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GIORDANO: Central Bucks School Board Election a Setback for Parents’ Rights

Democrats won big across the Delaware Valley in last Tuesday’s election. It was clear that abortion rights and, to some degree, possible challenges to the 2024 presidential election carried the day. After the election, Doug Emhoff, the second gentleman, reportedly said Dobbs and democracy won the 2023 election, and those issues will carry Democrats to victory in 2024.

Dobbs is a reference to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overruled Roe v. Wade and sent abortion rights battles back to the states. Democracy is a reference to President Donald Trump and the challenges he raised about the 2020 election results.

But I don’t think that Dobbs or democracy gave us the Democrats’ victory in the Central Bucks School Board elections. I think the unrelenting and false attacks by The Philadelphia Inquirer and WHYY demonized people like school board President Dana Hunter and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Abraham M. Lucabaugh.

The theme of both news outlets was that Lucabaugh, Hunter, and other Republican board members were on wholesale book-banning campaigns and were callous or biased toward students who were gay or transgender.

In my view, this coverage was so intense because the district is one of the biggest, wealthiest, and most educated in the entire state. It also had a fairly conservative board elected after bitter battles about masking and school closures during the COVID crisis.

I think the election of that conservative school board was a message that citizens in Central Bucks thought the previous COVID policies were too restrictive. And the demotion of Dr. David Damsker, Bucks public health chief, at the behest of the Wolf administration and carried out by the Bucks County commissioners also created a backlash.

Damsker had gained a large following across the state as he advocated loosening masking restrictions and early return of students to school even if they had previously had a fever.

The next firestorm for that board involved whether parents should be notified if their child wanted to be identified by pronouns that didn’t match their sex at birth. The superintendent said there would be discussions around each individual case, but the indication was that parents would be told.

How is this hateful to kids? It is the essence of parental rights that you be told about your child when, for whatever reason, they ask that their pronoun be changed. Do the newly elected school board members think parents should not be notified because they might get angry and abuse their child? Do they really believe collaborating with the child and lying to parents is a good policy? Somehow, with their allies in the media, the new board members were able to make a civil rights matter for kids as young as 7 or 8.

The media already mentioned, along with the Bucks County Courier Times, also conjured up the notion that Hunter and the others were on massive book-banning crusades. I interviewed Hunter and others extensively, and it was clear they crafted policies that restricted only very sexually graphic materials.

These were the books that you’ve seen parents stopped from reading passages from at school board meetings because they were so graphic. Any legitimate school district should not be making books like “Lawn Boy” or “Gender Queer” available to students.

So, what happens next? I like the thoughts of defeated school candidate Dr. Stephen Mass, who was interviewed by the DVJournal.

He said, “The only winners in Tuesday’s elections are the private schools, who will see their enrollment skyrocket in the next few years when parents see what policies are coming into our district.” I think Mass has a good crystal ball.

Delco Begins Phased Rollout of E-pollbooks

(From a press release) 

Delaware County Elections is beginning a phased rollout of new Electronic Pollbooks, also referred to as “e-pollbooks,” during the November 7, 2023 Municipal Election. Voters and poll workers at 168 of the County’s 428 precincts will be utilizing the new e-pollbooks in this election, with a full phase in of e-pollbooks by the 2024 Presidential Election. The cutting-edge e-pollbooks modernize the voter check-in process and have multiple advantages over traditional paper pollbooks, officials said.

Traditional paper pollbooks have long played a role in elections, but have several limitations compared to the new e-pollbooks.

Limitations of Paper Pollbooks

  • Paper pollbooks are outdated as soon as they are printed and require workers to check “supplemental pages,” while the e-pollbooks contain the latest registration and mail-ballot data.
  • Paper pollbooks have information only for voters in one precinct, while the e-pollbooks contain basic information on all 400,000-plus Delaware County voters. This means any voter in the wrong polling place can be quickly directed to the right location with a personalized printout with their correct polling site and address.
  • Paper pollbooks, similar to phone books, are far slower to use.
  • Each entry in the paper pollbooks must be scanned manually after Election Day, a process that can take weeks to generate the list of participating voters, often after the election is certified.
    E-pollbooks generate the lists shortly after Election Day, long before the certification.

