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 November 30, 2022

Pennsylvania county deadlocked on certifying election results after election day scandal

Officials in Luzerne County were deadlocked on certifying the midterm election results in time for Monday's deadline, the Washington Examiner reported. The Pennsylvania county was at the center of an Election Day nightmare after running out of paper ballots.

A judge had allowed the polls in the county to stay open two hours later, moving closing time to 10 p.m. Still, officials were in serious doubt about the validity of results given the delays in problems, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The Luzerne County Board of Elections and Voter Registration voted 2-2 on whether to send its vote counts to the state. One member abstained from the vote allowing the deadline to come and go leading to the missed deadline.

The vote broke along party lines, with two Democrats on the board in favor of certifying the results and two Republicans voting against it. A fifth member, Democrat Daniel Schramm, is the one who abstained from the vote.

Schramm said he would vote in another meeting set for Wednesday. However, he first wanted definite answers to whether voters were turned away and what the consequences of the paper shortage meant for those attempting to cast ballots.

"I wanted to research to see exactly how many people were just not allowed to vote. I couldn't find any," Schramm claimed.

The official said the board surveyed 125 judges among Luzerne County's 187 precincts. So far, "they reported nobody being turned away," he told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

However, the feeling from the public was that this election was "rife with disenfranchisement," a member of the public said during the public comment portion before the board's vote. Others called for a new election and the resignation of election officials in the county.

Sam Sanguedolce, Luzerne's GOP District Attorney, said that "the investigation is progressing as expected" into how significantly these issues impacted voters. Still, it's unclear what will happen if the county won't certify its results.

Notably, Luzerne County has become more Republican-leaning in recent elections. John Fetterman, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, lost by about 10,000 votes in the county. Similarly, Democrat Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro eeked out a narrow win.

The issues with whether there have been free and fair elections have plagued other battleground states such as Arizona. The Grand Canyon State's Maricopa County was ground zero for another row in a hotly contested race for governor.

A problem with machines in at least 60 locations left questions about the validity of the final results, Fox News reported. "The Elections Integrity Unit of the Arizona Attorney General's Office has received hundreds of complaints since Election Day pertaining to issues related to the administration of the 2022 General Election in Maricopa County," Jennifer Wright, assistant attorney general in the state, said in a letter.

"These complaints go beyond pure speculation but include first-hand witness accounts that raise concerns regarding Maricopa's lawful compliance with Arizona election law," she wrote. Regardless, the county certified its election results and handed the governorship to Democrat Katie Hobbs over Republican Kari Lake.

Problems with the election process have rightly fueled anger and speculation. Although these problems may be expected and part of the process, they somehow always cut in favor of Democrats -- and that raises serious alarm bells.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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