Dariel Jamieson, chair of the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee, provided a comment to Community Matters. Jamieson’s remarks speak directly to the hand count by Chester County Department of Voter Services on Monday of the Special Election ballots. Her remarks provide us with further details of the recounting process and I thought it important to provide them in this post (see below).
In her remarks, Jamieson brings up an interesting point – it certainly would have helped if Voter Services had run the ballots through a voting machine prior to the hand count. I would think that if Voter Services could duplicate the machine malfunction error, there would be a greater probability of correcting the problem! Echoing a question that another CM reader posed, what were the candidates told by Voter Services as the ‘reason’ for the 61 uncounted votes.
[Subsequent to this post, Dariel Jamieson has provided an official press release from the TTDEMS, click here to read. According to Jamieson’s information, over 100 of the 223 precincts in Chester County have not reported voting irregularities. In my opinion, there should be a complete internal examination of systems and procedures at the Department of Voter Services.]
In reading between-the-lines of Jamieson’s remarks, is there a sense that the end of the story may not yet be told?
Comment from Dariel Jamieson, Chair, Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee
I have been told by our witnesses that there was NOT a machine count of the Tredyffrin votes prior to the full manual recount. We believe Voter Services acted with good intentions, thinking it would be helpful to speed resolution of the special election by going right to a manual count. While this did speed things up, I personally believe that a machine count first might have shed some light on how and why the machines might have been malfunctioning.
Voter Services also told our witnesses that there was no way to know for sure that all the uncounted ballots were Republican, although seeing the outcome of counting them Makes it look like they were. We were told that all the ballots that were accepted into the machines end up in the same compartment, so it could not definitively be said which ones were counted and which were not. If something was wrong with only Republican ballots, why did they not all reject?
A reconciliation of the number of ballots that were counted in the manual count has not yet been reconciled to the number of signatures in the sign in sheets and names in the poll books. Voter Services has said that those kinds of reconciliations will be done after all the precincts in the County have gone through the official count process. If those numbers all match, then one could conclude that the number of physical ballots that were manually counted was the correct number of ballots. If they should not match, one would have to ask where the additional ballots came from.
Speculation that putting the ballots in face up, face down, backward, or with poor tears of the perforation could all be possible, but that seems incompatible with the idea that all the unread ballots were Republican.
And adding 61 ballots to the mix will almost certainly change the totals in the other races, bur probably not enough to change any primary election vote outcomes.
We, too, are waiting for answers.