The 2020 presidential election is apparently not as over as previously thought, as one Pennsylvania county is reportedly preparing to perform a hand recount in two races.
Lycoming County, in particular, is set to begin recounting ballots in the race for president and the race for state auditor general starting on Jan. 9th.
“Nearly 60,000 ballots will be counted by up to 40 county employees who will be pulled off their normal jobs,” The Patriot-News (PennLive.com) reported Wednesday.
The recount comes two months after the Lycoming County Commissioners voted along party lines in favor of the recount, with Republicans obviously voting “yes.”
Yet interestingly, during a public forum on the matter held in early December, folks from both sides of the aisle expressed support for the recount, although Democrat voters did complain about the potential cost of a recount.
“I believe our machines are accurate but like so many other people said today, maybe we have to do this in order to put this to bed and end it. The issue for me is the cost. If these people want it done then they should pay for it. I think they should post a bond,” one local resident, Bill Miele, said, according to stations WBRE/WYOU.
Another local speaker, Rick Houser, argued that the recount is an important necessity if voters are to have any faith in the country’s election system.
“I think everybody has to have an equal franchise in the elections in this country and they have to believe that they’re true. And this is all that’s being asked for is to make sure that they’re provably true,” he said.
Getting the recount approved was no easy task.
According to The Epoch Times, it started with groups of 20 to 80 people attending county meetings and demanding a recount.
“In our county, they approached our commissioners and leveled allegations that there were thousands of uncounted votes in our county based on what I believe are nonsense statistics,” Lycoming County Director of Elections Forrest Lehman told the paper.
Then the groups took things a step further by gathering 5,000 signatures from locals who support a recount.
“That’s when county commissioners decided, as the board of elections, that if there are 5,000 people who signed this petition and have this belief, then we need to hand count these ballots in order to restore public trust in the outcomes of our elections,” according to Lehman.
“This is not something we want to do after every election, but we need to do it once, at least, in order to prove once and for all that our voting system counts the votes accurately and that there were not thousands of uncounted votes that were hidden by an algorithm or some other nonsense like that,” he added.
That said, critics still remain doubtful and want more:
They’ll rig the recount
— ❌Deplorable steph (@stef4freedom) December 17, 2022
A recount is not an audit!
— kevin owens (@cjospop) December 17, 2022
How can they be trusted to do anything differently?
— Pleated Cargoshorts (@clarkbar1975) December 17, 2022
Recounts mean nothing. Garbage in, garbage out. An audit is the only way.
— Well Said (@KKirsten7) December 17, 2022
Counting doesn’t matter if the ballots are fake.
That is a big problem..
— Random XTreeMi⬛⬛ Tuesday Schlub (@amwick2) December 17, 2022
Note that the recount will differ from the original count.
“Lycoming County votes by machine. Voters fill in ovals on paper to indicate the candidate they want, then the paper is fed into a scanning machine where an image of the ballot is captured, and the vote is counted. The paper ballot is saved in a secure location. The scanned count is stored on a removable USB device on the scanning machine in each precinct,” according to the Times.
“When the polls close, all precincts take their USB device to election headquarters, where each USB dumps its information into the county machine, and ultimately those vote totals are given to the Department of State for statewide totals,” the Times adds.
But with the recount, it’s all going to be done by hand.
Lehman is, for his part confident that the hand recount will prove that was everything was on the up and up. In fact, he told the Times that city officials purposefully chose to recount the state auditor general race, in conjunction with the presidential race, to better prove his point.
“We chose the auditor general as the second contest for two reasons. It is on the front of the ballot along with president, so that’ll eliminate the need to flip every ballot over. The other reason we picked auditor general is because that was a statewide contest that was won by a Republican. Because obviously the presidential contest was won by a Democrat,” he said.
“There has been an inability to believe that voters might have split their tickets. That they might have voted for a Democratic president, but then they turned around and voted for a Republican for other offices. There’s been an inability to believe that people might do those things. Whereas, I absolutely know that people do those things because I see the ballots,” he added.
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