By Matthew Chapman
Raw Story (11/30/19)
On Saturday, The New York Times documented the problems officials in Northampton County, Pennsylvania experienced administering the 2019 uniform election with ExpressVoteXL voting machines — sparking a fresh round of worries about the integrity of the election infrastructure in a state that will be closely watched in 2020.
“Vote totals in a Northampton County judge’s race showed one candidate, Abe Kassis, a Democrat, had just 164 votes out of 55,000 ballots across more than 100 precincts. Some machines reported zero votes for him. In a county with the ability to vote for a straight-party ticket, one candidate’s zero votes was a near statistical impossibility. Something had gone quite wrong,” wrote Nick Corasaniti. “With clearly faulty results in at least the judge’s election, officials began counting the paper backup ballots generated by the same machines. The paper ballots showed Mr. Kassis winning narrowly, 26,142 to 25,137, over his opponent, the Republican Victor Scomillio.”
“People were questioning, and even I questioned, that if some of the numbers are wrong, how do we know that there aren’t mistakes with anything else?” said Northampton County Democratic Party chairman Matthew Munsey.
ExpressVoteXL is one of the most advanced models of voting equipment from the Nebraska-based manufacturer Election Systems and Software (ES&S), which provides voting machines for much of the country. Featuring a 32-inch touch screen and a paper ballot printer, these machines are part of a new line of equipment bought by Northampton County to use in upcoming elections.
It is unclear what caused these machines to malfunction, in part because federal testing standards for election machines haven’t been updated since 2005. …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )