State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Taking election complaints online, and CC-ing counties

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Oct 24, 2012 6:30 PM
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Registered Pennsylvania voters who see suspect behavior on Election Day or encounter unhelpful poll workers will be able to submit their complaints online for the first time this year.

The Department of State has developed a new section on its website to make it easier to lodge a complaint. But the state’s website is only a clearinghouse for voter beefs.

County election boards are the ones with the authority to investigate and act on complaints. “They obviously have to use their discretion to decide whether it’s something that should be investigated, whether it’s something that they perhaps the voter misunderstood or what they saw was not a violation, whatever -- that’s up to the county board to decide,” said agency spokesman Ron Ruman.

It’s not clear if each complaint will be forwarded to counties instantaneously or by the end of the business day.

Only registered voters may submit complaints. To pass the registration test, one has to enter name, address, birth date, and certify that you’re not a robot.

Ruman says how quickly complaints are forwarded to counties may depend on how quickly the voter’s registration is verified.

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Comments: 1

  • Watching Politics img 2012-10-25 17:15

    Have to be a registered voter? What if there's a problem with your voter registration?

    No power to follow up on the complaint? No guarantee that it will be forwarded in a timely manner to an authority that can? No guarantee that anything whatsoever will happen?

    Pretty clear that the Department of State doesn't really care about fair elections.

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