WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Investigations are intensifying in into a ballot paper shortage at Luzerne County polling places that forced extended voting hours, and an investigation into alleged voter fraud at a polling place is now over.
The Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce tells the I-Team there was a mix-up at a Kingston polling place. And county officials including the election board and county council say they are still trying to find out what led to a ballot paper shortage last week.
“It’s a little disheartening, It’s disenfranchising. I mean you don’t think it would ever happen and it actually happened,” said Karen, Kingston voter.
That’s what Karen from Kingston told the I-Team last week when she says she went Tuesday to the Kingston Rec Center to vote around noon. A worker at the poll said she had already voted and showed her a signature in the registration book. The problem was, that it was not her signature.
The Luzerne County District Attorney’s (D.A.) Office immediately launched an investigation.
Late Monday afternoon, D.A. Sam Sanguedolce says it was a mistake at the polls.
“Thankfully it was just a case of voter mix up. Someone with a nearly identical name was sent to that ward and signed the booklet. It actually was just in the wrong place, so when the later voter came, her name was already signed,” explained D.A. Sanguedolce.
This comes as Luzerne County Officials try to find out what led to a ballot paper shortage on Tuesday that resulted in extended voting hours to 10:00 p.m.
The election board, which oversees the election bureau continues to count provisional ballots and are meeting right now.
Meanwhile county council members Matthew Mitchell and Lee Ann McDermott tells Eyewitness News that they want to know what is going on inside the bureau.
Mitchell says it may be time to amend the county charer to allow the council to take a bigger role in the day to day operations of the election bureau.
“When we have an emergency situation such as what transpired with the election bureau our hands are tied and we can’t get in there. Not that we want to take over the entire operation per se, but at lkeast go over and assist and give some direction and make sure everything is going forward and being done correctly,” Mitchell added.
“From the outside looking in, it’s horrible. To have four elections go wrong and that’s part of the reason why we have to some how try to intervene with the election board,” stated Lee Ann McDermott.
The public meeting is underway and we will have more on what happens at that meeting on Eyewitness News at 11