In Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which is primarily comprised of the city of Pittsburgh, the counting of ballots from last week’s election is still dragging on. This report from CBS Pittsburgh provides a revealing look into some of the “unusual” choices being made and how some of the more controversial ballots are being handled. Many of the remaining ballots are from overseas or from members of the military. (Those were being accepted until Tuesday of this week.) But not all of them.

They’re still dealing with a mountain of 29,000 ballots that were originally mailed to the wrong addresses due to errors made by a contractor assigned to assemble and mail them. Others had incorrect congressional race information on them and corrected versions had to be sent out a second time. All of those ballots are being compared to the lists of people who requested or already returned a ballot to make sure that voters weren’t using the spoiled ballots and that they hadn’t voted twice, either intentionally or through confusion over the double mailing.

In addition to all of that confusion, however, there’s another pile of more than 2,000 ballots that had originally been set aside. These are the ballots where the voter failed to put down the date that the ballot was completed as required by state election laws. Yet a vote was taken by three people from the Board of Elections office and they’ve decided to count those ballots anyway. Those were previously held back, along with roughly 17,000 provisional ballots having issues that needed to be resolved.

“We have to determine, number one, if they were registered. Number two, if the precinct they voted in is the right precinct. Number three, if they applied for an absentee or mail-in ballot, that it’s already been returned,” said Voye.

The only agenda item during the special Board of Elections meeting on Tuesday was about counting 2,349 ballots without dates. Those ballots were otherwise completed properly, enclosed in both the return and secrecy envelopes, and postmarked by Nov. 3.

The board passed the motion to count them two to one.

Allegheny County solicitor Andy Szefi (D) was quoted as saying that the thousands of ballots without the dates filled in represent “a technicality that we don’t want voters to get disenfranchised with.”

Really? A “technicality?” Even if we want to assume the noblest intentions possible and simply say that they want everyone to have the chance to vote, there’s obviously a lot of freelancing going on at some of these counting offices. Each state has the right to create its own election laws and define how the process will play out, but once those laws are passed, elected officials are supposed to follow them.

Each blank space on the ballot is supposed to be filled in with the correct information. A failure to do so results in a spoiled ballot. If there is no need to include the date on the ballot, then revise the laws and remove that requirement. But as long as it’s there, the people counting the ballots need to adhere to the rules.

What’s going on here is a process where officials from the Board of Elections and their workers are trying to read the minds of the voters who failed to fully and properly fill out their ballots. That’s not how the process is supposed to work. In the case of those 2,349 ballots, they all needed to be postmarked by election day. What if some of them would have had a date of November 4th filled in? The ballots would have to have been mailed after the deadline and would therefore be rejected if that were the case. But the workers there don’t know because the voters failed to fill in the information.

Three people sitting in a room in Pittsburgh decided to take a vote and two of them chose to disregard the state’s election laws and toss caution to the wind. On whose authority do they get to do that? There were already far too many questions swirling around the election results in Pennsylvania this year. I suppose we can just toss this story on the pile with the rest of them.