The Northeastern Seaboard primaries went as expected on Tuesday, with Hillary Clinton taking home multiple wins. But, did she really win? Some election watchers are suspicious after noticing votes for Bernie Sanders disappeared in Delaware.
Not long after the polls closed, the precincts began reporting. In Sussex County, Delaware, for example, Bernie Sanders was ahead of Clinton with 6,247 votes with 16.4 percent of precincts reporting. Later in the evening, with nearly 40 percent of the precincts reporting, Sanders lost nearly two-thirds of the reported votes and was reported to have only 2,383 votes. Later that evening, again in Sussex County, his total only climbed to 5,630 votes with 95.9 percent of the county’s precincts reporting.
Multiple news outlets had reported greater than 100 percent of precincts reporting. In Kent County, Delaware, The Guardian showed 89 out of 58 precincts reporting, or 153.4 percent of precincts. At this point, Hillary was up to 58.6 percent of the vote.
After all the questionable percentages in Delaware were normalized, though, the numbers remained the same.
Was this an example of Delaware counties somehow flipping votes or was it an honest reporting mistake? Either way, it bears some investigating to ensure ballots in all states were counted correctly.
And last week in New York, a similar thing happened. During the evening, Broome County reported at 100 percent of precincts reporting. At that time, Bernie Sanders was ahead with 56.6 percent of the vote. Later, however, Clinton surged ahead, and Sanders mysteriously lost nearly 1,000 votes, giving Clinton a lead of 57.5 percent. However, media outlets were reporting that 112.8 percent of the precincts had reported their results.
Were Clinton’s Delaware votes entered more than once? Were Sanders votes entered incorrectly the first time? How do several counties in different states report results in more precincts than they have?
Rhode Island had reduced its precincts by about two-thirds but Sanders still managed to win the state handily. Early on in Connecticut, Sanders was ahead, yet the three largest counties were reportedly favorable for Clinton. As the night dragged on, she overcame his early lead.
From reports of election fraud in Arizona to mysterious surrogate ballots appearing in Wyoming, and now Sanders votes in Delaware disappearing into the ether, the Democratic primary race has been fraught with voter suppression, either intended or unintentional.
On April 25, Maricopa County, Arizona, resident and attorney Dianne Post testified during a hearing regarding the widespread issues when people tried to vote in the Democratic primary. Post testified that while on duty as a poll worker, a machine she was using did not give at least 36 people appropriate ballots.
“Every single time it happened to me it was a Democratic voter who wasn’t able to access a Democratic ballot.”
Other Democrats, she said, were listed in the wrong party. Arizona experienced long lines and people in more populous locations waited for several hours to vote. The U.S. Department of Justice is looking into potential voting-rights violations, and the state’s Democratic party has also filed a separate lawsuit. The lawsuit was also filed by Clinton and Sanders.
Voting issues weren’t limited to Delaware, though. In Pennsylvania, voters reported prohibited electioneering inside polling stations and they must remain at least 10 feet away from the location. A poll worker was distributing a list of preferred candidates paid for by Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, who was running for state attorney general.
“We have computers in our pockets. We’re voting on these rinky-dink machines that have to work two times a year … They shouldn’t be fraudulent, they shouldn’t be faulty.”
On Reddit, a user reported that at least 900 people who had registered before the deadline for party affiliation hadn’t been processed. When he discovered his party affiliation had not bee processed, he called the local county elections office, which was not helpful.
“I was informed by the director that they [are] having problems and I am in a boat of at least 900 who are in limbo. To quote, ‘Just because you made the deadline doesn’t mean the state will process it in time.'”
Voting machines have long been the source of conspiracy theories, but the 2016 primary race is beginning to legitimize those fears, and the disappearing votes in Delaware just add more fuel to the fire. In state after state, Sanders supporters — and Democrats in general — have reported long lines, non-working machines, and attempts by poll workers to keep people from voting. And thousands of people who either registered within the deadline or who were long-time Democrats discovered they’d been kicked off the voting rolls.
The apparent vote flipping by machines in Delaware and elsewhere is certainly a cause for concern and should be investigated by both the Sanders campaign, the Federal Elections Commission, and the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure vote tampering is not occurring and that all votes are properly counted.
[Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images]