Even as Wisconsin and Michigan continue with statewide recounts of the 2016 presidential election voting totals, third party candidate Jill Stein’s effort to get a similar recount underway in Pennsylvania has been met with one state level roadblock after another. Even as she files in federal court to force the state to agree to a recount, reports continue to come in from residents across Pennsylvania who say local officials have been trying to deny their legal right to file recount affidavits.
Yesterday we reported on wildly the fluctuating prices officials in Northampton County were charging. One recount affidavit filer would be charged a mere twenty-five cents, and then without explanation the next person in line would be charged $150. And now another Pennsylvania resident, Shelley Renee of Butler County, has shared an even more troubling story with Palmer Report about how she was turned away entirely:
I had called in the morning to make sure that they hadnt finished their final computations and they said they hadn’t, so I knew I had a 5 day window to get the affidavits in. Went there with my son, to the election board in the courthouse. Two women told me the solicitor told them not to accept them. I asked for a superviser who they said was in the commissioner’s office but they would get her. I waited ten minutes and asked again why they werent accepting them when I had called a few hours earlier and the computations weren’t done. I had the statute paperwork with in addition to the affidavits and notarized signatures. Again they said no.
I asked for a timestamp and they refused and called for the superviser again. She finally came in and was immediately uncooperative and nasty. We went through the whole thing again and she told me to get a lawyer because the court can settle it. We argued and I left. When I got home someone from Jill Stein’s group suggested that I go back up and go to commissioner’s office. I was rung in from the doorbell and a woman took my affidavits and a few minutes later a man came out who I thought was the commissioner.
He was rude as well and told me his board of elections superviser was right in telling me they werent accepting them and wanted to know who told me to come to his office. I explained. He then said it can go through the courts or I could try the prothonotary’s office – they dont handle election matters,but i went anyway. When I got down there she was on the phone with the man I had just talked to. She said they dont handle election matters but that she would take my affidavits for a fee of $171 for each one and $50 additonally for each signature I had.
I have since learned that they called in the supervisor at the board of elections who was to be on vacation all week to hurry and get the final count in before we all came with the affidavits. And it was actually that very solicitor who directed me to the prothonotary’s office when I was in the commissioner’s office. So they called this woman in from vacation and had many meetings between the two of them on how to handle (lie) to people that came there with them. As I said I also learned the next day that there were many many people that called and were told no so they didnt come in, but there was another woman and myself that had many affidavits and they turned us both away. Mine was in Butler County. My son still tells people the story of how mean they were and what a goose chase it was and ended with nothing.
The above story, shared with Palmer Report by Pennsylvania resident Shelley Renee, documents blatantly illegal attempts on the part of local officials to deny citizens their legal rights — and therefore demonstrates corruption by definition. If you’re a Pennsylvania resident and you’ve experienced any troubles filing recount affidavits, or you’ve been met with improper resistance from state or local officials while pursuing recount efforts, please contact us.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report