Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Although the Dark End of the World Predictions Failed, There’s Light for Tredyffrin’s Special Election

If you are reading this, the end of the world predictions failed to pan out for Harold Camping. The religious broadcaster made the world’s biggest mistake, twice. Camping got the date wrong in 1994 when he said the world would end that year, and later explained its continued existence by saying he had made a mathematical error.

However, the May 21, 2011 prediction was different; Camping and his followers lavishly spent more than $100 million on billboards and radio advertising. Now Camping is left shaking his head, bewildered, that things did not go according to his prediction and the world did not end at 6 PM on May 21. With no Plan B in place, Camping may be forced to find some obscure, overlooked translation or an error in his math and then move the apocalypse date to a new date.

To follow up on last week’s special election in Tredyffrin, by the time you read this, there may be further news. It is my understanding that at 9 AM this morning (Monday), the two at-large supervisor candidates, Democrat Molly Duffy and Republican Mike Heaberg are meeting with Chester County voter service representatives. (The special election determined who would fill the vacated seat of Warren Kampf until January 2012). Also in attendance for the voter services meeting will be a representative from the local Democratic and Republican parties. Additionally, Duffy and Heaberg will each have an attorney present. Voter services will be conducting a hand count of the votes from the special election with Duffy, Heaberg and others in attendance.

I am not clear if voter services is hand counting the votes from all 17 precincts or only the precincts where is evidence of voting machine malfunctions. As it now stands, the unofficial vote count from last week’s special election indicates 2,266 votes for Duffy and 2,226 votes for Heaberg, a difference of 40 votes. The public needs to know that the total count in the special election is accurate and that all votes were counted, but . . . we as a community need to get to the other side of this issue and accept he voter services hand counting today.

Tonight is the Board of Supervisors meeting . . . will supervisor Heaberg remain on the dais as a member of the Board of Supervisors or, if the hand count with voter services supports the unofficial results that Duffy is the winner, will she take her seat as a supervisor? Originally, all indications were that the official results from the special election would be official and certified in 4-6 weeks. However, the special election hand counting is taking precedent over voter services handling of the primary election results; perhaps there will be an official vote count released today. Stay tuned.

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  1. Pattye —

    Did either campaign request this as an official recount or did Voter Services come to them? I would think since we would have heard if either side requested it that this was Voter Services/the County doing it.

    Does that mean they, too, saw some of the machine issues that you reported on the morning after the election are are doing this to make sure? (I understand you probably don’t know that answer yet either.)

    I would think that if both campaigns were asked — and decided — to be involved this could be the end of the issue.

    Very interesting election stuff.

    1. Voting services was aware of the machine malfuctions — throughout Chester County there were reports of problems with 60 machines. I am not aware of any other special elections in the county, so that may be the reason for the priority to hand count today. I don’t whether the hand counting of the special election ballots is per request of candidate(s) or is regular procedure for voter services.

      I have learned that the tedious hand counting will take all day and may actually run over to Tuesday morning. Hopefully, by Tuesday afternoon will have the final official count on the special election and can close this chapter on local politics.

      1. I understand that the machine issues prompted this hand count, and not the candidates. I assume the candidates are both present because clearly the outcome affects them both. I hadn’t heard there would be attorneys present, but I guess that’s in case there are any techical versions of “hanging chads” so both sides could/would agree on how a vote should be counted. Both seem to be very reasonable people.

        Was this the only “non primary” taking place? If so, the extra attention to detail makes sense if these machines have problems. In November they cannot afford this kind of scrutiny in each contest.

        1. Such a great idea to buy these expensive machines to comply with HAVA. Dollars down the boozer. We had punch cards forever and never had any issues with them. They were quicker and easier than coloring in the ovals. That was money well spent. Thanks federal government! Thanks for the brilliant spending decisions you’re making with my money!

  2. “If you are reading this, the end of the world predictions failed to pan out for Harold Camping. ”

    And the best thing is he seems so disappointed! BTW, don’t feel badly for the lemmings who gave away their possessions and dissipated their savings accounts in anticipation of this. It’s how the species Darwins away the weak links.

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