With the transition to e-pollbooks, Delaware County Elections aims to surmount these limitations and usher in a new era of efficiency and transparency in electoral administration. Here are some benefits of e-pollbooks.

One key advantage of the e-pollbooks is the ability to check-in voters more quickly. Instead of searching through hundreds of pages in a paper pollbook, workers with an e-pollbook simply enter the first three letters of a voter’s last name and first three letters of the first name to find the record. After the voter signs on the e-pollbook, a “ticket” is printed that the voter presents to the poll workers who record the voter’s name in the Numbered List of Voters and issue the ballot to the voter. The paper tickets later can be used, with the Numbered List, in post-election audits. This efficient method significantly reduces waiting times and human error, ensuring a smoother and faster voting experience.

In locations where multiple precincts share a voting space, the task of managing check-ins can be complex. E-pollbooks make this process more straightforward by allowing poll workers to manage the check-ins for two to six precincts simultaneously. This approach minimizes confusion, ensures voters are directed to the correct precinct the first time, and maintains the integrity of the electoral process. For this reason, Delaware County is deploying the first e-pollbooks at sites that host multiple precincts.

Sometimes, voters may find themselves at the right address but at the wrong table in a room serving two or more precincts. E-pollbooks help re-direct voters to their correct polling place or room, eliminating guesswork and reducing phone calls or online searches. This feature is especially useful in larger buildings, such as schools or community centers, where voters might arrive in the gym but need to go to the cafeteria.

In cases where a voter’s name is misspelled in the records or a voter has recently changed their name (e.g., registered as “Mary Jones” but changed the name to “Mary Smith-Jones”), e-pollbooks offer the flexibility to search by date of birth or address. This feature helps avoid voter disenfranchisement and allows individuals who have undergone name changes to exercise their right to vote without complications.

E-pollbooks provide poll workers with consistent instructions for every voter situation. Whether a voter needs to provide identification, submit a mail ballot and envelope, or cast a provisional ballot, e-pollbooks offer clear and standardized guidance. For example, e-pollbooks present poll workers with a full list of acceptable forms of ID. This consistency enhances the overall voting experience and ensures that all voters are treated fairly.

One of the most noteworthy advantages of e-pollbooks is the increased transparency they bring to the electoral process. They generate lists of voters who cast ballots on Election Day before the election is certified. This transparency builds trust and security to the election.

The addition of e-pollbooks is a critical step toward modernizing and improving the election process for poll workers and voters at the same time. This roll-out of e-pollbooks to 168 precincts follows a successful pilot project at the May 2023 Primary, when e-pollbooks were used at three locations that hosted 11 precincts in Brookhaven, Middletown, and Upper Darby. Poll workers at the pilot-project precincts reported strong satisfaction with the e-pollbooks.

As with the pilot project in May, the precincts in the roll out will have paper pollbooks to use only as emergency back-ups.

ALTIERI: It’s Time for Academics Over Agendas in North Penn

Vince Altieri, a parent and candidate for the North Penn Board of School Directors, is on a mission to defeat top-down political agendas in classrooms.

D.C.-style politics on the 9-0 North Penn Neighbors for Progress School Board divides the community, hurts taxpayers, and contributes to the deterioration of public education. All statistics show that over the past four years, academics and school safety have been going in the wrong direction for North Penn.

While I don’t hold my opponents personally responsible, I am unable to get my arms around how this leadership team continues to spend way too much time justifying the results they have produced. In fact, at the last school board meeting before this important election, my opponents went as far as discounting the double-digit decline in academics by saying, “The algorithms used by ‘Niche,’” are the reason. North Penn Neighbors for Progress has held 100 percent of NPSD Board seats for the past four years, and in that time, there has been a total of four dissenting votes. Because of this political monopoly, there has been no accountability or possibility to pivot in a direction that leads to more academic and district success.

