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Philly DAs Office Opens Investigation into 197th Special Election

District-Attorney-Seal-183px1The Election Fraud Task Force of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office announced it is opening an investigation into 197th House district special election.  

“After each election, the Election Fraud Task Force reviews all of the calls that come into its hotline and reviews the reports and evidence collected in the field by the specially assigned Detectives and Assistant District Attorneys,” First Assistant District Attorney Kathleen E. Martin said in a statement.  

“On Election Day, the Task Force received approximately fifty calls to its hotline and responded to several dozen allegations of illegal activity at polling places across the 197th,” the release continued.

“We are very happy the District Attorney has taken this seriously.  For years we have pointed out these issues specifically dealing with electioneering and the election board,” Philly GOP Chairman Joe DeFelice told PoliticsPA.  

The Philadelphia GOP has been pushing that the issues the DA’s office is investigating occur in every election in the city, not just the special election.  

The House Democratic Campaign Committee (HDCC) accused the GOP of trumping up the charges.  

“It is a miscarriage of the democratic process to deprive the residents of the 197th of their representative for any longer than necessary. The Republican Party has been playing politics in this election since day one, and they should be ashamed of their blatant attempts to disenfranchise and discount the will of voters,” HDCC Executive Director Nathan Davidson said in an email.

18 Responses

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  3. “… the biggest issue that people are trotting out seems to be that Democratic committeepeople wrote instructions for how to do a write-in on the pink sheets…” , sorry, I just can’t seem to find the section of the PA election code that forbids advising people how to cast a write in vote. it must be in the same missing section that says all those little slate cards, handed out by D and R alike outside the polls, cannot be hand carried in a voter’s pocket into the voting booth….

  4. Why have rules that will not be followed? Why have investigations that bring no charges and certainly no consequences. Why can’t they draw a line on the sidewalk saying ” no politics within this point”? Why can’t instructions regarding write ins be clearly stated and available devoid of any particular interested party or candidate?

  5. When the DA office came out, did they find any wrong doing?
    Also the loser are upset Cuz they thought the people of North Philly would not be able to campaign a wrote in. So they must have cheated!!

  6. I’m suspicious of any accusations until I see some actual verification, and all that’s been reported so far are accusations. By the way, what is a write-in stamp?

  7. Of course election officials need to follow the letter and spirit of the law. Anyone who did not should be banned from PA polling places for life.

    That being said, if the Republicans honestly think they will get a different result with better behaved officials, I want whatever they’re smoking. She didn’t lose by 5, 10 or even 20 percent. She got 198 votes our of 2,681 cast. Even Republicans can’t rig an election in her favor in this district, no matter how many Dems they get thrown off the ballot or out of the polling place. Never. Gonna. Happen.

  8. When you looked at the write ins on the tape, it appeared that many votes were stamped out.

    How do I know?

    I went to the count and watched.

  9. Why would anyone, of any affiliation, question an investigation into voter fraud? Guilty much?

  10. QuestionMark, Democratic Committee people are absolutely allowed to hand out write-in instructions to voters, as long as they’re not doing do within 10 feet of the entrance. While there is usually a legitimate debate about where that line is, I think the problem here is that nobody was making a good faith effort to not electioneer within the polling place.

    Election Board members are actually supposed to instruct voters on how to cast a write-in vote. What they can’t do is express an opinion about whether or not a voter SHOULD cast a write-in vote, and they certainly shouldn’t be expressing opinions about who to vote for or allowing rubber stamps or other electioneering materials inside the polling place unless they are in the possession of a voter.

  11. DA Seth Williams again allows his office to be a tool of the PA GOP. Bye bye Seth…you will look good in orange…

  12. Election Board members, who sign people to vote, were instructing voters on who to vote for and even had write-in stamps inside the polls. Philly Court of Common Pleas even issued a Cease and Desist. I

  13. So the problem is that poll officials educated the voters on write-in procedures? But the GOP would prefer the voters be kept ignorant.

  14. QuestionMark,

    The problems go a lot deeper and the evidence will show that when it goes to court.

  15. What we need is for a new special election where Emilio Vaqsuez will win 1900-300-170. Instead of 2000-280-175, or whatever it was. Because reasons!

    Honestly, the biggest issue that people are trotting out seems to be that Democratic committeepeople wrote instructions for how to do a write-in on the pink sheets. I get that they weren’t supposed to do that, but having stood outside at polling places for most of the elections in the last twelve years, I can promise you that no one actually looks at the pink sheets before they go in to vote.

  16. Massive evidence exists of voter fraud, voter intimidation and illegal politicking. What we need is a new special election and for this city to take voting integrity seriously!

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