Multiple voting machines in Northampton County in the swing state of Pennsylvania have been shut down due to reports of voting errors, including “votes getting flipped.”
The election issue surfaced in the early hours of Tuesday, which impacted the contest for the Pennsylvania Superior Court between Judge Jack Panella and Judge Victor Stabile.
The Northampton County Elections Office reports that the malfunction seems to manifest itself when a voter chooses between “Yes” and “No” in regard to a candidate vying for a seat on the Superior Court of Appeals.
The selection for the opposing candidate was inaccurately recorded on both the paper ballot and the voting machine.
The error appears to have been confined to the re-election of Superior Court judges and solely manifested itself during the tallying of ballots for those who voted “Yes” for one candidate but “No” for another.
“I’m livid at the election folks and ES&S,” said Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure.
The county has acknowledged the issue in a statement and provided reassurance to the public that efforts are being made to expedite the resolution of the malfunction.
The election officials acknowledged the error in a press release:
Northampton County Elections Office reports an issue with the recording of votes only for the races for retention to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, affecting Judge Jack Panella and Judge Victor P. Stabile.
It appears that when a voter selects a “Yes” or a “No” for one of the candidates for retention to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, the selection is recorded on the paper ballot and on the machine for the other candidate.
The issue is limited to the retention of Superior Court Judges, and is only an issue when recording the votes for when a voter selected a “Yes” for one candidate and a “No” for another candidate.
The Elections Division of the County of Northampton notified all poll workers by text message that they are to instruct voters before the voter enters the voting booth that there is an issue with the recording of their vote for the candidates for retention to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, that the paper receipt will record their selection for retention to the Pennsylvania Superior Court one candidate to the other candidate.
According to Lehigh Valley News, immediately following the opening of polling precincts, when errors with the voting machines were discovered, poll workers across the county discontinued using the machines and resorted to provisional ballots.
As stated in the county’s news release, county officials dispatched text messages to all polling locations in the aftermath of the initial incidents in order to maintain communication and keep poll workers informed of the situation. The occurrence has resulted in significant disturbances to the voting procedure, prompting numerous officials and voters to voice their discontent and apprehensions.
Merissa Hansen, an investigative journalist in Harris County, Texas, reported that there were voting machine issues at multiple locations, leading to shut downs.
I’m hearing from voters across District G about voting machines not working at various locations. Machines down at @FrostwoodElem. A few machines down at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. Voters being turned away b/c ballot scanners aren’t scanning at River Oaks Elementary and at…
— Merissa Hansen (@merissahansen17) November 7, 2023
“I’m hearing from voters across District G about voting machines not working at various locations. Machines down at @FrostwoodElem. A few machines down at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. Voters being turned away b/c ballot scanners aren’t scanning at River Oaks Elementary and at River Oaks Park. If you’re having problems please report it here: defendmyballot.org.”