Taxpayers are paying for these declines and special interests. For the past four years, a stadium, a healthcare clinic, and other board-led initiatives that follow political party-led lines have taken priority, while middle school students have lost in-person learning time due to insufficient HVAC systems.

This year, the board is planning on having a referendum for a 9th-grade center that will include a North Penn High School renovation with only one contractor bid. While they advertise the cost of $95 million, the actual cost is estimated to be $400 million, with debt service totaling $800 million. Advanced deterioration happened while the board prioritized other projects that should have never have come before renovations.

Adding insult to injury, the board is hoping to spend an extra $319,000 of taxpayer dollars to hold a special election in January 2024 instead of waiting a few short months until the presidential primaries.

Speaking of special interests, I have been shocked to learn that elected officials are donating large sums of money to my opponents. Special interest funding often leads to special favors. I am proud to be the main contributor to my campaign along with private donors. If elected, I will owe no favors, and I will ensure that North Penn hires qualified candidates based on merit over interest. Our children deserve the best!

Elected officials who have donated to the board members take public speaking time to support the board with a warm reception from the board, while parents and stakeholders who advocate for change and betterment of their children’s education are quick to be silenced in a manner that does not often foster respect.

After having spoken at many meetings, I promise to allow parents to address the board with respect and a reasonable amount of time instead of being told in a disrespectful manner: “Your time is up.”

I love the North Penn Community and am grateful for the many conversations and support I have received during this wonderful journey.

NPSD offers a plethora of amazing programs along with engaged and committed educators who serve a diverse body of students, including my daughter. You have my word that I will work hard to make sure North Penn serves its stakeholders once again with the excellence it has been historically known for.

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As 2024 Approaches, Is the Trump Base Still On Board?

Daria Novak described herself as a strong Donald Trump supporter in 2016, so much so that as the Republican nominee for Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District that year, she put Trump’s name above her own on campaign signs.

While she admires the accomplishments of Trump’s four years in office, she’s uncertain about another four years.

“In recent months, conservatives are split approaching the presidential election,” Novak said. “It’s not about a single man but it’s about a movement. The conservative movement is bigger than one individual.”

Trump is the only declared 2024 presidential candidate, seeking a non-consecutive second term in office. That’s a stark contrast to 2015 when Trump waited for a large field of declared Republican candidates before entering the 2016 sweepstakes.

What’s not different is that, like in 2015 and 2016, Trump has made some missteps since announcing his candidacy last November that might be politically fatal to other politicians. Despite that, he cruised to the nomination and won a shocking general election victory. The question is, “Will he have the capacity to do so again in 2024?”

Novak is not certain Trump will have the same level of Republican support for his third presidential run. “There were great results from the Trump presidency, but there were also negatives to his presidency,” she said. “Some are tired of Trump’s high level of tension.”

Mike Domanico, owner of the Trump Store in Bensalem said, “The Trump base is more supportive than ever. The country has been going in the wrong direction since day one of the Biden administration. People are saying they have had enough and are looking forward to 2024 if we make it that long.”

Bruce Breton, the co-chairman of Trump’s campaigns in New Hampshire, doesn’t see waning support for the 45th president. “Trump will be the top vote-getter and prevail in the primaries if he doesn’t clear the Republican field first,” Breton predicted.

Just as Trump defied naysayers in 2016, Breton said he would win another general election. “Under the Trump administration, we had low inflation, low gas prices, 401(k)s were up, and people were prosperous,” Breton said. “People will remember the policies and procedures of the Trump administration and that will impact both the primary polls and the national election.”

A recent Morning Consult poll has both good and bad news for the Trump campaign. The good news is Trump’s margin among potential primary voters, 48 percent to 31 percent, over his closest competitor, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. The bad news is Trump is below 50 percent as a former president and two-time nominee for his party, even before the campaigning begins.

Meanwhile, since declaring his candidacy, Trump has given his critics fodder.

