When constituents in Luzerne County, PA, cast their ballot in the May 18 primary, some voting locations reported that when Republicans voted at the machine, an introduction screen said “Official Democratic Ballot.” As reported by UncoverDC, the confusion continued after county election director Bob Morgan labeled it a coding problem. At the same time, Dominion Voting Systems insisted it was a human data-entry error. Regardless, Luzerne County’s eleven-member council voted to ask the District Attorney’s office to launch an investigation into the matter. 

Luzerne County uses Dominion Imagecast X voting machines, which have been immersed in election rigging and voter fraud allegations. In a special two-hour meeting earlier this week to discuss the issue, Dominion Voting Systems executive vice president of operations Nicole Nollette shared, “Dominion deeply regrets the confusion this error caused.” The company wrote in a statement:

“Luzerne County’s election director has confirmed that there is a ballot screen error that is confined to the header on the viewing screen of the machine and that all ballots are printing correctly with the Republican header and the Republican primary election races. As the county has reassured the voting public, all ballots will be correctly counted. We regret any confusion this has caused.”

Election Board Chairwoman Denise Williams claimed multiple factors need to be examined, not just the Dominion coding error, adding the grievances will be “looked into” when the board meets again in June. Some county leaders suggested a forensic audit by a third party is necessary. Election Board member Missy Thomas commented, “These machines—their credibility is lost. The system is compromised.” Eager to investigate now, on Wednesday, councilman Walter Griffith suggested urgent action, stating:

“Let’s do the investigation. Let’s find out if anything was done improper. Let’s correct the problems because we have another election in November, and it’s imperative that we do this right. This is three times now that the county has kind of messed up the election, and it’s not fair to the people.”

The resolution, proposed by Councilman Walter Griffin, requests the district attorney look into Dominion’s practices and procedures as well as the election board’s actions in overseeing and maintaining the security of election equipment. Despite assurances from the election bureau that every Republican vote was correctly counted, the error left many Republicans concerned their ballots wouldn’t count because voters can’t cross party lines in a primary election. Griffin emphasized that many independent and GOP voters were “disenfranchised and concerned about the integrity of the election process.”

District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce indicated his office is prepared to examine any potential criminal conduct that took place, adding, “Without integrity in our elections, the public cannot trust the remainder of our democratic process.

Luzerne was not the only county reporting problems in the primary election. Many Republican ballots in Fayette County were missing barcodes and couldn’t be scanned, provoking renewed concerns about the security of the state’s electoral process. The county said in a statement that the election bureau recognized and was addressing “a printing issue” with some of the primary election ballots and that the issue was affecting all parties, adding:

“Alternative solutions to the scanning issues were already established and are being enacted. Election officials are currently in direct contact with the judges of elections at all precincts. All judges were trained on these procedures prior to the election. Every voter will have an opportunity to vote at their polling place. Election officials will ensure every vote is counted.”

UncoverDC has reported extensively on election integrity concerns in Pennsylvania.