823,148 ballots, of which 1,462,302 were returned. Yet total mail-in votes number 2,589,242? From where did the extra 2,589,242-1,462, 302=1,126,940 votes come?”

President Donald Trump retweeted Mastriano’s tweet, claiming the “Pennsylvania votes were rigged.”

Mastriano, however, cites data from the 2020 primary election, not the general election. The insinuation that there were more mail ballots cast than the number of requested mail ballots is false. 

According to Open Data Pennsylvania, there were 1,823,148 mail ballots requested, with 79.97 percent returned in the 2020 primary election.

Per data from the Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s office, there were a total of 3,087,524 mail-in ballot requests, 1,941,131 of which were Democrat and 784,851 of which were Republican, with the rest either having a third party affiliation or none at all. There were a recorded 2,629,672 mail-in ballots returned in total.

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Khaya Himmelman is a fact checker for The Dispatch. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Barnard College.