Motion For Reconsideration In Fayette County Case — A motion for reconsideration for Marrietta, Gallo, Stenstrom v. Fayette County, Pa. has been filed in Commonwealth Court, Greg Stenstrom has informed us.
Relief Request For Fayette Election Recount Filed In Commonwealth Court –A request for special relief filed with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania this morning, Oct. 6, for a recount for the May 16 primary election Fayette County commissioner races.
Greg Stenstrom, John R. Marrietta Jr. and Geno Gallo are suing the county and its board of elections alleging that enough errors occurred that could have changed the outcome
Marrietta is a Republican candidate for county commissioner, and Gallo, a Democrat one.
Stenstrom is an election integrity specialist from Delaware County.
Marrietta’s tally fell short of qualifying for the Nov. 7 general election ballot.
Gallo, however, qualified for his party’s ballot.
Defendants have repeatedly said that there was just “one error” in the election. Stenstrom says, however, “a small sampling of precincts and ballots provided there were dozens, and in 187 mail in ballots alone, there were 17 votes attributed to the wrong candidate for JUST the Republican Commissioners race (a 9.09% error rate), and a 1.72% aggregate error rate when the the 1,487 in person mail in ballots error rate was computed. Election law requires a full recount when the error rate exceeds 0.5% (1 out of 200).”
Fayette County Election Machine Update — A request for an emergency injunction was denied this afternoon, Aug. 31, by Fayette County (Pa) Common Pleas Court Judge John F. Wagner to prevent voting machines and other materials from being flown away to who knows where.
Wagner cited lack of standing by plaintiffs, said plaintiff Gregory Stenstrom.
Stenstrom, an election integrity activist from Delaware County, filed jointly with Jon R. Marrietta, Jr.
Marrietta was a candidate in the May 16 Republican primary battle for Fayette County commissioner.
Marrietta’s 5,206 tally was 121 behind Scott Dunn and 554 behind Dave Lohr.
The top two advance to November.
Wagner denied the injunction request.
He told the county representatives, however, “I don’t need to issue you an order to tell you that no election machines or materials are to leave Fayette County.”
Stenstrom said that multiple whistleblowers reported that a medium-sized cargo jet and Gov. Josh Shapiro’s Beech King Air made unscheduled landings about 9:30 a.m. at Connellsville Airport, and that aircrews said they were there to load county election materials onto the cargo jet.
Shapiro was supposedly attending an unpublicized meeting regarding a project, said Stenstrom.
He was reportedly at the meeting for a short time then disappeared for about four hours.
The planes were flown to Arnold Palmer Airport in Latrobe about 25 miles away, Stenstrom says.
The county says the error rate in the May 16 primary for six selected precincts was 1 of 1,489 Republican ballots or .07 percent.
Stenstrom and Marrietta say the error rate was 9.09 percent for mail-in ballots and 1 percent for in-person ballots for an aggregate of 1.72 percent. They say the law requires a county-wide recount for an error rate over .5 percent.
They had asked that certification of the primary be delayed but the county board of elections certified the results last night in an unadvertised meeting.
Stenstrom says this violated the Sunshine Act.
He said they will be appealing to Commonwealth Court.
Stenstrom said he is helping Marrietta because of his integrity and courage.
Documents, videos and photos of what is going on across state can be found at Patriot.Online.
Corrupt County Leadership May Kill Pa GOP Says Ex-Candidate — Berks County attorney Joshua Prince has blogged — here and here — about his experiences as a Republican May 16 primary candidate for Commonwealth Court.
He expresses dismay about the Pennsylvania GOP’s future as he has found that the entrenched party leadership — on the state level and in many counties — to be more concerned about keeping power and their dwindling perks than winning.
Prince says this leadership is trying to remove party activists they see as a threat to their rice bowl. Many of these activists are elected committepeople.
He echos things about what we have long written. See here and here and here and here and here for just some examples.
Prince, actually, mentions Montco and Chesco as places where the leaders put self-interests ahead of their supporters. He also mentions places such as Cumberland County where it might not be expected by those who hold romanticized views of the Pennsylvania T.
He says many of the party activists under attack are saying they’ll quite the party and support independent candidates if the attacks don’t stop.
These are the most dedicated workers come campaign time.
