The final results for the 2020 election in Montgomery County, PA were approved this past Monday by a vote of 2-to-1. Republican Commissioner Joe Gale was the lone dissenting vote. Gale cited “widely publicized irregularities, ongoing litigation, and the massive number of unverified mail-in ballots cast this year,” in his decision to vote no. The commissioner has also called for a comprehensive audit. “Frankly, no one should be voting two months before election day,” he said.
Joe Gale, like many Trump backers, has been highly critical of the unprecedented amount of mail-in and absentee ballots that were cast following the COVID-19 outbreak. Pennsylvania, like the rest of the nation, saw massive spikes in mail in voting. In Montgomery County alone, there were roughly 244,000 mail-in ballots cast in the 2020 election. In 2016, there were just 260,000 mail-in ballots cast across the entire state.
This massive increase in mail-in voting coupled with hastily passed oversight is something that Joe Gale — an anti-establishment Republican — has been highly critical of. Gale criticized the GOP controlled state legislatures for their role in passing ACT 77; a Democrat sponsored bill that made massive changes to the state’s mail-in voting procedures. Every single GOP Pennsylvania State Senator voted for ACT 77, which took place prior to the virus. “They created this entire mess,” Gale told Chris Stigall last Friday.
ACT 77 expanded Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting window to 50 days leading up to an election. It also gave voters an option to be placed on a list to permanently receive mail-in ballots going forward. Act 77 also stopped requiring an excuse in order for one to receive a mail-in or absentee ballot, which was a must before. Gale blasted the PA Republican Party for their failure to appeal the PA Supreme Court’s ruling against mandatory voter I.D. back in 2014, when they had a solid majority.
Gale has praised President Trump for highlighting issues with election integrity and has called for reform. He has called for the removal of the 50 day mail-in voting window, voter I.D. and signature verification.