From Rich Lord
An estimated 178 people were permitted to vote twice at a Uniontown polling place, according to a Republican attorney who investigated the issue today.
G.O.P. attorney Heather Heidelbaugh said that through human error, voters at the North Union 4 VFW Hall were given one paper ballot for the primary election, and two for the special Congressional election between Republican Tim Burns and Democrat Mark Critz. She said first-time Judge of Elections Amber Lilley distributed the extra ballots in what was apparently an innocent error. The completed ballots were then fed into the OptiScan voting machine, which counted them.
After the problem was discovered, Fayette County Election Bureau Director Larry Blosser had the involved machine removed from service and the paper ballots segregated, said Ms. Heidelbaugh. She said the process hasn't generated any legal filings at this point. “Everybody’s working things out here so far," she said.
“You’ve got votes on that machine, after this, that are good votes," said Ms. Heidelbaugh. “If the election is within 178 [votes], we’ve got problems.”
Ms. Heidelbaugh said that Ms. Lilley reported that 120 registered Democrats, 55 registered Republicans, and three independents received two ballots.
Mr. Critz and Mr. Burns face each other in a special election to fill out the term of the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha. They are also among the candidates seeking their parties' nominations for a full term in the seat.