In November, entertainer Kanye West came to dinner at Mar-a-Lago and brought uninvited guests — provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and White nationalist Nick Fuentes. Trump, expecting West, was reportedly furious about the other two.

This is not likely to have any long-term consequences, Breton said. “Unfortunately, Trump doesn’t personally screen everyone that comes to Mar-a-Lago. I blame Kanye West for that.”

In December, Trump brought up the 2020 election and declared, “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” Not a popular stance among pro-Constitution conservatives.

In a January social media post, Trump also launched a full-throated attack on pro-life voters, a key part of the Trump coalition in his 2016 victory. “It wasn’t my fault that the Republicans didn’t live up to expectations in the MidTerms,” Trump wrote. “It was the ‘abortion issue,’ poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters.”

Breton doesn’t anticipate Trump will lose the pro-life base after being the president most responsible for the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs decision. “That was just Trump being Trump,” Breton said.

Pro-life activists disagree. “Trump is way out of line here on life. He does not have a pulse on where his potential base is — as many believed he has in the past,” tweeted Lila Rose, leader of the pro-life group Live Action. “This kind of nonsense will be a losing political strategy for him.”

On another front, Trump endorsed House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy for speaker. Then after the third round of voting, Trump issued another endorsement for McCarthy, trying to convince Republicans to “TAKE THE VICTORY” in another social media post. Yet, the House still went through 14 rounds of voting before McCarthy was elected.

“We needed reforms that the Freedom Caucus pushed,” Novak said. “Whether this shows the level Trump has over Republicans is questionable.”

It’s worth remembering that since 2015, Trump’s critics have labeled every unconventional move by Trump as the end of his political career, Breton said.

Richard Booker, former Radnor commissioner and school board member, believes the Republican base still supports Trump.

“While there are some who are now off of the ‘Trump Train’ due to the performance in the mid-terms, I don’t think that group is a significant percentage of the Republican base,” said Booker.  “Moreover, the mid-terms were not as bad as the legacy media makes out.  Most Trump backed candidates did well.  The poor results in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia Senate races were unfortunate. However, the GOP had significantly more seats to defend this cycle than the Democrats.  (The Democrats will have to defend many more than Republicans in the next cycle, and I believe that there will be significantly better results for the GOP then).

“I will support whomever comes out of the Republican primary,” Booker added.  “My prediction is that Trump will win the Republican primary if he stays in the race until the end.   In addition, most Republican voters recognize, that Trump is the only candidate who will aggressively enforce the border.  There are other great candidates in the GOP vying for the Presidency, however, Trump is uniquely experienced (and would be limited to only four years).

“In the end, the GOP will coalesce around Trump if he is able to beat down the many lawsuits and investigations that he faces, and make it to the end of the primary.  My opinion is that he has a very good chance to win again if he gets to the general election.  Media collusion, vote harvesting and other dubious election practices (see for example, the 2020 Time election article and Mollie Hemingway’s book “Rigged”) will be his biggest obstacles.”


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GIORDANO: Ban No Excuse Mail-in Ballots, Drop Boxes For Fair Elections

One issue that has risen to the top in this election cycle is Pennsylvania Act 77. This act was supported by many Republicans when they agreed to essentially remove any requirement to be able to vote by absentee ballot in exchange for taking away the ability of voters to vote a straight party vote at the flick of one button on election day.

Democrats essentially turned the removal excuses for absentee ballots into the ability to vote by mail in Pennsylvania–no reason required.

State Senators Doug Mastriano and Jake Corman are two of the candidates in the Republican primary for the governor’s race. They have tried to spin this misjudgment by saying Democrats distorted the intentions of Act 77 and gave us the current system that many people believe is much more open to ballot harvesting and election fraud.

In addition to mail-in ballots, Democrats in Pennsylvania approved a drop box system across the state that allows people to deposit ballots that they receive in the mail into secured boxes across the state. The law on this requires that a person may deposit only their own ballot.

