For urban Democrats in cities like Philadelphia, universal mail-in voting is a can’t lose proposition.
By George Parry | 20 October 2020
THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR — As a young lawyer in 1971, I volunteered my services to the Committee of Seventy, a nonpartisan, independent watchdog, to help monitor the Philadelphia mayoral election between Democrat Frank Rizzo and Republican Thacher Longstreth. The committee sent volunteers to investigate reports of voting irregularities at polling places throughout the city. While we had no authority to intervene or rectify a situation, if founded, we could refer a complaint to the District Attorney’s Office for official action.
About 7 a.m. on Election Day, I was dispatched to a polling place in West Philadelphia to investigate a broken voting machine. Then, as now, the voting machines were maintained and provided by Philadelphia’s City Commissioners.
Upon arrival, I found a mechanical voting machine. As designed, the back of the machine had two overlapping panels, which, when closed, covered the meters reflecting the vote totals. The panels were supposed to be wired shut and a lead seal affixed to the wire.
But this voting machine had no seal and no wire, and the panels were open. Interestingly, the meters reflected that Democrat Rizzo had already received 233 votes. In comparison, Republican Longstreth’s meter showed 12 votes. Since the polls had opened only two hours before, this seemed unlikely. So I asked the judge of elections at the polling place how many people had voted so far. “None,” he replied. […]