I haven't lived in Allentown in almost two decades. I still live in Lehigh County, and with Allentown as the seat of local government, I know it as a fact that what happens in Allentown politically does have some residual effect out in the burbs.
The Democratic Party Statehouse race for the 22nd House district was much closer than anyone expected it to be. Incumbent Peter Schweyer retained the nomination by a mere 55 votes when all votes were counted in the 27 precincts that comprise that seat.
The challenger, Enid Santiago, has contended that the election was stolen from her, and has demanded a new election. She has no real evidence to support that claim, but it was admitted by Elections officials that mistakes were made on election day, and one Judge of Election admitted to coloring in submitted ballets so that they were easier for the scanner to read. Santiago had cause to issue a challenge, but failed to follow proper procedure to meet deadlines. That is on her. She didn't bother to learn the law or procedures, and she did not heed numerous suggestions to seek proper legal guidance.
Elections officials informed her at every interaction that they were not qualified to offer legal advice. They followed the law, and did their duty. They were transparent in explaining an error in the provisional ballots that were supplied to a precinct voting at the Fearless Fire company on Susquehanna Street.
In that lone instance, 6 provisional ballots from a different precinct that was in a neighboring state house seat were inadvertently packed in that precincts' supply package. When poll workers became aware of the error, they contacted Voter registration, and a solution was found. All those who needed provisional ballots were able to vote, and all those votes were eventually found valid and counted.
Bottom line: The System Worked. The election results have been certified. There will not be another election.
Yet Enid Santiago has continued in her claims of a rigged election, and has not held back in besmirching the reputations of those who work at voter registration in Lehigh County. Those folks are my friends. I have been studying trends and turnout in the Lehigh Valley for over a decade. Because of my knowledge of the voting system and how it works, I decided to research the possibilities of any chicanery in this particular election.
There have been accusations (no proof) that in one particular precinct, Allentown 14-2 some voters were assisted in filling out their Mail in Ballots. There is also an accusation (No Proof) that someone went around collecting those ballots in person. That is called ballot harvesting, and it is against the law. So I availed myself of the publicly open voting records and started analyzing them. I have breakdowns for each precinct for each category of voter, as you shall see.
I am going to start with the overall results. For future reference, I categorize all ballots that Voter registration received by mail, as MIB, for mailed in Ballots. That includes absentees that were requested and those where voters wishing to avoid exposure during a pandemic availed themselves of an opportunity to vote without going to a polling place. It will become evident later on why I am clarifying this.
On the 27 precincts that make up the 22nd statehouse district, Peter Schweyer won 11, Enid Santiago won 15, and in one, Allentown 2, they tied at 60 votes apiece.
Schweyer received 1584 MIBs and 613 in person on election day votes for a total of 2197. 72.1 percent of his voters were by MIB.
Santiago received 856 MIBs and 1286 in person election day votes for a total of 2142. 39.9% of her votes were MIBS.
In Allentown precinct 14-2 Enid Santiago received 160 votes. 97 were in person, 12 were regular absentee, 4 were provisional and 47 were MIBS. Pete Schweyer received 90 votes, 21 were in person, 19 were absentee, 1 was provisional, and 49 were MIB. Of the 250 votes cast for the two candidates in 14-2, 127 were received by mail, or 51% were MIBs. There were a total of 132 Democratic ballots returned to voter registration. Five Democrat voters did not vote for either candidate.
I started in 14-2 because this is the precinct in which the voter who claimed they and others were assisted in their voting reside. In a face to face interview, they told me they didn't want to get the person who mailed their ballot for them in trouble.
When I first looked at the data, I thought there wasn't much to see, but as I started delving deeper, some outliers popped out that made me start wondering. In 14-2, 196 voters requested MIBs. 152 of them came back. The party break down for those requests was 28 Republicans and 168 Democrats. 8 Republicans did not return their ballots (4 men and 4 women), while 36 Democrats did not return theirs. (27 Women and 9 men)
3 to 1 ratio of women to men unreturned MIBS? That is what you call an outlier.
IN the printout of all those who voted by MIB in the 22nd, I have the date they requested the ballot, the date the ballot was sent and where it was sent, as well as on what date it was returned. I have this information for each and every precinct.
It has taken quite a bit of time, but I have identified 30 citizens in the Overlook park area that requested MIBs and have a commonality. The biggest commonality is their addresses. Seventeen (17) of them live on North Bradford street. Fifteen in the 300 to 450 range, and two down in the under 100 block across the street from each other. Four live in the 100 block of North Carlisle, with one more up in the 500 block.
Another four lived in the 300 block of East Turner street, with two more living near each other in the 100 block of East Chew Street. There were two more voters in the vicinity, in the 200 block of Howe Street and the 200 block of Edison. Of these 30 voters who requested MIBs, only 23 returned them. If you look this area up on Google maps, you will see that 23 of the 127 ballots cast (18%) by MIB in this precinct came from a small pocket of the precinct.
It keeps getting more coincidental. Every single one of these ballots were returned to Voter Registration in the last two days before the election. What are the odds of 23 people all mailing their MIBS at the same time? Also, of these 30 Requested ballots, 15 of them were requested on the same day (5/19) while all others except one were requested between 5/16 and 5 /26. One ballot was requested on 5/11. One other note, the gender breakdown of these ballots is 25 women to 5 men. Of the 7 unreturned ballots in the Overlook Park area, 6 were women and 1 male.
So I sat down with a map and started mapping out where all those unreturned ballots were sent. As well as other voters in that small area, which included the block where the original complainant lives. Using this data I have built a list of voters I would like to talk to about their voting experience.
Here are some things I have learned, that prove to me that someone could, in a very close election, manipulate the vote. First, if you go online to request a MIB from the state, all you need to request a ballot is your state ID or Drivers license number, and you can have your ballot sent wherever you want. You can even put in whatever email you want for them to respond to concerning your request.
I don't think that happened here. I think it might have been possible that someone used data they had access of to make sure ballots were mailed to certain neighbors that are a segment of the targeted population. But let me be clear, there presently is no proof of that.
When they (the possible manipulator) received an email that the ballot had been sent to the prospective voter, they might have just popped by that home a day or two later. Then maybe they asked about a mail in ballot, and then offered to help the voter get it filled out and mailed in. You know, just to help, like our original complainant was. Remember this is just my conjecture, but I am trying to piece together HOW this could have been done.
My original complainant told me they were surprised to get a ballot in the mail, they hadn't remembered requesting one, and they didn't have Internet in their home to do it from there. When a person showed up in the evening at their front door in late May to ask if they had received a ballot, they assumed that it was something the government had done because of the pandemic. The person told me that another neighbor had also experienced this. I approached that other neighbor but that person didn't want to speak of it. No one wants to get the person who helped them vote in trouble.
So here is the problem with 14 - 2. Remember, there is no evidence of anything so far, and no one is talking, but that cluster of voters and unreturned ballots are all in the Overlook park area off of Hanover Street. Overlook Park is a Government subsidized Housing area. It is managed by a third party. Candidate Enid Santiago is employed by that third party. I have no evidence of skullduggery,....yet. But after Enid Santiago made claims that she knew she had won certain precincts that she lost, I had to wonder where she got that idea?
Because of the Pandemic, four precincts were forced to have in person voting at the Fearless Fire Company. Allentown 12-1, 12-2, 16-1, and 16 -2. That is what I am looking at next. That is also where Enid Santiago is sure that she should have won. It deserves to be looked at. In the meantime, I will post the vote counts for each precinct broken down by category in the next few days.