Westmoreland County’s Republican commissioners Wednesday refused to vote on a plan to install one drop box for mail-in ballots at the courthouse.
Commissioners Sean Kertes and Doug Chew said the box that had been in place for years in the courthouse’s lobby and last spring at the rear entrance of the building was underused and costly. Neither supported a proposal from Democratic Commissioner Gina Cerilli Thrasher to continue the program to install one drop box at the courthouse’s rear entrance ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.
“It’s cost-prohibitive for the number of ballots we got,” Chew said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders say is vital to protecting democracy collapsed when two senators refused to join their own party in changing Senate rules to overcome a Republican filibuster after a raw, emotional debate.
The outcome Wednesday night was a stinging defeat for President Joe Biden and his party, coming at the tumultuous close to his first year in office.
Despite a day of piercing debate and speeches that often carried echoes of an earlier era when the Senate filibuster was deployed by opponents of civil rights legislation, Democrats could not persuade holdout senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia to change the Senate procedures on this one bill and allow a simple majority to advance it.
House Democrats who failed in their first attempt to secure federal control of elections across America have introduced new legislation they hope to pass this fall.
The bill would restore pieces of the 1965 Voting Rights Act the Supreme Court has already struck down, according to the Washington Examiner.AUGUST 17, 2021PRESS RELEASE
San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement upon the introduction of H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021:
“The House today is taking a momentous step to secure the sacred right to vote for generations to come. With the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, proudly introduced today by Congresswoman Terri Sewell alongside Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, Democrats are fighting back against an anti-democratic tide, protecting access to the ballot box for every American and carrying on the cause to which our beloved John Lewis devoted his entire life.
“A brazen, partisan campaign of voter suppression silences voters of color across the nation and threatens to erode our democracy. Further, the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision in Shelby v. Holder opened the floodgates of voter suppression, allowing states with dark histories of bigotry and discrimination to pass hundreds of laws designed to keep communities of color from the ballot box. This year alone, eighteen states have enacted thirty dangerous voter suppression laws, while the Court has continued its assault on the Voting Rights Act with its shameful decision in Brnovich v. DNC.
“As confirmed in a recent House report, Congress has not only an ironclad Constitutional mandate, but a moral responsibility to enact H.R. 4 to combat destructive and discriminatory voter suppression. In doing so, we live up to the powerful legacy of this bill’s late namesake, Congressman Lewis: a titan of the Civil Rights Movement and a courageous champion for voting rights.
“With the attack on the franchise escalating and states beginning the process of redistricting, we must act. When the House returns on August 23rd, Democrats plan to pass H.R. 4 – and we hope it can secure the bipartisan support this vital legislation deserves. We must also enact H.R. 1, the For The People Act, to ensure that every American has a say in the destiny of our democracy.
Georgia’s Speaker of the House David Ralston is demanding an investigation to “determine if any irregularities or willful fraud occurred” in the state’s largest metropolis last November, saying recent revelations about problems with vote counting in Fulton County merit an independent probe.
Ralston sent a letter late last week to Fulton County election officials requesting that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation be allowed to conduct the investigation.
The request comes after Just the News reported last month that an independent observer for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger noted two dozen pages of irregularities in the Atlanta vote counting center last Nov. 3, including double scanning of ballots, insecure transportation of ballots and possible voter privacy violations.
Raffensperger told Just the News he believes the problems in Fulton County are so extensive that the state should take over running elections in the Atlanta area.
Separately, a watchdog group called VoterGA, which won court access to absentee ballot data, said last week its review found that Fulton County’s hand count audit of the November election was riddled with “massive errors and provable fraud.”
An ambitious Republican proposal to revamp Pennsylvania election law was unveiled Thursday, a 149-page bill that would change deadlines, adopt new rules for early voting, alter mail-in ballot procedures and mandate IDs for all in-person voters.
Results from 14 Westmoreland County primaries were amended Monday to include additional winners after a weekend review of write-in votes identified discrepancies in how final totals were reported.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we wanted to review them,” said Election Bureau Director JoAnn Sebastiani.
Election officials said no additional votes were added to the results. A computer program that identified winners failed to include a handful of races where write-in candidates received enough votes to qualify for the November election.
Sebastiani said the glitch involved races where vacancies outnumbered candidates on the ballot.
A Pennsylvania county will investigate after machines from Dominion failed to display ballots for Republican voters during a recent primary.
Election integrity is again the topic of conversation in a Pennsylvania county that has seen its share of irregularities since the Nov. 3 election.
A May 18 primary election in Luzerne County stunned voters when machines from Dominion Voting Systems failed to display ballots for Republican voters, instead displaying a header that said “Official Democratic Ballot.” Earlier this past week, the Luzerne County’s Council voted unanimously to ask the district attorney’s office to launch an investigation into those “errors.”
