The claim: Pennsylvania ballots will be rejected without outer and inner envelopes
Misinformation about this year's presidential election — especially concerning voting by mail — is rampant on social medial.
President Donald Trump has sowed doubt about the safety and accuracy of mail-in ballots, a process that millions of Americans will participate in due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The logistics of voting vary by state, but contrary to what the president says, voter fraud is not a large scale problem, and mail-in voting is secure.
One Facebook post, on the page of the group Pennsylvania Women for Biden/Harris, said, "PENNSYLVANIA Supreme Court ruled that mail-in ballots that don’t have BOTH the outer AND inner envelopes will NOT be counted. Tell your family and friends. It is critical to the outcome of the race to return your ballot correctly!"
How to make sure your ballot is counted in Pennsylvania
The post is accurate. In September, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that officials can reject "naked ballots," which are those that are missing the secrecy envelope. Prior to the ruling, state election officials had given guidance telling counties to count naked ballots.
Following the ruling, Pennsylvania's Secretary of State, Kathy Boockvar, created an online guide showing how residents should vote to ensure that their ballots meet the requirements to be counted.
"It's important that voters follow all the steps necessary so their mail-in ballot will be counted. We want every voter's voice to be heard — whether they vote by mail, early in person at their county election office or at the polls on election day," she said in a prepared statement.
In the guide, Boockvar explicitly addresses how to properly handle a ballot's envelope.
Every voter should first seal the ballot in the white inner secrecy envelope, then "seal the inner secrecy envelope in the pre-addressed outer return envelope where the voter must sign."
Finally, voters have to sign the voter's declaration on the outside of the outer return envelope.
According to the guide, "If the ballot is not enclosed in both envelopes, it will not be counted. If the voter does not sign the outer envelope, the ballot will not be counted."
Boockvar also noted that the sooner a ballot is submitted, the better.
Our rating: True
The claim in the post is TRUE. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court did rule that officials can reject ballots that aren't properly enclosed in the required envelopes. Pennsylvania's secretary of state further confirmed this in an online voter guide.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Pennsylvania mail-in votes need 2 envelopes to be counted