In an Inquirer article on Saturday, November 30, 2010, it was reported by Inquirer Staffer Mari A. Schaefer that the Bucks County Board of Elections agreed to gather and count all absentee ballots at its office, a break from the usual practice of distributing them to the individual Voting Districts for tallies as part of the Election Day tasks at each individual polling place.
The ruing resulted from a Republican cry of “Foul Play” over a huge influx of Absentee ballots due to Democratic party activities. More than 8,000 absentee ballots were cast as of Thursday, the 29th with more than 12,000 applications for absentee ballots received.
According to an Intelligencer story on the 30th by Gary Weckselblatt today (www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/the_intelligencer/the_intelligencer_news_details/article/27/2010/october/30/sides-rally-during-absentee-ballot-hearing-1.html)
Questions about their validity surfaced two weeks ago after the voter registration office received dozens of complaints about a letter from the fictitious “Pennsylvania Voter Assistance Office.”
The letters warned recipients that their voting privileges might be in jeopardy if they failed to return an enclosed absentee ballot application. The mailing included a postage-paid envelope addressed to a post office box in Bristol that is controlled by Tim Persico, campaign manager for Congressman Patrick Murphy.
Another story reported by Peter Hall in the Intelligencer that is online at: www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/the_intelligencer/the_intelligencer_news_details/article/27/2010/october/30/charges-traded-at-hearing.html stated:
The Bucks County Republican Party filed challenges Friday afternoon to more than 270 absentee ballot applications that had already been approved by the board of elections on the basis that they contain incorrect information, invalid excuses for voting at the polls or signatures that do not match those on file with the county.
He also reported that:
The Republicans called on the Bucks County District Attorneyâ€™s Office and the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office to investigate the possibility of voter fraud and voting rights violations. Heckler announced that his office was advising the board of elections on preservation of potential evidence….
Last week, the Republicans filed a complaint with the board of elections that linked the Bristol post office box to Congressman Patrick Murphyâ€™s reelection campaign manager, Tim Persico. The complaint also contained affidavits from six Bucks County residents who said they had been approached by canvassers who pressured them into applying for absentee ballots they didnâ€™t need or completing absentee ballots for family members….
The Republicans also demanded Fridayâ€™s hearing and proposed counting the absentee ballots in the courthouse as a safeguard against fraud..