One council member was not present for the vote to look into the Dominion machines used.
By: KDKA-TV News Staff
SOUTH UNION TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Elections officials in Fayette County are working to solve a problem dealing with voting machines not accepting ballots.
Numerous voters have contacted KDKA, reporting that their Republican ballots were not accepted.
Hutchison Elementary School, the polling location for South Union Township’s 3rd voting district was among those having issues on Tuesday morning.
Chris Varney, Judge of Elections says they were initially under the impression that it was a problem with all ballots, but then determined it was only a problem with Republican ballots.
Varney says he was unaware of which specific precincts were dealing with the same issue, but that this same issue was happening in numerous locations across Fayette County.
The Fayette County Bureau of Elections has confirmed that precincts across the county are having issues with machines not scanning bar codes on all ballots, for both Republicans and Democrats.
In what many view as a major blow to the organized labor movement, Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama have voted not to form a labor union.
Of the some 3,117 votes cast in the closely watched union election, a total of 1,798 votes were against unionization, compared to 738 in favor of it, according to the National Labor Relations Board. Even accounting for the 505 challenged ballots, Amazon has cinched enough “no” votes to defeat the organizing efforts.A total of 76 ballots were void, the NLRB said. Workers needed a majority of “yes” votes in order to form the union.
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which workers were seeking to be represented by, said Friday that it plans to file objections to Amazon’s conduct surrounding the election with the NLRB.
(CNN)President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order Sunday expanding voting access in what the White House calls “an initial step in this Administration’s efforts to protect the right to vote and ensure all eligible citizens can freely participate in the electoral process.”The move comes just three days after the House of Representatives passed HR1, a sweeping ethics and election package aimed at ensuring voting rights, with provisions expanding early and mail-in voting, restoring voting rights to former felons, and easing voter registration for eligible Americans.
Sunday’s order directs the heads of all federal agencies to submit proposals for their respective agencies to promote voter registration and participation within 200 days, while assisting states in voter registration under the National Voter Registration Act. In addition, the order would instruct the General Services Administration to modernize the federal government’s Vote.gov portal.”
The President’s commitment to democracy includes making it easier and more equitable for all eligible Americans to exercise their fundamental right to vote,” an administration official told reporters Saturday, adding Sunday’s executive order would “leverage the resources of the federal government to expand citizens’ opportunities to register to vote, and to learn about and participate in the electoral process.”
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court takes up a court fight Tuesday over voting rights in the battleground state of Arizona, and the outcome may affect how the nation’s courts resolve clashes over election laws in dozens of other states.
The case also will be a test of one of the most important civil rights laws — the Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court significantly scaled back in 2013.
Two Arizona laws are at issue in the virtual oral arguments before the justices. One requires election officials to reject ballots cast in the wrong precincts. The other concerns voting by mail and provides that only the voter, a family member or a caregiver can collect and deliver a completed ballot.
“Prohibiting unlimited third-party ballot harvesting is a commonsense means of protecting the secret ballot,” the state told the justices in court filings. The out-of-precinct rule is intended to prevent multiple voting, Arizona said.
But Arizona Democrats said the state has a history of switching polling places more often in minority neighborhoods and putting the polls in places intended to cause mistakes. Minorities move more often and are less likely to own homes, resulting in the need to change polling places, Democrats said.
Arizona far outpaces other states in discarding out-of-precinct ballots, rejecting 11 times more than the next-highest state. And minority voters are more likely to need help turning in their ballots, the challengers said. In many states where the practice is legal, community activists offer ballot collection to encourage voting.
Westmoreland County elections officials Wednesday morning started counting more than two dozen provisional ballots cast in November but just recently discovered by staff during routine inspections of voting equipment.
Elections bureau staffers, serving as appointed members of a reconstituted provisional board, reviewed and qualified 20 ballots cast in North Huntingdon and one from Avonmore. Four ballots were rejected for being submitted by unregistered voters.
The North Huntingdon ballots, cast at the United Methodist Church on Coulterville Road, were discovered Dec. 28. Four additional ballots were found last week that were cast in Avonmore Borough, according to Elections Bureau Director JoAnn Sebastiani.
“They were inadvertently not reviewed (in November),” Sebastiani said of the Avonmore ballots.
A spokesperson for Dominion Voting Systems denied President Trump’s claims about the company on Fox News on Sunday afternoon, claiming it is “not physically possible” to change votes on the machines they provide.
“This is a nonpartisan American company. It is not physically possible for our machines to switch votes from one candidate to the other,” Dominion spokesman Michael Steel told Fox News on Sunday.
Dominion Voting Systems Spokesman:
“This is a nonpartisan American company. It is not physically possible for our machines to switch votes from one candidate to the other.” pic.twitter.com/0EF7VQOMnY
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 22, 2020
“Let’s be very clear, our election system is run by local elected officials and nonpartisan poll watchers. We simply provide a tool to count the ballots and to print and count ballots,” he said. “There is no way such a massive fraud could have taken place and there are no connections between our company and Venezuela, Germany, Barcelona, Kathmandu, whatever the latest conspiracy theory is.”
