A Pennsylvania county has recently voted to have a senior prosecutor look into an election error after voting machines failed to display Republican ballots during a primary election last week.
According to the Times Leader, Luzerne County’s 11-member council voted on Tuesday, May 25, to urge the district attorney’s office to investigate a May 18 dispute. All ballots seemed to be Democratic on a series of Dominion Voting Systems machines. Dominion is the corporation scarred by election fraud charges in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.
Linda McClosky Houck, one member of the council, was not present when the vote was taken.
The error happened on May 18 when all Luzerne County voters, regardless of party affiliation, saw a confusing ballot only labeled for the Democratic primary on the first screen. Even though they seemed to be Democratic on the screen, votes would print out as Republican. According to the electoral administration, GOP voters had the option of filing a provisional or emergency ballot, the Washington Examiner reported.
Councilman Walter Griffith, who proposed the resolution, said that many GOP and independent voters were “disenfranchised and concerned about the integrity of the election process,” and some left polling places agitated. According to the local news site, the resolution asks the district attorney to investigate Dominion’s policies and processes and the election board’s conduct in overseeing and maintaining election equipment security.
A motion to remove County Manager David Pedri was also introduced, but not voted on.
District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce stated that his office is eager to investigate any alleged illegal activity. “Without integrity in our elections, the public cannot trust the remainder of our democratic process,” he said.
During a two-hour special meeting of the Luzerne County volunteer election board on May 24, Nicole Nollette, Dominion’s executive vice president of operations, blamed “human error” for the incident but insisted that the ballot header typo “had minimal impacts on the actual administration on the election and no impact to the results and the tally.”
Dominion subsequently released a statement admitting the “ballot screen error,” but confirmed that despite the error, “all ballots are printing correctly with the Republican header and the Republican primary election races.”
Last week, however, the Director of Elections Bob Morgan attributed the incident to a “coding error” within Dominion.
Morgan told PA Homepage on May 18 that there was “no evidence of any of this problem on the mail-in ballots, which were produced from that file. We’re still working with Dominion to get an explanation as to how this coding error occurred. They were as surprised about it as we were.”
The Board of Elections in Luzerne County also said that every vote was counted accurately, broadcaster Fox 56 reported.
Earlier this week, Luzerne officials ran into another issue when the WBRE 28/WYOU 22 Eyewitness News I-Team discovered unattended voting machines in a public hallway within the Terrace Plaza mall. Voters rapidly raised questions about machine errors, expressing their concern.
“I don’t think they should be in the middle of the mall area. I told them where the room is over there to keep them secure. But we watch them,” mall manager Laura Gruene told PA Homepage.
Morgan believed the voting machines should not have been placed in such a public spot, but he also acknowledged that recovering 900 machines across the county can take several days.
“Anything that could be tampered with such as memory cards were removed. There are no ballots inside. These basically are empty shells. We will contact our mover to get them picked up,” he said.