The Corner

Pa. Problems

Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania

Office of the General Counsel

301 Market Street, 9th Floor

Harrisburg, PA 17101

November 7, 2006

VIA FACSIMILE (717) 787-1734

Hon. Pedro A. Cortes

Secretary of the Commonwealth

302 N. Office Bldg.

Harrisburg, PA 17120


Dear Secretary Cortes:

            As you are aware, there have been a number of reported instances today from the Counties throughout the Commonwealth, including but not limited to Allegheny, Butler, Westmoreland, Centre, Lackawanna, Erie, Bucks, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Cumberland and Crawford Counties, where voters have attempted to vote for Republican candidates on voting machines (the “Voting Machines”) and these same Voting Machines incorrectly reflected either that those same voters voted the straight Democratic ticket or voted for the opposing Democratic candidates on a split ticket.  Such malfunctions effectively disenfranchise voters and the results of the election may be inaccurate.                

Because the Secretary of the Commonwealth must approve all Voting Machines for use in elections, we would respectfully request that you immediately take steps to investigate these reports of Voting Machines that malfunctioned, and that you determine the following:

a) the identity of the Voting Machines that were miscalibrated and/or malfunctioned and the serial numbers for those machines;b) the precincts or divisions where the Voting Machines were located;c) what time the malfunctions occurred;d) whether technicians were called to repair the Voting Machines;e) what time technicians arrived to repair the Voting Machines;f) the names and contact information for the technicians who repaired these machines;g) what exactly the technicians did to repair the Voting Machines; h) how many voters cast ballots on the Voting Machines prior to recalibration; and i) whether recalibration of  a Voting Machine affects votes already cast on that Voting Machine.;

We also ask that you issue instructions to every County to not recalibrate any Voting Machine that has been identified as being miscalibrated, but rather impound the Voting Machine.  Additionally, we request that a sufficient number of emergency ballots be provided to these affected Counties so that no voter loses his/her right to vote. …

                                                                                                Sincerely,                                                                                                    LAWRENCE J. TABAS            

 cc:        Harry Van Sickle, Commissioner

            Hon. Thomas Corbett, Attorney General

            Albert H. Masland, Chief Counsel to the Department of State