This report from WTAE in Pittsburgh is getting some attention today. About 2 million Pennsylvanians have requested mail-in-ballots for the 2020 election but there are concerns that not everyone knows how they should be returned.

The ballots come with three parts: The ballot itself, a “secrecy envelope” which is just an envelope with the words “Official Election Ballot” printed on the front, and the outer envelope in which you mail everything back to the state. The problem is that some people haven’t been putting their ballots inside the secrecy envelope before mailing it back. In the primary election that wouldn’t have mattered but because of a state supreme court decision issued last week, these so-called “naked ballots” will not be counted in the general election. And here’s why that could be a very big deal:

Melanie Ostrander is the elections director for Washington County.

Washington County, like many others, counted these ballots for the June primary, but won’t be allowed to in November.

“We had a little over 22,000 ballots in the primary and approximately 1,000 were considered ‘naked ballots,'” Ostrander said.

That works out to nearly 5 percent of the ballots returned in the primary in that county. So what happens if a similar number of people make the same mistake statewide?

If 5% of the over 2 million Pennsylvanians and climbing voting by mail have ballots thrown out, that could lead to 100,000 ballots being tossed. Pennsylvania was decided by 44,000 votes in 2016.

In short, this could easily amount to enough ballots to decide who wins the election. Polling suggests that early mail-in voters are more likely to be Democrats while Republicans are more likely to vote on election day. So if there are errors with these ballots it’s more likely to hurt Biden than Trump.

But this issue is just one of many court battles across the country over voting. Some of the other battles in Pennsylvania have definitely gone in a way that will likely help Democrats.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted a three-day extension for mail-in ballots in the November election – allowing votes to count in the battleground state even if they arrive a little late.

The state traditionally required mail-in ballots to be due by the time polls close on Election Day.

Now ballots will be counted if they’re received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 6 — as long as they’re postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day, according to the court’s order.

No one knows what is going to be decisive in Pennsylvania but this issue is potentially a big one if voters don’t get it right. Here’s the WTAE report on naked ballots: