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NorCo Voting 'Irregularities' Seem to Happen Every Election

The unofficial November 7th elections results are posted on the County’s website, but this past election day did not occur without incident. In fact, as we covered, Northampton County made national news with voting irregularities.


As County Executive, Lamont McClure is responsible for all facets of the operation of Northampton County. One of the major items the County is responsible for is conducting elections. Yet with at least two major election issues related to the County’s use of the ES&S ExpressVote XL machines, McClure stated at last night’s Northampton County Council Meeting that new machines could not be acquired for the County because a new system “would necessarily fail” since there would be a learning curve to implementing a new system right before the 2024 elections.

But McClure and Northampton County have known for years of these voting machine problems. Initially approved for commonwealth wide use in 2018, the machines had numerous issues during the 2019 election.

As reported by The Morning Call, “Northampton County voting machine problems extended to other races, court records show.” In fact, the same problem that occurred this past election day occurred in 2019 – votes being switch and machines malfunctioning. In 2019, per the article, County Administrator Charles Dertinger defended the machines and actually blamed the issues on voters, stating “it was a matter of some people pressing too high on the button…or too hard…and when something doesn’t work, we tend to push harder.”

As a result of the widespread ExpressVote XL machine issues in 2019, the National Election Defense Coalition (NEDC) and the Philadelphia-based Citizens for Better Elections (CBE), along with more than 200 voters sued to force the Secretary of State to decertify the ExpressVote XL. You can read more about that process by clicking here.

In August of 2023 because of the seriousness of the issues from 2019, a settlement was finally reached, of which the details can be read here. Included in the settlement is the requirement that counties using the ExpressVote XL machines upgrade to the latest system software to fix these issues, in time for the 2024 election. But this begs the question – if the County knew the software was an issue and for more than 3 years has been negotiating a settlement, was the software updated in time for the November 7, 2023 elections? If not, why not? And if so, why did Northampton County experience the same vote recording and switching errors that occurred in 2019?

As it stands, McClure has apologized to voters but that seems to be the extent of any accountability to date. With no plans to find better machines and the continuation of the voting machine track record – raising major questions concerning the fundamental integrity of our voting system in properly capturing the will of the people – we can expect yet more irregularities in the 2024 election next year and a continued erosion of citizens’ trust in the electoral process.



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