2012-04-26 / Family

Bill Would Bar Party Labels On Absentee Envelopes

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – State officials say they'll review their policies on the handling of absentee ballots in response to concerns about the return envelopes being labeled with voters' party affiliation.

A Friday story in the Pocono Record described a bill sponsored by state Sen. Lisa Baker – a Luzerne County Republican – that would end the practice of including an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ on the label to prevent possible tampering.

State Department spokesman Ron Ruman says the practice stems from implementation of a statewide voter registry in 2003. He says many counties asked for the party designators so employees could sort primary election ballots without having to open each envelope.

Ruman says the department has received no complaints, but officials will consider ways to satisfy the counties' concerns without jeopardizing voters' security.

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