Prince has appealed to state GOP Chairman Lawrence Tabas to intervene.
Surprisingly for some, the Delco GOP is not on Prince’s list of villains.
It’s not on ours either.
It may not be a perfectly functional family but it remains a family. New Chairman Frank Agovino appears to be listening to activist concerns. The party leadership has even dipped its toe into election integrity, and effectively.
Corrupt County Leadership May Kill Pa GOP Says Ex-Candidate
Corrupt County Leadership May Kill Pa GOP Says Ex-Candidate
Delco Envelope Examination Ends; County Praised — An examination of ballot envelopes in Delaware County, Pa. at The Wharf in Chester ended soon after noon, today, July 19.
The envelopes were from the May 16 primary election. The examination took about seven hours over two days with six stations. The examiners — all volunteers — photographed each envelope signature.
The request had been made by Delaware County Council candidate Joy Schwartz and poll watchers Greg Stenstrom, Leah Hoopes and Paul Rumley.
Stenstrom said they found no discrepancies between the 25,000 vote tally reported by the county and the number of envelopes. He thanked the county and praised the county poll workers for their cooperation and assistance.
Stenstrom said they will process the data and report back.
Mrs. Schwartz and the poll watchers made the request to examine the envelopes shortly after the election, which the county perversely fought for nearly two month taking it all the way to Commonwealth Court.
Stenstrom said the envelope images are stored on the county’s BlueCrest sorters and dozens of man-hours — including paid county labor — would have been saved if the Delco just gave them the images on a disk.
He had also made this point at the 9-hour hearing, Nov. 28, before Judge Barry Dozor.
Delaware County Concedes, Will Let Auditors See Ballot Envelope Signatures — Delaware County, Pa. has agreed to allow Republican candidates and poll watchers to count mail-in ballot envelopes from the May 16 primary election and see the signatures on them, according to Greg Stenstrom who is one of the poll watchers.
Stenstrom received an email yesterday, July 13, from county Director of Elections Jim Allen saying “the envelopes are going to be available for review unredacted.”
Stenstrom requested that the two-day audit be scheduled for the middle of next week.
Stenstrom; fellow poll watchers Leah Hoopes and Paul Rumley; and Delaware County Council candidate Joy Schwartz requested to see the envelopes shortly after the election but were stonewalled by the county.
Facing legal challenges, the county conceded but demanded that the envelope signatures be hidden. They began taping over them. This prompted the audit to be cancelled with the petitioners appealing to Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
The taping had been done after consultation with the Department of State.
Commonwealth Court Justice Michael H. Wojcik heard the petition, July 11. He accepted the county’s argument that his court was not the appropriate jurisdiction because the secretary of the state could not compel action.
Delco Ballot Envelope Signature Case Kicked To Common Pleas Court— Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Justice Michael H. Wojcik ordered, this afternoon, July 11, the case to see envelope signatures from the May 16 primary be heard in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
Defendants were Al Schmidt, secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Delaware County; Delaware County Park Police Department; Delaware County Director of Elections James Allen; and Delaware County Park Police Chief John S. Diehl.
Schmidt is off the case now.
Plaintiffs were originally Republican County Council candidate Joy Schwartz; and certified poll watchers Gregory Stenstrom, Leah Hoopes and Paul Rumley. Four other Republican candidates have joined, however.
The county and state were represented by lawyers while the plaintiffs represented themselves.
The government lawyers claimed that Commonwealth Court was not the proper venue as allowing access to the records was solely a county responsibility and the secretary of the state could not compel action.
If the state government was involved Commonwealth Court would be the venue.
The plaintiffs say there is a 14,289 ballot disparity between what was observed being counted at the county’s Wharf Centralized Counting Center and the 24,289 recorded the night of the May 16 election.
A request to examine the ballot envelopes was fought by the county before it conceded to it. This June 2 examination was called off, however, when the county insisted on covering the envelope signatures with masking tape. These are not just public records but the only way to determine if the envelope came from a legitimate voter.
Stenstrom said that Allen initially told the plaintiffs that signatures were covered at Secretary Schmidt’s direction but changed his statement in an email claiming it came from attorney Manley Parks acting on advice from the Secretary.
Parks, who represented Delco today, said that the state merely offered a suggestion and didn’t order action.
