Luzerne County ballots returned to Bureau of Elections

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Reaction and lots of questions Tuesday night after confusion at polling places in Luzerne County. It all has to do with incorrect labeling on electronic ballots.

Regardless of party, every voter was seeing a ballot labeled as Democratic primary on the first screen and the controversy landed inside a courtroom.

There are calls from several county council members for a full investigation into what happened and why.

Luzerne County poll workers bring ballots to the bureau of elections located inside the Penn Place office building in Wilkes-Barre. They will then be taken upstairs and counted.

This vote counting comes to what some are calling a dark cloud hanging over the election bureau.

County election officials say the company that prepared the ballots made a coding error that resulted in ballots labeled as Democrats popping up on screens regardless of the voter’s party registration.

“Unfortunately what happened it was only a header on the Republican ballot. It should have read Republican there was no indication in any other spot,” stated Bob Morgan, Director of Elections in Luzerne County

“It’s a mess I’m not very happy. The problem is not a party issue it’s a voting issue. This affected me today I mean an investigation has to be done,” said Matt Vough, Luzerne County council member.

Vough was running for re-election and said he was hearing about other problems with Democratic ballots.

“I had voters going to polls seeing democratic primary on the ballot and not thinking anything of it going to vote and not seeing me on the ballot,” said Vough.

But Morgan insists that no other issues were found.

“We checked out every opportunity to retrace enough to trace it down to particular polling locations we found nothing wrong on the democratic side,” said Morgan.

We reached out to Dominion Voting Systems. The company that the county says is responsible for the problem and responded with this statement:

“Luzerne County’s election director has confirmed that there is a ballot screen error that is confined to the header on the viewing screen of the machine, and that all ballots are printing correctly with the republican header and the republican primary election races. As the county has reassured the voting public, all ballots will be correctly counted. We regret any confusion this has caused.”

Dominion Voting System

This case led to the Luzerne County courthouse where the Luzerne County Republican’s party was ready to file a court injunction to impound all voting machines.

However, an agreement was reached between county election officials and the leader of the county Democratic party that avoided the filing of an injunction.

Luzerne County council members are calling for a full investigation into the matter by the full council.

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