Pennsylvania Republicans successfully defeated Democrats in several Montgomery County elections despite equipment delays and ballot printing issues, causing officials to count thousands of ballots through the week after the election.
These election problems further encourage Pennsylvania Republicans to act on election integrity, and a lawsuit is already pending over election reform in the Keystone State.
“That just adds more skepticism to the credibility of the system,” State Rep. David Zimmerman (R-Lancaster) told Breitbart News. “That’s why we clearly need to change election laws and fix some of those kinds of things.” Zimmerman is one of fourteen State House Republicans involved in a lawsuit over Pennsylvania’s controversial 2019 election law, Act 77.
Republicans appeared to sweep Montgomery County’s school boards after polls closed initially. The optimism may have been premature, as the third-most populated county in Pennsylvania faced numerous election issues.
An estimated 23,000 mail-in ballots in Montgomery were misprinted, as voters received one-sided ballots and ones unable to be read by scanners. The election was November 2, and local news outlets reported Republican wins as initial results showed 100 percent of precincts reporting. In reality, 100 percent of in-person ballots were counted, but more than 20,000 mail-in ballots remained uncounted.
Montgomery County Republican Committee Executive Director Julia Vahey told the National Review that she was unaware of the ballots that could not be scanned until 2:00 a.m. on the Wednesday after the election.
“I’m pretty disappointed by what happened,” Vahey commented. “We’re already combatting a narrative of last year where people do not trust the system. And this did us no favors in trying to sway anyone to feel more comfortable with mail-in voting.”
In-person voters from four precincts faced issues on election day as well. Two locations opened late after voting equipment was delivered to the wrong locations, and poll hours were extended to 9:00 p.m.
On Friday, nearly two weeks after the election, the Montgomery County election results are still technically unofficial on the results website. Overseas and military ballots were able to be received until November 9, and according to the county, “the remaining ballots still being verified for eligibility as part of the regular tabulation process” are not included in the results.
Nearly 223,000 ballots have been counted, including more than 71,000 mail-ins.
Overwhelmingly, mail-in ballots favored Democrats, but Republicans did flip two school boards and retain two others while also winning seats in several other local races.
“That speaks volumes of how parents and taxpayers are not satisfied with what’s happening in our schools, and they’re demanding change,” Zimmerman told Breitbart News.
“Parents are saying, ‘We vote for school board members … And it’s time that the school board members take back their schools,’” he explained. “That’s the sentiment out there. That’s what I heard all day on Tuesday and making my rounds to various polls.”
Speaking about the issues with elections, the representative said, “There’s no reason we can’t do … fair elections,” and “make it almost impossible to cheat.” He believes officials need to “start bringing back some credibility, because, in reality, all credibility is gone when it comes to the whole system.”
A major court case over Act 77 is being debated in Pennsylvania. Vice Chairman of the Bradford County Board of Commissioners Doug McLinko, filed a lawsuit in July claiming he is unable to perform his duties as commissioner and certify the 2020 election because the Keystone State’s 2019 election reform law is unconstitutional. Fourteen State House Republicans, including Zimmerman, filed a lawsuit against the law in August.
The cases were combined, and a brief was filed by the representatives in support of McLinko. The decision by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania should come out later this month.
“There needs to be a system that, that is reliable,” and these most recent elections are an example of why integrity is essential, Zimmerman said.
Montgomery County communications director has not responded to requests for comment as of the date of publication.