Stenstrom, in his presentation, pointed out that the Pennsylvania Department of State fined Fulton County millions of dollars after they made a preliminary audit of its voting machines when it failed to follow “a suggestion”.
He also said in open court that Delco has actively destroyed records regarding elections from 2020, 2021 and 2022. He said they have evidence.
Mrs. Hoopes said that she worked a decade in geriatric health care. If a tragedy occurred because she followed advice from her superior, the superior would be sued as well as herself, she said.
Judge Wojcik emphasized the case was not dismissed. He would have taken a big step in restoring trust in our elections, though, if he simply told Allen to let them look at the freaking names.
Our judges really better start taking election concerns seriously. Wojcik used a technicality to punt on an issue which should not be an issue.
Why is Allen and the county fighting this so hard? It’s not about privacy. These names are given to thousands of non-government people every month.
Voter rolls are obviously public record.
It should also be obvious that the envelope signatures cannot reveal how a vote was cast.
There is no honest answer either as to why the county is fighting so hard a right-to-know order from a state arbiter.
Governor Ordered Signatures Covered On Ballot Envelopes? — The counting of ballot envelopes by Republican candidates along with citizen activists was postponed after Delaware County officials ordered envelope signatures to be covered with tape before they were counted.
The counting was scheduled to take place, yesterday morning, June 2 at the county’s Wharf election facility.
The covering was allegedly ordered by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State. There is suspicion that it was done at the behest of Gov. Josh Shapiro.
This is getting curiouser and curiouser. Seriously, what is the fuss? The envelopes are public record by law and the signatures are part of that record. There is no expectation of privacy. One can’t tell one’s vote from the envelope and that is by design. And that one has voted or is registered to vote is obviously public record. How do you think you get those mailings every October?
And, of course, seeing a legitimate signature — much less any signature — is the only way to determine that an envelope carried a legitimate vote.
Don’t blame the rampant skepticism about the integrity of our elections on Donald Trump or internet conspiracy theories. Blame it entirely on our election officials, especially those in Pennsylvania.
Governor Ordered Signatures Covered On Ballot Envelopes?
United4Delco Has Inaugural Meeting — Kudos to Joe Dychala and Wendy Willhauer for organizing the inaugural meeting of United4Delco held tonight, June 1, at warm and friendly Gatsby’s Bar & Grill, 4936 Pennell Road, Aston, Pa. 19014.
About 40 filled the banquet hall. Joe described his write-in campaign in the May 16 GOP primary for Aston 7th Ward Commissioner in which he got nearly a third of the vote against 16-year incumbent Mike Higgins.
The main speakers were election integrity activists Leah Hoopes and Greg Stenstrom, authors of The Parallel Election. While much of what they said would be familiar to readers of this site, Greg and Leah each described the very real personal costs they endured during their campaign.
The County can go a long way in easing legitimate suspicions regarding how it runs elections simply by not fighting right to know requests especially when arbiters rule against them, and by not ignoring requests for documents in bald rejection of the law.
How can one not be suspicious?
Oh, an update on this morning’s story: We have been told that Delaware County Director of Elections Jim Allen has contacted Greg along with GOP County Council candidate Joy Schwartz and agreed to allow them to count — and photograph — the ballot envelopes. That wasn’t so hard, now, was it?
Delco Refuses Count Of Mail-In Envelopes — Delaware County Pa. is refusing to let Republicans count mail-in ballot envelopes from the May 16 primary election spawning a request for intervention in Commonwealth Court; demands from John McBlain, who is the minority member of the Board of Elections; and a letter from Delco GOP Chairman Frank Agovino to County Election Director James Allen asking him what’s up.
“I cannot fathom why the county will not allow examination of the envelopes,” Agovino said. This is a pretty simple request. And, as (McBlain) has indicated repeatedly, this is in direct violation of state law. I cannot in good conscious abide by the county’s current position.”
Agovino told Allen to consider his letter a formal request to conduct a count on behalf of Katie Ford, the losing candidate in a special election to fill the 163rd District State House seat. A victory by her would have given Republicans control of the House.
The Commonwealth Court filing was made by County Council candidate Joy Schwartz of Drexel Hill along with poll watchers Greg Stenstrom of Glen Mills, Leah Hoopes of Chadds Ford and Paul Rumley of Springfield.