As the hand-tallying continues, officials in Fayette County unearthed 2,755 ballots that had not been included in the original count.
“There was an issue where we noticed there were more people on the absentee ballot filed for voting in person in Fayette County than was in the actual reporting,” Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling said, according to Fox 5 Atlanta. “It was discovered today for certain. Because of the audit, we found this.”
Sterling said the problem was the result of several individuals not following the proper procedures.
An additional 284 ballots were found in Walton County. The local Board of Elections chair, Lori Wood, told the Walton Tribune the problem was due to votes being previously uploaded from only one of the two ballot scanners in a precinct.
“We would have discovered it,” Wood said. “Maybe not this week, but we would have discovered it.”
The Walton County ballots boosted President Trump’s lead in the heavily Republican county by 176 votes.
The recent findings follow the discovery of more than 2,600 ballots in Floyd County that had not been counted. At the time, Floyd County Republican Party chair Luke Martin called the mishap “concerning” but insisted that it “doesn’t appear to be a widespread issue.”
Voter fraud was allegedly committed in Nevada during the early voting period, according to a Clark County poll worker who told Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” what she witnessed in an exclusive interview Tuesday night.The whistleblower, whose identity was hidden and whose voice was modified at her request, told host Laura Ingraham that she noticed white envelopes being passed around and ripped open near a Biden-Harris van while on a walk during her lunch break. The envelope handlers then leaned against the side of the van in order to mark the papers, which she recognized as ballots.
“As I got closer, I thought, ‘Those are ballots,’” she said. “I walked by four or five times. On the next time I walked by, they were putting them in the envelopes. They were putting them in a white and pink envelope.”
Everything voters need to know. Democracy Works has all the information you need to register and vote.
Election DayElection Day is almost here! If you have any difficulties voting, you should first ask a poll worker or your local election official for help. We have provided additional resources below to help you vote, no matter what.
- Get to the polls can help you find your polling place if you aren’t sure where to vote in person.
- The Election Protection Hotline is a great resource if you experience any issues while voting. Remember: It is a federal crime to pressure, threaten, or otherwise intimidate voters at the polls!
- English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE / 1-866-687-8683
- Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA / 1-888-839-8682
- The ACLU’s Voting Rights Guide explains accommodations your polling place needs to make if English is not your primary language.
- The Nonprofit VOTE’s State Resource Guide provides information on how your state supports disabled voters.
For more resources, please check out our Know Your Voting Rights post!
Who can voteYou have to register to vote before Election Day in Pennsylvania. You can find the deadline to register to vote in the “Dates and deadlines” section.To register in Pennsylvania you must:
- be a citizen of the United States at least one month before the next election
- be a resident of Pennsylvania and your election district at least 30 days before the election
- be at least 18 years of age on the day of the next election
- You may also register if you:
- are a pretrial detainee, confined in a penal institution awaiting trial on charges of a felony or a misdemeanor
- got released or will get released by the date of the next election from a correctional facility or halfway house (this must be upon completion of the term of incarceration for conviction of a misdemeanor or a felony)
- are on probation or released on parole
- are under house arrest (home confinement)
- *find more information on voting rights restoration here
Vote in person
Vote on Election DayVoters registered in Pennsylvania can look up where to vote on Pennsylvania’s site.
Pennsylvania voters can also vote before Election Day through a process called absentee in-person voting. The period for absentee in-person voting runs from Monday, September 14, 2020 to Tuesday, October 27, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
What to bring
- If you’ve voted at your polling place before, you don’t need to show ID to vote.
- If you’re a first-time voter, or if you moved within Pennsylvania and are voting for the first time at a new polling place, you must show ID to vote. Acceptable forms include: Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card; ID issued by Pennsylvania or the US government; US passport; US military ID; student ID; employee ID; a confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office; non-photo ID issued by Pennsylvania or the US government; firearm permit; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or a government check that includes your name and address.
- Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a provisional ballot.
Vote by mail
- Request your mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application. You can also request a ballot online. We encourage you to request and return ballots as early as possible.
- Fill out the application completely.
- Submit the request to your local election office. You should request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
- When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
- Your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday, November 3, 2020 and received no later than Friday, November 6, 2020 by 5:00 p.m. You may also return your ballot in person by Tuesday, November 3, 2020 by 8:00 p.m. You can find ballot tracking information here.
Read Source: How to vote in Pennsylvania
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Allegheny County says it learned Friday evening that 237 ballots have been challenged in the county.
A letter sent to the county says the Republican Committee of Allegheny County submitted “approximately 236” challenges about absentee/mail-in ballot voter eligibility.
