Neil T. O’Donnell

You may have seen unsubstantiated claims that Pennsylvania’s election is somehow “rigged”. It’s utter nonsense.

The Pennsylvania Election Code features specific safeguards which assure a fair election. Further, specific provisions of the Code exist for contesting and certifying election results. Pennsylvania electronic voting machines are not connected to the internet, nor connected to each other. From the judges of election, to the election board at each polling precinct, to the properly appointed poll watchers for each candidate — Pennsylvania elections are highly scrutinized and regulated, and the process is all done in the open.

The Pennsylvania Election Code provides for emergency hearings, so all votes may be cast and counted. The counting and certification of results is done in the public, and in a completely open manner.

During the day of the election, there are County Court Judges available on an emergency basis to conduct evidentiary hearings on various issues every minute the polls are open, and beyond. I had the privilege of serving as Counsel to the Luzerne County Election Board for many years. I have seen this process up close, and handled many of these hearings.

While there may be an occasional irregularity, there are specific rules to contest the results of an election, or an individual ballot, all within the judicial system. And all of those challenges are heard on an expedited basis to assure the most accurate, efficient, and prompt tallying and certification of election results. Claims of a “rigged” election are baseless. Please keep in mind that allegations of voter fraud were fully litigated in the Commonwealth Court in the voter identification challenge. See, e.g., Applewhite v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 330 MD 2012 (Cmwlth. Ct.). In that lengthy proceeding, there was not one substantiated instance of voter fraud brought to the Commonwealth Court’s attention.

So on November 8, 2016, get out and vote — and know that your vote will be properly counted!

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