On April 4, Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin issued a report that indicated that at least 288 people deposited more than one ballot at five area drop boxes between October 18th and election day, November 2, 2021.

On my radio show, Martin told me that he declined to prosecute anyone because only a few of the 288 people could be identified due to the mask mandate at the time and the poor quality of the video surveillance at the drop box locations. I objected to this approach and told him that much more must be done on this front to ensure that people believe in the results of our elections.

After that conversation, I was pleasantly surprised that my producer was contacted by Martin’s office, and he came on my show to announce three reforms that he was instituting or calling for. First, he wants more precise and prominently placed warnings against depositing more than one ballot to be placed on and around the drop boxes. Second, he wants the drop box at the Lehigh County Government Center to be restricted to “normal” business hours. He wants voters to believe that someone might be watching.

Finally, he will dispatch county detectives in plainclothes to periodically monitor the drop boxes. This last reform has set off some Lehigh County Democratic leaders who say these detectives are intimidating and they have to deduct from their pay for any time spent observing the drop boxes.

I believe this local battle over drop boxes is occurring all over the country and that’s why I watched the debut of Dinesh D’Souza’s new film “2000 Mules,” at an area theater with my listeners. The premise of the film, as presented by D’Souza and True The Vote, is that by using cellphone geo-tracking and surveillance video, they were able to follow a network of “mules “in battleground states collecting ballots from get-out-the-vote outfits and then stuffing them a few at a time in multiple drop boxes, often in the middle of the night.

D’Souza concedes that in Michigan and Wisconsin the “mules” they have observed would not have deposited enough votes to overcome President Joe Biden’s margin of victory. However, he maintains that in Georgia and Arizona, their observations turn up more than enough votes to secure victory for former President Donald Trump in those states.

Incredibly, in Philadelphia alone, he maintains that 1,100 mules averaged 50 drop box visits each giving us 275,000 suspect votes that could have flipped Pennsylvania from Biden to Trump.

The film is well researched and tells the story in great detail. Even if you reject its premise about the numbers of suspect drop box votes, it underlines the need to remove mail-in balloting from our elections or continue to suffer a lack of confidence in election results.

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Frustrated Chester County Residents Demand Election Integrity

Chester County commissioners held a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night. But the topic that dominated was not on the agenda. It was confidence in elections.

Frustration over how Chester County handles the voting process began last November following the 2021 municipal elections. The number of residents showing up to voice their discontent has only grown.

Attendees patiently waited in the Henrietta Hankin Branch Library until the general public comment period. Their main demand? A forensic audit of the 2021 general election.

“This is America,” said Cathy Ingham. “We, the people, demand free and fair elections with no fraud.”

Their lack of confidence in the election results stems from reported issues of USBs not properly reporting ballots, bags of votes being discovered late in the counting, and jammed scanners that reportedly sometimes shredded ballots.

“The problem is we had a dishonest election,” William Jack Shipe told the commissioners.

Michael Taylor, solicitor for the Republican Committee of Chester County, was in the counting room during the general election last year and started voicing concerns then. Since November’s outburst of activism, he detailed progress being made with the county.

“Myself, the Democratic solicitor, and a representative from the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania have been sitting down once a month with the county solicitor and voter services staff to go over the problems we have seen, and try to improve the system,” said Taylor.

But those talks have not led many advocating for electoral reforms to be less angry.

“I feel like I’m asking the fox to secure the henhouse because there’s no reaction from [the commissioners] at all,” said Ingham, describing how commissioners gave little response to the demands for a forensic audit.

Taylor said lingering frustration stems from the lack of an audit. Without it, he says a determination cannot be made whether the election was secure or not. That leaves residents frustrated.

While Taylor said he has made some progress on the audit in discussions with interested parties, movement in the Chester County Democratic Committee appears non-existent.

“The request for a forensic audit is nothing more than an attempt to use an audit to overturn duly certified elections,” Democratic Chair Charlotte Valyo told Delaware Valley Journal in a statement.

