Voter addresses Election Board comments
I am writing in reference to my Nov. 5 voting experience and the ensuing articles in The Times on Nov. 15 and Dec. 5. I went to vote on Nov. 5 at 7 a.m. and the voting machines were not working because they did not have the correct paper loaded in them. The poll worker started to hand me a paper ballot and I noticed that it had the Lowell mayoral race at the top of the ballot. I informed the worker that I did not live in Lowell, but rather in Adams Twp., and that I should not receive a ballot with the mayoral race on it.
They did not have a different ballot to give me, so I was given the ballot with the mayoral race and told that it would work for me as well since it also had the township trustee race on it. I took the ballot and voted, but when I was finished, I returned my ballot to the table and again told the workers that I should not be able to vote for the Mayor of Lowell. They agreed and took my ballot and placed it along with my registration paper into a manila envelope along with several other ballots. There was absolutely no privacy in this entire election process and I really question if my vote was ever counted.
My original purpose for calling attention to this matter was to make the Board of Elections aware of this incident in hopes they would take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. But now, I feel I must address the quotes and statements in the Dec. 5 article which appear to try to discredit me and suggest that I did something wrong on Election Day.
In that article, Peggy Byers, the Deputy Director of the Washington County Board of Elections, is quoted as saying “once you run your ballot through the scanner, you can’t pull it back. You’ve had your vote. Had he said something before, the ballots could have been switched.” For the record, I had sent an email to Byers on Nov. 5 at 7:51 a.m. which very clearly states that I DID say something and that my ballot was NOT run through the scanner. I know that she received this email because she responded to it, so I’m not sure why she was quoted in the paper as making these false and misleading statements.
Also, in that article, it states that he, referring to Dennis Sipe, is waiting for a report that will show exactly how many people “voted incorrectly.” I can assure you Mr. Sipe, I did not “vote incorrectly”, but rather, I was given the wrong ballot.
Finally, I would like to address the final quote of the article by Mr. Sipe which states, “If you were given a ballot that was incorrect, you’d think they would let someone know.” Assuming that this quote is accurate, I would just like to say that I find it very insulting, and I would have thought Mr. Sipe, as chairman of the Board of Directors, would have done a little more in-depth research before slinging insults in the press! As stated before, I have emails and witnesses that can verify my experience on Election Day. I would have been happy to share this information with Mr. Sipe if only he had reached out to me rather than attempting to discredit me in the paper. At the very least, I would have thought someone would have reached out to the poll workers who could have certainly verified my account.
In closing, I would just like to state, I DID NOT “vote incorrectly,” I DID say something, I was never offered the correct ballot, and I still have not been assured that my vote was ever counted.