Election observers report only minor voting irregularities in the primary elections

Voting in Pennsylvania’s primary appears to be going smoothly today, with only a few reports of minor irregularities reported among voters, according to election integrity observers. apparently low turnout until noon.

Voters report a variety of common problems to election protection hotlines. These include errors on absentee ballots, such as incorrect handwritten dates, which must be corrected before voting closes at 8 p.m. if their votes are to be counted, representatives of Common Cause Pennsylvania and the ACLU of Pennsylvania said this afternoon.

“Like every election day, there are always a few issues that come up,” said Philip Hensley-Robin, executive director of Common Cause PA. “We are happy to see that there are no serious systemic issues in the reports that are coming in from across the state.”

Among the specific reports they received is a slightly delayed opening of the polling place at Seafarers Union Hall in the 39th Ward in South Philadelphia. It did not open at the official voting start time of 7:00 a.m., but opened shortly thereafter.

District Attorney spokesman Larry Krasner said the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Elections Task Force also reported no significant problems, despite a false alarm reported earlier in the day.

Concerned residents contacted the office and reported two people going to different polling places and identifying themselves as agents of the U.S. Department of Justice, spokesman Dustin Slaughter said.

“Following an investigation, ETF prosecutors confirmed that they are indeed agents of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and are conducting routine monitoring of the election, particularly regarding language access at polling places,” he said.

The Department of Justice subsequently announced that it was monitoring elections in Berks, Luzerne, and Philadelphia counties to ensure compliance with federal voting rights laws such as the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.

In the 47th District in North Philadelphia, a judge ordered the confiscation of misleading sample ballots that Auditor General candidate Lewis Nash distributed to voters: – reports the Inquirer. They had ballots inaccurate language the newspaper claimed they were paid for by the Democratic Party and falsely suggested Nash had the party’s endorsement.

In fact, the party endorsed another candidate for auditor, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta. Nash served as leader of the 47th District for years, but recently lost his position after he was recorded making anti-LGBTQ statements at a district meeting.

For some observers, a bigger problem than election irregularities is the widespread low turnout.

With presidential and U.S. Senate nominations now closed, there are no high-profile races in the primary this year, poll workers reported this morning seeing a relatively tiny number of voters.

Voters face Passover scheduling conflict

Election experts worried that a Passover primary would make it harder for observant Jewish voters to cast ballots.

IN Pittsburgh, some voters were confused today about where to vote because their usual polling place, a synagogue, couldn’t be used, said Marian Schneider, senior policy adviser for voting rights at the ACLU AP. Hensley-Robin found that election signage at the high school that was to be replaced was inadequate. The issue was reported to Allegheny County elections officials.

State legislators discussed changing the election date avoid Passover, but an agreement could not be reached in time.

The problem was compounded by a delay in mailing absentee ballots due to a legal dispute over whether the ballots were delivered on time. incorrect or missing handwritten dates should be counted, Schneider said. Those who cannot vote on the Sabbath, which runs from Friday evening to Saturday evening, or on Passover, which begins on Monday, may have little or no opportunity to vote this year.

“Let’s say they didn’t receive their ballots last Friday, which could cause a problem getting the ballots back in time. The religious holiday complicates an already complicated situation,” she said.

The holiday also had an impact on recruitment of poll workers, poll watchers and election security volunteers, although Schneider said there were no unusual reports of poll worker shortages.

“I strongly encourage the Pennsylvania General Assembly not to hold a primary election on Passover again,” she said.

The National Election Protection Hotline can be reached for English speakers at 866-OUR-VOTE, for Spanish speakers at 888-VE-Y-VOTA, for Asian languages ​​at 888-API-VOTE, and for Arabic speakers at 844-YALLA-US.

Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Hotline of the Election Task Force is at (215) 686–9641 and the Pennsylvania Department of State offers online form for reporting election complaints.

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