May. 20, 2021

UNIONTOWN – In light of ballot scanning issues in Fayette County Tuesday, Reps. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) and Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland) along with Sen. Pat Stefano (R-Bullskin) are issuing a right-to-know request seeking immediate answers from county officials about what happened.

“Nothing is more important than the accuracy of our election results and the reliability of our election systems,” Dowling said. “There was a major failure of the county’s voting system yesterday when virtually all Republican ballots and some Democrat ballots would not properly scan. While our judges of elections and poll workers should be commended for acting quickly to adapt to the situation, the issue unfortunately discouraged some voter turnout and further eroded people’s confidence in our elections.”

Warner agreed. “We recognize the commitment county officials here in Fayette County and across the state have made to administering our elections fairly and accurately. It’s important to get to the bottom of what occurred here and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”   

The right-to-know request seeks the following: 
Records related to the testing of printed ballots, including copies of the ballots tested, and any records which include the date(s), time(s) and location(s) of testing.
Records relating to the testing of voting machines and any records which include the date(s), time(s) and location(s) of testing.
Financial records (i.e. contracts, payment vouchers, and receipts) related to the printing of ballots. 
Records indicating the approval of proofs, pertaining to the printing of ballots. 
Communications to or from the Election Bureau to Judges of Elections regarding the procedures to manually tabulate unscanned ballots. 
Communications pertaining to reports of ballot malfunctions.

The lawmakers noted the issues in Fayette County were not the only ones in the Commonwealth yesterday, as the Department of State reported problems in Luzerne and Lancaster counties related to ballot printing or scanning, and in York County, many polling places simply ran out of ballots. 

“Many counties are using new voting systems because of Gov. Tom Wolf’s universal decertification of previous voting systems in 2019,” Dowling said. “If not for that, I don’t believe we would be seeing any of these problems.”

Representative Matthew Dowling
51st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Patricia Hippler
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