Thursday, November 3, 2016

Voter fraud in Delco? We'll hear about it today

It's a week before the election, so you can pretty much count on two things in Delaware County.

We might get a peek at the county budget, and complaints will arise about possible voter fraud.

The county's preliminary spending plan might become public today. This year there is even more interest than usual because the county has been struggling with the fact that - at least for now - they will not be able to count on $10 million in revenue from Harrah's casino in Chester. That stems from a state Supreme Court ruling a few weeks back that ruled the so-called "host city agreements" with the state's 12 casinos were unconstitutional. One of the smaller casinos argued that the method of taxation in effect created an uneven form of taxation, and the court agreed.

The Legislature was unable to fix the system so they put the whole thing off until their next session, which is not until January. Their job for now - as it seems to be all the time - is getting re-elected.

To that end we will hear from Delaware County Republicans today, once again suggesting that Democrats are up to no good when it comes to voter registrations.

You might have noticed that the Dems widened their registration edge over the GOP, with the recent numbers now showing a 16,000 vote edge for county Democrats. Both sides actually added voters to their rolls in anticipation of this critical presidential election, but Democrats far-outnumbered their GOP foes when it comes to new signups. The Democrats added 30,310 registered voters, while Republicans saw their ranks swell by 16,808.There are now 186,599 registered Democrats in Delaware County, compared to 170,720 Republicans, a far cry from the days when the Delco GOP enjoyed a nearly 3-1 voter registration edge.

Now some of those new signups by Democrats are coming under scrutiny.

This week we learned that a grassroots organization that is for the most part tied to Democrats is the target of an investigation. A search warrant was issued at the Norwood offices of FieldWorks LLC.

This morning Delaware County Republican leaders will hold a press conference, at which they are expected to challenge a boatload of registrations gathered by this group.

U.S. Congressman Pat Meehan, R-7, of Drexel Hill, county GOP Chairman Andy Reilly, and Springfield GOP leader Mike Puppio have scheduled an 11 a.m. press conference to spell out their concerns.

The Delaware County Voter Registration Commission will hold a hearing Friday to determine if a slew of those voter registrations submitted by FieldWorks were submitted on time. The deadline to register to vote in Pa. was back on Oct. 10.

We'll be there to bring you the details.

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