GOP Cites Numerous Issues at Polling Sites Ahead of Likely Pennsylvania Recount

Allegheny County election officials were criticized for failures last election cycle

Conor Lamb

Conor Lamb / Getty Images


Republicans are citing numerous problems at polling sites in Tuesday's special election in Pennsylvania, which remains too close to officially call but appears to be trending toward an extremely narrow victory for Democrat Conor Lamb.

Lamb currently leads Republican Rick Saccone by just 627 votes and there are still absentee and provisional ballots that have not been tabulated, but Republicans are already preparing for the likely recount and even a possible lawsuit regarding issues at polling sites, according to a Republican source familiar with the deliberations.

"We’re actively investigating three instances and likely to file court action on them," the source said.

Among the listed concerns are "miscalibrated" voting machines in Allegheny County, the only county of four in the district that went for Lamb, according to the source, who said there have been many reports of voters who intended to vote for Saccone ending up casting a ballot for Lamb.

Furthermore, Republicans say their attorneys were ejected from polling sites as the absentee ballots were still being counted and that due to confusion caused by the Pennsylvania secretary of state website people were directed to the wrong polling locations.

Republicans have demanded that all ballots and voting machines be impounded in preparation for the likely recount.

Republican sources are circulating prior investigations into Allegheny County election officials by Pittsburgh's local ABC affiliate, which found the county was hiring people with criminal records and little election experience to manage polling sites on election day.

The 2016 investigation was launched after Action News 4 learned election judges had repeatedly failed to show up at the polls when they were required to.

The failure by judges to show up—in one case, a judge chose to drive a jitney bus instead of showing up and left the voting equipment and ballots in his car—caused "chaos in the district," according to election officials.

County officials say background checks are not given to election workers.

Investigators concluded that county officials "take whomever they can get" to take jobs overseeing elections.

"It turned out that in some sense, you go through more hoops to rent an apartment, than to become a judge of elections in Pennsylvania," wrote reporter Beau Berman.

Brent Scher   Email Brent | Full Bio | RSS
Brent Scher is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Virginia, where he studied foreign affairs and politics.

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