Despite the disagreement on the audit, Valyo said there has been more bipartisanship in the creation of new processes to secure elections in the county. “These processes further bolstered the already rigorous election protocols and addressed the concerns submitted by the Republican and Democratic parties,” she said.

Some speakers at the commission meeting recounted anecdotes of their troubles voting. Diane Houser was one of them. In the 2020 general election, she voted in person and returned her incomplete mail-in ballot to prove she could do so. But she recently learned her vote was not counted.

“Hey, how many other people did this happen to?” she asked. “My question is, why were our votes not tabulated after our votes were put in the voting machine.”

Many also voiced concerns about mail-in ballots.

“What did the last three elections have in common?” Christopher Manos asked the crowd. “We all went to bed having decisively won these past three elections. And election victory margins were whittled away by the scam commonly known as mail-in balloting.”

A top priority for county Republicans has been education on mail-in ballots. It is important the base understands the process so therefore they can have confidence in it, Taylor told DVJ in November. Since then, Taylor said, progress has been made.

“I’ve been going around to some of our local areas and just talked to them for five or 10 minutes about how the process works and what you can expect,” he said. “That’s been very productive.” As people learn that mail-in ballots get counted later, they realize it’s not about ballots being pumped into the system, Taylor said.

But other concerns remain besides mail-in balloting. Chief among them are drop boxes. The County Republicans would prefer they are eliminated, but if that cannot happen they support adequate surveillance at sites and more security measures to make sure only each person is casting their own vote.

Top of mind is the upcoming primary elections in May. The goal is to avoid another contentious count, Taylor said, and he believes the election is on track to go more smoothly than last November’s contest.

“The new policies that the voter services have put in place [do] offer more protections,” Taylor said. He added since May is a primary election there’s less concern. The plan is to ‘see what happens in May, and then continue to grow on that.’”

And while Taylor was clear he believed the county and other interested parties had been working together in good faith, he also was clear he is not pleased with the current state of play.

“We need to keep working toward protecting the mail-in ballots and following the rule of law,” he said. “I would say it’s a work in progress and I encourage the board of commissioners and all parties involved to continue to work to better the system.”

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PA Supreme Court Declines to Hear Ballot Case, Miller Sworn-in For DASB Seat

Margie Miller, a Republican, was elected to a seat on the Downingtown Area School Board in November. She was finally sworn in at a meeting on Wednesday, March 2.

The delay was caused by a court challenge by her Democratic opponent, Rebecca Britton, over six ballots.  Last week, the state Supreme Court refused to hear that case. That opened the way for Miller to take her seat on the board.

“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling certified my election, and solidified the fact that the people of Region 4 have spoken,” said Miller. “I am very excited to begin working with the other eight directors on the DASD School Board.

“The trajectory of this election and the fact that I am being seated four months after Election Day underscores the necessity of an audit,” Miller said. “Mail-in ballots serve a legitimate need. Their validity is obviously still very much in question.

“My personal hope is that the chain of events following this past election in the school director race may serve to assist a future election decision. I am honored and humbled to have been elected to serve the people of Region 4 in the Downingtown Area School District.”

Michael Taylor, the solicitor for the Chester County Republicans, said the court’s refusal to take up Britton’s appeal meant Miller was certified as the winner.

Taylor previously said a Commonwealth Court panel of judges had correctly “affirmed the decision of the Chester County Board of Elections to disqualify the six ballots.”

While a recent ruling had three different opinions, a majority of the judges ruled the ballots should be thrown out, he said.

Britton said, “The Supreme Court ruling is disappointing. There are 67 counties in Pennsylvania.  If each county can draw arbitrary conclusions regarding which votes can be counted then our democracy is unprotected and fragile. In this case, we will never know who the six votes were cast for and the courts missed an opportunity to create clarity where the law was open to interpretation. This is not a partisan issue; this is an ‘every voter’ issue.”

She added, “I wish Mrs. Miller well during her tenure representing Region 4.”


