Elections are a cornerstone of American democracy and play a critical role in maintaining a free and fair society.

Voters who believe in the sanctity of “one voter, one vote” place a high value on voter trust in the U.S. election.

However, a reported irregularity in one City Council District in the 2021 Brooklyn Primary has been discovered by the nonpartisan election watchdog SMART elections—there were more ballots than voters.

The SMART elections group stated that it found “698 more scanned ballots than voters who checked in.”

They observed this difference and raised concerns that merit additional investigation.

“We are issuing this preliminary report because, in our opinion, we are experiencing hostility and obstruction from the New York City and the Brooklyn Board of Elections, as well as some coordinators at Early Voting poll sites,” SMART Elections Executive Director Lulu Friesdat wrote in the report.

“These were reported to the coordinators at each poll site and directly to the Board of Elections. The Board of Elections responded by removing our project leader as a poll watcher and changing the information our poll watchers were allowed to view. Now we cannot collect the data necessary for the successful completion of the project.” the report continued.

SMART elections said they could not reassure the public that the results in all of those sites were accurate because the procedure was opaque, and they had not been permitted to check.

“This lack of cooperation and transparency is unfortunate and unnecessary,” Friesdat added.

The number of voters checking in must always be equal to or close to the number of ballots scanned. That was unrelated to affidavits or void ballots. Those were tracked separately. Unless there was an issue with the scanners, each voter who checked in successfully was given one ballot to scan themselves. As a result, the number of voters that check-in should be similar to the number of ballots scanned, according to SMART Elections.

Further, SMART Elections noted Voters who departed without scanning their votes were known as fleeing voters. As a result, the number of scanned votes might be smaller than the number of voters that checked in. However, the number of ballots scanned must never exceed the number of voters who checked in.

SMART elections contacted election tech experts, reported the Becker News.

According to election technology specialists, programming or software failures could cause the protective counter to move while the public counter did not. The vote might not be counted in some cases. It could have also resulted from the machine being subjected to a strong impact or drop previously, causing an undetectable internal alignment that would not show up in diagnostics.

Vote SMART, formerly called Project Vote SMART, is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that collects and distributes information on candidates for public office in the United States.

It covers candidates and elected officials in six primary areas: background information, issue positions (via the Political Courage Test), voting records, campaign finances, interest group ratings, and speeches and public statements.

Friesdat said the SMART elections watchdog had the utmost regard for the voters, candidates, and poll workers who had invested so much time and energy in the election. They deserve to have faith in the process.

In addition, she hoped the Board of Elections would thoroughly investigate those issues and commit to respectful, transparent cooperation with those in charge of public oversight.

Citizens have a right to know what happens to their votes in government elections once they are cast.

Enhancing transparency is the greatest approach to prevent all types of rigging, whether at the polling station, during the count, or the aggregation.