A complete manual count of ballots by Chester County’s Voter Services has produced a new numerical result in the special election of Tredyffrin Township supervisor, but the Township’s Democratic Committee believes questions remain.
Sixty-one Added Ballots
Despite initial election results on May 17th showing Molly Duffy the winner of Tredyffrin’s special election, problems with ballot scanners called into question the accuracy of the vote counts. Voter Services moved directly to a manual count of all paper ballots on Monday, May 23, witnessed by representatives of both candidates. The hand count showed a three vote lead for candidate Mike Heaburg, reversing Duffy’s 40 vote lead on election night. A total of 61 additional ballots were counted by Voter Services. While the overall vote split almost 50% to 50% between Heaburg and Duffy, the 61 additional ballots split 85% (52) for Heaburg and 15% (9) for Duffy.
A number of questions remain unanswered. Voter Services has assured us they will perform all necessary reconciliations, including a reconciliation of the number of ballots delivered to Voter Services and the record of voters who signed in at each precinct. Voter Services has acknowledged discrepancies in over 100 other precincts in Chester County, so this is not a unique Tredyffrin problem. But one has to wonder if the discrepancies have only come to light and are being addressed because of the narrow margin in our election.
Tredyffrin voters need a plausible explanation of how 61 votes could have gone unreported Tuesday night. People in Tredyffrin and the entire County need to have confidence that when they cast a ballot, it will be counted properly. We will wait until Voter Services certifies the vote before stating a firm opinion as to the outcome. We are thankful our voting system provides a paper trail to ensure that these discrepancies can be resolved properly.
In the meantime, we want to thank all of Molly Duffy’s supporters for their hard work and their votes. We are very proud of Molly’s efforts and remain gratified she was able to inject substantial issues like business revitalization into the campaign. We plan to present voters with clear choices in the November election, with the expectation that the integrity of the voting process will be restored by then.