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Downingtown Area School District Election Case Appealed to PA Supreme Court

A Downingtown Area School Board election dispute may determine the standing of Pennsylvania’s law regarding mail-in ballot errors.

At issue is whether election officials should follow the letter of the law or allow some leeway in counting problematic mail-in votes. Sam Stretton, a lawyer for Area 4 Democrat candidate Rebecca Britton told Delaware Valley Journal he is appealing a divided Commonwealth Court ruling to the state Supreme Court.

“It’s a very important issue,” said Stretton. And it not only affects his client, but will clarify election law statewide. “In election law we lean toward a liberal interpretation to protect the right to vote. There’s no evidence of fraud.”

Not so fast, says Michael Taylor, who represents Republican candidate Margie Miller, who will be the winner without the six disputed ballots.

Taylor said that the Commonwealth Court panel has correctly “affirmed the decision of the Chester County Board of Elections to disqualify the six ballots.”

While a recent ruling had three different opinions, a majority of the judges ruled the ballots should be thrown out, he said.

“Our elections are the bedrock of our republic and must be governed by the rule of law,” said Taylor. “Every vote that is legally cast should be counted. That is what was done in this school board race, and Margie Miller is the new director to the Downingtown School Board. Margie has won the contest at the Board of Elections, the Court of Common Pleas, and now, the Commonwealth Court. However, we have sadly heard that Rebecca Britton will now ask the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to overturn the election.

“Ms. Britton’s decision to continue with these legal challenges does a disservice to the citizens of Region 4,” said Taylor. “DASD is in the process of deciding many major issues. Besides dealing with the surge in COVID, the school district is deciding whether to build a new school or refurbish others. Region 4 is not at the discussions or able to cast a vote while Ms. Britton continues with these legal fights. The Miller campaign is weighing its options.”

Miller said, “With only four votes separating my opponent and myself, this has been quite a journey and an education. I am a teacher, not a politician. My intention upon running was to be an advocate for our children and a voice for the residents of region 4. At this moment, there is no voice nor representation for region 4. With the election uncertified and being appealed at the State level, my constituents are left with no vote or say in any matters or plans pertaining to DASD. It is a case of taxation without representation. Although I receive correspondence and calls from constituents, I have to answer as Director-Elect. I encourage them to write to all board members as I am unable to speak for them at this time.

“I enjoy connecting and emailing with the people of Downingtown. Th1ey are very candid, concerned, and truly want what is best for our community,” she said. “They also thank me profusely for responding to them – they appreciate knowing that they are heard. The people of region 4 have spoken – I won in November, I won at the county level, and I won in Commonwealth Court. Patience is my mantra.

“I cannot wait to serve the residents of region 4,” Miller added. “I respect and thank the judges who have given their expertise and verdicts thus far. I respect and thank all of my many supporters who are eager to witness my swearing-in. I am confident this will come to fruition in a prompt manner.”

Britton declined to comment.



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Chester Co. Board Votes to Certify 2021 Election, Despite Public Outcry

Chester County commissioners, sitting as the Election Board, have voted to certify the Nov. 2 election results. It voted 2-1, with Republican Michelle Kichline opposing, to certify the election.

Commissioners got an earful of complaints from irate residents last Monday. Michael Taylor, the solicitor for the Chester County Republicans took issue with comments from Charlotte Valyo, chair of the county Democrats, that were reported in a previous Delaware Valley Journal article.  Taylor said he does not disagree with the GOP Chairman Dr. Gordon Eck’s assessment that numerous issues occurred during the 2021 election, but rather, Eck learned of those issues from Taylor.

“Let me be clear, there are serious issues with the count in Chester County caused by the failure of the electronic resources employed by the county to tabulate the vote,” said Taylor. “I have voiced them to county staff and at yesterday’s Board of Elections Meeting. The concerns voiced by Dr. Eck were first raised by me. Simply because I am polite and professional in dealing with the Democratic solicitor and or county staff does not equate to agreement or compliance with the election process. It astounds me that such a conclusion could be reached and underscores the divisive nature of politics in 2021.”

