When it comes to claims of voter fraud or election irregularities, it’s always prudent to simply examine the facts, keep an open mind and not let one’s preconceived biases cloud one’s judgment of a given piece of information about how elections are conducted.
At this rate, however, millions of disgruntled 2020 voters will have a hard time not crying foul as they see, yet again, the words “Dominion,” “error,” “Pennsylvania” and “Republican voters” all in the same headline.
Yeah … this does not look good.
Republican voters in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania’s primary election this week reported a concerning “typo” that presented them with ballots for Democratic voters despite their party affiliation.
According to WNEP-TV, some polling locations reported the concerning error, which appeared when poll workers pulled up ballots on Dominion Voting Systems machines for Republican voters only to find them labeled “Official Democratic Ballot.”
Officials said that it was a “coding error” on the part of Dominion’s system that caused the errant ballot title.
Alternate provisional ballots were made available for voters who were uncomfortable with reassurances that this “typo” didn’t impact their votes.
“Came out of the machine, on the paper was marked ‘Republican.’ All of the candidates that I voted for the word were Republican. If that doesn’t get counted correctly, it’s beyond the scope of any of us to do anything about it,” Kingston voter Dudley Snyder told WNEP.
Kingston Townships’s judge of elections said he paused voting on Tuesday morning to address the issue and that officials in Wilkes-Barre informed him it had been a mere “typo” and when voters proceeded to the next screen, they were presented with a Republican ballot.
This was cross-checked against an emergency paper ballot to confirm. Luzerne County’s election director Bob Morgan said Republican votes will be counted correctly and that Republican ballots had printed out correctly. Voters confirmed this to WNEP.
“We want to assure everybody that what happens is when you are a registered Republican, we have a specific code for that ballot. And once we punch that code in, even though the header says something like, ‘Democratic ballot.’ it’s actually for the races that are in the Republican party,” Luzerne County Director of Election Bob Morgan said.
Now, it is worthy of note that Luzerne is where nine discarded military ballots were found in 2020, ahead of the much-contested general election, and seven of them were cast for Republican President Donald Trump.
As you can imagine, voters in this week’s local primaries had their doubts when first made aware of the whole “coding error” problem.
“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?” Dudley pondered. “It’s going to take a long time; I think before anybody gets any degree of comfort with it anymore.”
Local Republican leaders, one of whom experienced the error himself first-hand, was understandably irked.
“I went in to vote myself, and it happened to me also, so we have a great concern as a Republican Party to instill that the integrity of the election process,” Justin Behrens, chair of the Luzerne County Republican Party, said.
Behrens proceeded to contact attorneys who filed a lawsuit at the courthouse to immediately switch to paper ballots and impound the Dominion machines.
County officials and Democratic and Republican party leaders ultimately reached a compromise that the machines would instead be locked up and kept secure following the election so as to be made available for an audit.
“We’re going to make sure that all the equipment that’s used is going to be secured and locked safe for us to do an investigation or do or to do whatever we want to do to check it out as a party,” Behrens explained.
We could be incredibly generous and conceded that this could be the most honest, legitimately innocent “coding error” and yet still be forced to admit it has rather grim implications for the overall integrity of our elections.
Let’s say, hypothetically, every single election that has taken place over the last year in the United States was somehow impeccably executed with the utmost security and care despite all the crying foul — do errors like this do anything to bolster already broken public trust in how they’re conducted?
Especially when they’re taking place in Pennsylvania, where accusations of fraud and irregularities were rampant in 2020?
At the very least, this could all very quickly and easily turn into a case of the boy who cried wolf — or rather — the voter who cried fraud.
There are more than enough previous accusations of Dominion machines seeming to errantly favor Democratic voters or candidates to seriously undermine public trust not only in the technology being used to conduct elections but the outcome of the elections themselves.
Democrats may currently feel quite confident that the 2020 election was secure — but the next time there is an election with an outcome they don’t like, well, there’s now plenty of ammunition for an accusation of fraud.
Something is clearly amiss.
A constitutional republic relies on safe, secure elections to function honestly, and the less the public trusts the elections, the more poorly that system will function.
How many voters out there will throw up their hands and neglect to show up at the polling booth at all because they’ve grown convinced it’s all rigged?