Pennsylvania County Votes to Investigate Voting Machines Over ‘Errors’

Luzerne County council votes to allow a district attorney to investigate issues reported during last week's election
May 28, 2021 Updated: May 28, 2021

A county council in northeastern Pennsylvania on Tuesday voted to allow the local District Attorney’s office to investigate the May 18 primary election after officials and voters reported issues with voting equipment at polling places.

Luzerne County Councilman Walter Griffith proposed the district attorney investigate the mid-May election and made note of the on-screen ballot mislabeling error as well as other issues, arguing that it is needed because many voters are “disenfranchised and concerned about the integrity of the election process,” reported the local Times Leader newspaper. All 10 County Council members present approved the initiative, with one council member absent.

His resolution asks prosecutors to investigate Dominion Voting Systems’ machines’ programming and company practices.

The district attorney, Sam Sanguedolce, told the paper earlier this week that his office will look into any allegations of possible criminal conduct relating to the primary. “Without integrity in our elections, the public cannot trust the remainder of our democratic process,” he said.

When officials reported the on-screen errors on Dominion Voting Systems machines, the firm said that the county’s election chief “confirmed that there is a ballot screen error that is confined to the header on the viewing screen of the machine, and that all ballots are printing correctly with the Republican header and the Republican primary election races.”

Dominion’s statement noted that officials have assured that all the ballots will be counted correctly and added that “we regret any confusion this has caused.”

Earlier this week, a staffer with Dominion, John Hastings, met with Luzerne County officials and later told Fox56 that the issue is an “error that we took and we are owning,” although company executive vice president of operations Nicole Nollette said it was a “human error” that caused a data entry typographical mistake in the heading at the top of the ballot.

Bob Morgan, Luzerne county election director, also told the local Fox affiliate station that he does not believe Dominion—or anyone else—”did that intentionally,” adding: “The moment we found out what the impact was we immediately sought to give advice to the public and it is our desire to never have that happen again.”

But during the election, Republican and Democrat voters—including a Democrat running for a county council term—had told local media outlets that they reported errors. It was confirmed by Morgan, who said that when some when Republican voters approached the machine to vote, the introduction page had read: “Official Democratic Ballot.”

“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,” Morgan remarked last week. He said that despite the issues, votes will be counted correctly.

And Matthew Vough, the Democrat running for a county council term, told the Times Leader that voters told him that his name didn’t appear on their ballot. He said that some Democrats got the Republican ballot.

“Who knows how many Democrats voted for Republican nominees? Who knows how many votes I lost as a result? This error didn’t just affect Republicans,” Vough said, adding that he would suggest that the county drop Dominion.

The Epoch Times has contacted Dominion for comment on the County Council’s vote.

Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.