Even as citizens across the state of Pennsylvania continue to work on the statewide recount effort initiated by third party candidate Jill Stein, state officials have been attempting to stop her at every turn. After being hit with exorbitant cash demands, Stein shifted her legal case from state court to federal court on Saturday. However, based on a first hand report we’re now receiving, some local officials in Pennsylvania have been harassing and price-gouging those who have shown up to fill out affidavits in support of the recount.
Beverly DeSignor, a resident of Bushkill, Pennsylvania, shared the following first hand experience with Palmer Report. We’ve independently confirmed that she is in fact a Pennsylvania resident, and that she is who she says she is. Her experience should be eye opening for those following the recount effort with interest:
I filed for a recount of my precinct, Bushkill Township Center, Northampton County on 11/28/16 providing a signed, notarized affidavit along with two other filers from my precinct. We walked in and were greeted by the election technician who took our affidavit, provided each of us with time/date stamped copies (charged us 25 cents a piece- total $0.75). We asked if there were others who had filed and were told they had received several phone calls and that one other group had filed in the morning. During that time, we questioned if we had to pay a fee and were told no. We asked when and where the recount would be held and we were told wednesday, 11/30/16 at the election board offices there on wolf street, Easton across from the courthouse. We mentioned to the staff more would be coming to file and asked how long they would be open. They stated they would be open until 4:30 pm.
We knew people in the next group who subsequently arrived fifteen minutes after we left. They were treated differently. After time/date stamping their affidavits, they were detained and marched over to the courthouse. They were told they had to file with the court and were expected to pay around $150/person – a total of $450 – in order to file for recount. According to the person in the group, there were others who come to file in the interim – about 9 in total by this point – all told the same. Additionally, people arrived after 4:15. It before 430 and were told they were now too late to file. So protocol changed as more people came in. I have received no further information for the Election Board.
DeSignor tells us that she’s already heard from the legal staff from Jill Stein campaign regarding the incident. The sudden change in protocol on the part of county officials, from one group of citizens to the next, appears to represent an escalating attempt on the part of the officials to make it harder for the public to carry out their right to a recount. Prices don’t simply change from 25 cents to $150 per person within a span of minutes. If any Pennsylvania residents have encountered similar experiences, in Northampton County or elsewhere, please contact us.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report