The letter says the Republican Committee of Allegheny County submitted the challenges “after comparing the voter ID numbers on Allegheny County’s publicly available list of individuals who have requested absentee ballots against the voter ID numbers on the Commonwealth’s publicly available close of business voter file.”
According to the letter, the voter ID numbers don’t appear on the Commonwealth’s publicly available close of business voter file, and it says this suggests those challenged might not be registered Pennsylvania electors.
A county spokesperson says the elections office received the money required to file the challenges from the Republican Committee of Allegheny County.
Stay up to date with the KDKA app, which you can download here.
The whereabouts of an untold number of ballots in Pennsylvania’s Butler County that were slated for delivery to would-be voters in next week’s election remain unaccounted for, the county’s director of elections said Thursday.
(CNN)The whereabouts of an untold number of ballots in Pennsylvania’s Butler County that were slated for delivery to would-be voters in next week’s election remain unaccounted for, the county’s director of elections said Thursday.Postal officials say they are unaware of any issues, but the director, Aaron Sheasley, said the county has received in excess of 10,000 phone calls seeking information about ballots that were requested but not received, and that some callers have called multiple times.
While nearly 50,000 mail-in ballots from Westmoreland voters have been returned to the county’s Election Bureau, a number of residents have not received either the mail-in or absentee ballot they requested.
• If you have applied prior to the deadline of 5 p.m. Tuesday, come to the Election Bureau in Greensburg where the original ballot will be voided and a new ballot will be issued. Ballots can be completed immediately or at home and returned by mail, in-person or at a drop box.
Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 24th for a series of Lawrence County Blue Splash rallies.
The Lawrence County Action is hosting a day of Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) rallies in Ellwood City & New Castle. The event is set to begin on Saturday at noon and last until 5:00 p.m. Space is plenty for social distancing and masks will be required to enter and can be provided to attendees.
The day of rallies starts in Ewing Park in Ellwood City for a ‘Splash at Ewing’ rally that will include music with introductions of local leaders, recorded speeches from Joe Biden, and others from Angela Valvano. Materials will be provided for supporters and important election day information will be provided. A ‘Ridin’ with Biden caravan will leave Ewing Park and travel throughout Lawrence County.
At 2:00 p.m., a ‘Revved Up at the Riverwalk’ rally is planned in Downtown New Castle with important up-to-date information and marketing items to help GOTV. The caravan of decorated vehicles is expected to arrive at the Riverwalk. The rally event, scheduled to last until 4:00 p.m., will offer music, face painting, photo ops, and speakers from local, state and national levels with Lawrence County Commissioner Loretta Spielvogel making introductions.
At 4:00 p.m., a third and final rally will take place at the Street of Lawrence County as the ‘Ridin’ With Biden’ caravan will continue throughout the street of downtown New Castle. Attendees will be asked to look for the lead truck and line the streets, while social distancing, to enjoy the decorated caravan as it concludes its journey through Lawrence County.
For more details and discussion on this planned event, please visit the Lawrence County Action Facebook.com EVENT PAGE
Starting Wednesday, Oct. 21, a drop box will be stationed from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week inside the lobby of the Westmoreland County Courthouse on Main Street in Greensburg. It will remain open through Election Day.
Drop boxes at Westmoreland County Community College on Fifth Avenue in New Kensington, Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity and the county’s Adult Probation office on Riverview Drive in Monessen will open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24.
On Sunday, Oct. 25, drop boxes will be available in the Student Achievement Center building at Westmoreland County Community College near Youngwood, and the community college building on Mellon Road in Murrysville from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Collections will resume Saturday, Oct. 31, at the community college sites in Murrysville and Youngwood from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Sunday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the drop boxes will be available at the WCCC building in New Kensington, the airport and the Monessen probation office.
“We tried to pick the four corners of the county (for drop box sites), but it was difficult,” said Commissioner Sean Kertes.
Drop boxes will be anchored to the ground, monitored by two county employees and video surveillance. Voters are only allowed to leave their own ballots. County staff will be on duty to enforce that.
“We wanted the drop boxes on the weekends for people who can’t make it to the courthouse. We thought weekends were best,” said Commissioner Gina Cerilli
Voters in a number of swing states this November will have more leeway in getting their mail ballots back in time to count, should rule changes announced in the past week hold up to legal challenges. But the changes could delay the reporting of election results and possibly set up court fights down the line.
In North Carolina, a settlement announced by the State Board of Elections said ballots postmarked by Election Day would count as long as officials receive them within nine days after the election.
And in Wisconsin, a federal judge similarly ruled Monday that ballots postmarked by Election Day would count as long as officials have them in hand within six days after Nov. 3.
Last week, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court said ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day will be counted so long as they’re received within the next three days.
And a Michigan state judge last week also ruled that absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 can be counted if they arrive up to two weeks after Election Day.