The issues included mail-in ballots that were damaged by a machine that opens the mail and then taped together, jammed scanners, a bag of uncounted 265 ballots found days after the election, and problems with UBS computer sticks with votes stored on them. Taylor said he and the Democrat’s solicitor will work with the county commissioners and staff to improve the vote-counting process.

He also hopes to “ameliorate the distrust many Republicans feel with the mail-in ballot program,” said Taylor. “It is not a good program, but we have to learn to work within the rules of the game. I am concerned that too many of my party’s voters stayed home because of distrust or disgust with the mail-in ballots. Educating them on the program can only assist in bringing trust back to the public.”

More than 20 people told the commissioners they don’t believe the election results were accurate due to issues such as damaged ballots, a bag of ballots found days after the election, and discrepancies with the voter rolls.

“What is the worth of a single life?” asked a Malvern man. “Hundreds of thousands of men and women have sacrificed their lives for our right to vote.” His son-in-law lost a leg in Iraq. “What’s a leg worth? If they thought there were counterfeit bills in a pile of money, wouldn’t they do more than just recount the same money? What is the worth of your election oversight and integrity?”

Another resident said the “citizens demand a full forensic audit.”

Elaine Weber said the county has had the same issues with the last three elections because of mail-in ballots.

Suzie Smith said, “I don’t understand why two commissioners won’t agree to a full audit. It is unacceptable to certify this election with all these issues.”

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Mom Who Was Booted From West Chester School Board Meeting Has Last Laugh

Sometimes karma bites.

Anita Edgarian, the mother who was ejected from a West Chester Area School Board meeting in July after she tried to ask about Critical Race Theory, ran a write-in candidacy for the school board.

While Edgarian did not win a seat on the board, she believes her candidacy took votes away from School Board President Chris McCune, causing him to lose his seat on the board.

“No matter who you are, you can’t treat people like that,” said Edgarian, who garnered 1,629 votes.

Edgarian gained national attention when she was interviewed on Fox News after the July 26 meeting when she was taken out of the room by a police officer at McCune’s behest.

On Election Day Nov. 2, Edgarian was working at the polls all day at Bethlehem Methodist Church in Glen Mills, handing out campaign literature to ask people to vote for her.

“Toward the end, I was exhausted,” she said.  She talked to a young man and told him about what happened to her and that “I’m the mom taken out of the meeting.”

He not only voted for her but when he got home, he watched the video and told his mom, who had not planned to vote, that she had to go and vote for Edgarian. His mom also watched the video and agreed to vote, too, making it there shortly before the polls closed at 8 p.m., said Edgarian.  That evening that  man and his mom joined Edgarian and some volunteers at a restaurant who went for a bite to eat after the polls closed.

Edgarian is very happy with the outcome, even though she did not win. Another candidate, who she supports, Stacey Womsley, did.

“All the things I wanted to accomplish have happened,” said Edgarian, who is an immigrant from Iran.

“This is not about CRT,” the mother of three teenagers told DVJournal for an article shortly after her expulsion from the meeting. “This is about a citizen of the United States, a mother, an immigrant, a female with an accent, saying something that they didn’t want to hear and they physically intimidated me and bullied me.”

Critical Race Theory, which asserts that all American institutions are fundamentally racist, has been denounced by many area parents and others as having no place in the public schools. Some school officials have denied that it’s being taught. However, there is widespread agreement that CRT principles, such as asserting all white people are “privileged” and participating in advancing white supremacy, have made it into some schools. And at least one area school board member admitted that CRT is being taught in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District.

Various area districts have spent thousands on consultants to train teachers on the CRT-inspired principles and hired directors of equity, diversity and inclusion. The issue apparently inspired slews of concerned DelVal parents out to vote, after they saw the curriculum being taught during virtual classes during the pandemic.

McCune, meanwhile, was elected to serve a four-year term in November 2013 and re-elected in November 2017, according to the school district website. He has served as board president since 2017. He did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.


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