Lawmakers Promise Legal Action After Pennsylvania Primary Election Irregularities

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

UncoverDC reported previously that Pennsylvania officials released a summary of comprehensive hearings about the Nov. 3 election that State Government Committee Chairman Seth Grove called " of, if not the most, comprehensive reviews any state has undertaken." Election integrity concerns from that election and more from Pennsylvania's Tuesday, May 18 primary have prompted promise of legislative action. On Election night, Grove said, "significant voting issues reported in counties across the Commonwealth [show] our Election Code is in dire need of significant reform... This is why we will be advancing election reform measures in the coming weeks,” Today May 20, Grove stated, "Pennsylvania’s election law is rife with fatal flaws, all of which must be fixed so voter confidence in the process is restored and they have faith in the election results. Some of those flaws again reared their heads during the 2021 Primary Election."

One such flaw is that voting machines in Luzerne County displayed a welcome header to all voters, irrespective of party, that said "Official Democratic Ballot" before casting their votes. Local Dudley Snyder told Scranton ABC affiliate WNEP, "There was considerable confusion. They refer to it as miscoding. It's hard to imagine how something like that slips by people...If a coding error can get the name wrong name at the top, how do you know there aren't coding errors that can screw up the cast, the counting of the ballots themselves?"

Luzerne County uses Dominion Imagecast X voting machines. Dominion responded to PAHomePage Eyewitness News with a statement that Luzerne County Director of Elections Bob Morgan had confirmed the error "is confined to the header on the viewing screen of the machine," that "all ballots are printing correctly," and that "all ballots will be correctly counted." Still, Republican Congressional candidate Jim Bognet called DoE Morgan "a partisan Democrat hack whose previous job was a political appointee of Pelosi lapdog Matt Cartwright."

Cartwright was Bognet's victorious opponent in Tuesday's election for a seat in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District. Bognet responded to the loss by saying, "The administration of today’s election in Luzerne County was a fiasco. On yet another Election Day, inexcusable mistakes have been made that cause voters to question the integrity of our voting process. from unacceptable delays in opening the polls to mislabeling Republican ballots as Democrat ballots, Luzerne County’s Election Day is again a laughingstock. This must be fixed. The first step is firing Bob Morgan..."

After the error was found, Republican and Democratic Party officials quickly met on election day at the Luzerne County Courthouse. They reached an agreement to publicly announce that voters should still turn out and they can receive paper ballots if they wish. They agreed that machines would be impounded to increase the likelihood that evidence is preserved for any forensic audit conducted in the future, but not until voting was completed.

Despite the screen error being the most publicized of the PA primary election irregularities, it is not the only one with lawmakers speaking out. Pennsylvania Representative Mike Jones commented on reports of Republican ballot outages by saying, "Thank you to everyone who has been messaging me about polling places (nearly 60 of them across the county at last check) running out of Republican ballot[s]. I have not yet heard of anyone running out of Democrat ballots, but the message is the same."

PA State Representative Andrew Lewis

Pennsylvania State Representative Andrew Lewis posted about another issue that kept Republican ballots from scanning. "This is not a conspiracy theory, this is what factually occurred today in an entire PA county. Thankfully they caught it and took action—a judge has granted an injunction requiring a hand vote count in these precincts." Lewis described ballots that were incorrectly printed and so did not scan properly in Lancaster county. "Enough is enough, PA. Every election official responsible for these errors all the way up the chain needs to be fired. Heads need to roll."

Lewis also hinted at coming legal solutions, "We have been drafting legislation in the State Government committee to restore and safeguard the integrity of our elections. And I better not hear a PEEP from “progressives” and bureaucrats in opposition when we introduce these bills. I’m beyond pissed off that election issues in PA are this blatant, and yet voters who are being actively disenfranchised, discriminated against, and turned away at the polls are still not taken seriously. This needs to be fixed NOW."

Lewis has been advocating for election reforms in Pennsylvania, including stricter proof of citizenship and voter identification by photo ID while providing a free photo ID to anyone who attests to financial need. He wants to disallow absentee ballots from being counted after election day and continuously update voter rolls to remove dead people and ineligible voters, saying a recent lawsuit showed over 21,000 deceased voters still on the rolls. He also calls for a way for citizens to petition for a hand recount of paper ballots and ensuring a paper trail for all elections so that citizens have a "bulletproof, definitive election count."

Audit the Vote PA (ATVPA) has asked for comments from Pennsylvania voters that detail any issues experienced during the May 18 primary. Comments already received include reports of voters being told to use black Sharpie pens, which are known to produce higher adjudication rates, voting machines and barcodes not working for Republican voters only, and precincts that ran out of Republican ballots as early as 2 pm.

UncoverDC has reported on and their efforts to secure an investigative audit of ballots and an independent forensic audit of all electronic voting machines along with signature verification and recounts for the Nov. 3 elections. These measures are meant to resolve questions and allegations by ATVPA, including 15,000 mail-in ballots sent out of state, 78,000 'phantom votes,' the scrubbing of the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE) system data hub, and alleged $10M contract to a Zuckerberg linked company.

That petition is now approaching 40,000 signatures. ATVPA is also presenting an event called The Truth about PA's 2020 Election with Dr. Frank, who was featured in Mike Lindell's "Scientific Proof" on May 23 in New Castle, Pennsylvania. An election day email from Audit the Vote PA Co-Founder Toni Shuppe addressed to Senators and posted to Telegram shows focus on these recent primary elections as well. The letter states, "We told you this wasn't going away... Voter integrity is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It is an American citizen issue."

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