Pennsylvania Observer

A blog for progressive people in Pennsylvania. Greens, Democrats and others who want to comment on current news items in the Keystone State.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

We're Number Two! (In Voting Irregularities)

We’re Number Two! (In Voting Irregularities). A coalition of non-partisan public interest groups created a national hotline and website to report and track election irregularities, called the Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS). EIRS had 36,896 incident reports nationwide (see tables below). Pennsylvania had 4,328 incidents or 11.7% of the nationwide total. That makes us second only to Florida (4,586). Ohio was number three with 3,349 incidents. Problems included incidents such as absentee and provisional ballot problems, machine problems and voter intimidation.

Eleven counties in the U.S. were identified by EIRS as having “notable incidents” or “clusters” of incidents. Three of those counties were in Pennsylvania—Dauphin, Mercer and Philadelphia. In fact, Philadelphia alone had more incidents (1,617) than 44 states.

Stalin is apocryphally quoted as saying “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." If democracy is going to succeed, the problems in this report will need to be addressed soon. Voting rights advocates in Florida and Ohio are taking these issues seriously. Both states are at least giving lip service to the concerns raised by the report. In contrast, Pennsylvania’s elected officials are biting their lips, hoping this problem will go away.

For the complete report, go to:

National Incidents by State
Alabama (381) Alaska (19) Arizona (1763) Arkansas (146) California (3250) Colorado (1506) Connecticut (53) Delaware (42) District of Columbia (248) Florida (4586) Georgia (828) Hawaii (31) Idaho (49) Illinois (1398) Indiana (364) Iowa (35) Kansas (63) Kentucky (181) Louisiana (636) Maine (46) Maryland (327) Massachusetts (149) Michigan (924) Minnesota (49) Mississippi (87) Missouri (776) Montana (23) Nebraska (82) Nevada (260) New Hampshire (39) New Jersey (1461) New Mexico (671) New York (2449) North Carolina (610) North Dakota (3) Ohio (3349) Oklahoma (34) Oregon (122) Pennsylvania (4328) Puerto Rico (2) Rhode Island (25) South Carolina (486) South Dakota (9) Tennessee (332) Texas (2263) Utah (77) Vermont (19) Virginia (681) Washington (505) West Virginia (37) Wisconsin (853) Wyoming (13) State not known (226)

PA Incidents by County
Adams (3) Allegheny (971) Armstrong (3) Beaver (24) Bedford (1) Berks (178) Blair (7) Bradford (3) Bucks (92) Butler (12) Cambria (6) Carbon (6) Centre (14) Chester (82) Clarion (2) Columbia (3) Crawford (3) Cumberland (16) Dauphin (130) Delaware (191) Erie (20) Fayette (13) Forest (2) Franklin (3) Greene (3) Huntingdon (1) Indiana (11) Jefferson (3) Lackawanna (19) Lancaster (37) Lawrence (8) Lebanon (6) Lehigh (157) Luzerne (30) Lycoming (3) McKean (4) Mercer (41) Mifflin (1) Monroe (31) Montgomery (218) Montour (3) Northampton (35) Northumberland (2) Perry (2) Philadelphia (1617) Pike (7) Schuylkill (7) Snyder (1) Somerset (3) Susquehanna (4) Tioga (1) Union (1) Warren (1) Washington (49) Wayne (5) Westmoreland (72) Wyoming (1) York (30) County not known (129)


  • At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    time to get new people in office in PA who care about democracy!!!!!

  • At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think the incidents have be taken with a grain of salt, after all being in a swing resulted in a hotter-than-normal political fire. People were looking for any voter fraud they could find, but how many of the poll workers actually found anything?

    On Election Day, NPR reported a high number of incidents reported to the voter fraud hotline about having received a phone call on Nov. 2nd from someone "imitating" President Clinton, reminding them to vote the next day.

    Turns out that the pre-recorded call was actually authentic, but delivered a day late.

  • At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    as someone who was a poll watcher for a candidate in philadelphia, i can verify that watching an election in Philadelphia is like watching an election in a third world country-party people pulling levers for straight party tickets instead of individuals for voters who speak no english IN FRONT of election judges-it is a joke, and there is no one (opposing parties, 'committee of seventy', election commissioners)-they ALL could care less-the motto in Philadelphia 'vote early and often' is true, especially for the dead and those who are lucky enough to move out (but still, somehow, manage to vote)-that's why it is a wasteland.

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