On November 9th the RCCC Chairman, Dr. Gordon Eck, requested an audit of the November 2, 2021 election. As stated in his letter to the Chester County Commissioners, “numerous problems with the vote tabulation” and “significant irregularities” occurred. Voter Services made both parties aware of these issues. In order to provide transparency and keep you informed, we are providing the following detailed list of problems and irregularities that we have been made aware of thus far.
In Dr. Eck’s election update on November 8th, he wrote that “This should not be a partisan issue. Our goal is not to change the outcome of the election, but to guarantee that every legitimate vote cast in Chester County, regardless of party affiliation, will not be lost, stolen, diluted, or rejected through either intentional maleficence or administrative mistakes.” Given the significance of the numerous issues as outlined here, the RCCC will continue to call on our commissioners to conduct a full audit of the 2021 general election, and we call on our Democrat counterparts to join us in order to restore voter confidence, assure election integrity, and protect our democratic process.
1. On Election Day, there was a major problem with the machines used to open the Mail-In-Ballots (MIB) envelopes. The machines repeatedly were cutting into the ballots. The ballots were then cured with tape. (Not the approved means of curing damaged ballots) The tape caused the 855 high speed scanners to jam up. These taped ballots were then fed through the slower 200 scanners, which were not rejecting the tape. It is likely that 1000’s of ballots were taped the first day.
2. On the second day, Wednesday, the cutting of ballots decreased and the scanning of the Group 2 of MIB continued. The work was completed around 9:00p.m. and the observers left. Upon returning home our solicitor received a call from Bill Turner (Acting Head of VS). He told him that there was an issue with how the Group 2 MIB were saved on the USB stickand that the County had to rescan all of that day’s data again. We still have not been given an explanation. We were able to get 2 of our volunteers to go to watch the second scan of Group 2. They arrived around 10:30p.m. and left at 1a.m. The work had begun before they arrived. They were told that VS did not expect any observers that night. An observer reported that when they arrived the ballots were being fed into the machines by ES&S machine vendor staff. Those watchers saw staff placing small marks on the outside margin of the ballots that were printed in a different hue (pink) than the normal ballots. They were told that there were two different printers of ballots and that the mark was needed so the machines could read the pink ones. The next day the acting head of Voter Services told our solicitor that this small dot on the outside of the ballot was necessary due to a fold in the ballot.
3. On Friday, 11/5, we learned that there was another USB stick issue. We learned that a stick containing 7057 ballots had only uploaded 5896 ballots, leaving off 1161 ballots. The 7057 ballots were rescanned on Tuesday, 11/9, and the total increased by about 25. No explanation has been given.
4. On Friday, 11/5, we also learned that VS had found an additional bag of MIBs that was taken in from the Downingtown library drop box on Election Night. We later learned it contained 265 ballots.
5. Also on Friday, 11/5, we learned that VS had an issue with assigning “credit” to voters who had returned a MIB. This “credit” is important because it was necessary to determine if a provisional ballot should be denied because a MIB was already received. This “credit” would also prevent duplicate provisional and MIBs from being counted. To rectify this, VS staff spent the majority of Friday and Saturday rescanning all of the outer envelopes in order to confirm proper credit was provided.
6. On Tuesday, 11/9, we learned that the County’s reported numbers on its website that were inaccurate. For some reason, still not explained, the results on the internal servers were different from what candidates and the public saw on the website. One race saw total votes decrease from one day to another on the website. We do not have confidence in the numbers posted.
7. Also on Tuesday, 11/9, we learned that some MIB voters had received an incorrect ballot. When questioned, the County staff said this happened to a handful of voters and that those voters were told to vote provisionally, obviously defeating the purpose of a MIB. We do not have any further details on this subject.