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Special 2021 Election Update
Chair George Badey, Vice Chair Tsiwen Law, Treasurer Rob Armstrong, Secretary Danielle Kleinman
 

Dear Radnor Democrats and allies,

 

Before getting into the details and the numbers of the Election Day results, I want to thank each and every one of you who worked so very hard in the weeks and months leading up to Election Day, and those who worked yesterday as well. It is all of you, our friends, family members, neighbors and allies, working so hard and committed to those same core values, that enabled our ideals and principles to carry the day. Your efforts first brought Democratic leadership to our township government in 2009 and to the School Board in 2011. Thankfully, the voters have again expressed themselves in support of our Democratic leadership on both of Radnor’s government entities – our Board of Commissioners and our School Board.

 

We were successful despite enduring withering and relentless attacks, filled with lies, and fueled by what we now are aware was illegally undisclosed large amounts of outside dark GOP cash. It’s been disturbing to watch our Republican candidate neighbors, whom we thought we knew, not disavow their surrogates’ and GOP leadership’s patently untrue and in some cases depraved claims about our elected officials and their devoted and selfless service to our community. Sadly, many of our fellow Democratic leaders and allies around Delaware County, and across Pennsylvania and the nation, fell victim to these nationally orchestrated and funded desperate Republican tactics in pitched battles. But fortunately, as the smoke slowly clears, we Radnor Democrats appear to have not only survived, but likely also added to our seat total in our municipal government.

 

We also made history yesterday by electing, township-wide, Ken Frohlich, the very first Democratic Township Treasurer in well over 100 years. All four of our Radnor School Board candidates earned a hard fought win, and this should not have been in doubt, since they have been a driving force behind our #1 ranked school district out of 499 school districts all across the entire state of Pennsylvania. Incumbent Fourth Ward Commissioner Lisa Borowski won re-election by a wide margin in a ward with a heavy Republican presence. In Ward Six, our Democratic candidate Avery Rome ran a heroic and inspirational campaign, but appears to have fallen short in a ward that has never in history been represented by a Democrat. In the Special Election in Ward Three it appears that our Democratic candidate AnnaMarie Jones still holds a slim lead, but we are encouraged that the remaining ballots to be counted include mail-in/absentee/provisional ballots, and those so-far have been overwhelmingly Democratic by an almost 3-1 margin. In Ward Two, another ward that has never in history been represented by a Democrat, pediatrician turned political dynamo Maggy Myers is currently behind by ONE VOTE. But this is before even more mail-in and provisional ballots are counted, which we hope and expect will put Maggy over the top.

 

Don’t click on this quite yet, but the Election results/vote counts can be found at this link.

https://election.co.delaware.pa.us/eb/November_2021/index.html

 

If you later click on this link, please note that the election results are broken down by precinct, but also, near the top left hand side is a link to "COUNTY WIDE" and if you click on that you can see totals for each race, not broken down by precincts.

 

Now, I’ve explained above generally what happened and you can stop reading now and go back and click on that link and look at the numbers. But you may wish to read on, because this year was unlike any other. If you like political intrigue, irony, and justice, the backstory that happened just over the last six days has been dramatic and fascinating. The fallout will continue for days or weeks – including in Maggy Myers’ Ward Two race.  I believe Maggy will ultimately overcome her one vote deficit and win her seat, as will some other Democrats across Delaware County.  

 

For those of you who yearn for 'inside baseball details,' there were serious county-wide problems with some of the mail-in ballots, and as you'll see, this year's story represents stunning irony. Well over 5,000 mail-in ballots were mailed out to voters very late by the Ohio-based third party vendor hired to print and mail the approximately 39,000 requested mail-in ballots. This same Ohio company also made printing errors on over 600 mail-in ballots that has caused confusion, including ballots with mismatched voter name and address. The Delaware County Board of Elections immediately and properly reacted to these unfortunate circumstances. It announced a detailed protocol to address the issues, including sequestering the problem ballots, and immediately reprinting and remailing them. The protocol did everything possible and necessary to resolve the issues. Notwithstanding the best efforts of the Board of Elections, late last Friday, the Republican candidates for County Council filed a lawsuit demanding an emergency hearing. Other than an immediate hearing, the lawsuit did not clearly request any other specific actions that the Board of Elections should take. It appeared, to me anyway, that this lawsuit was a publicity stunt to draw public attention to this unfortunate mishap - and to blame the 2-1 majority Democratic Board of Elections, and hope that the bad publicity would help the Republicans to win the election. The Court partially granted the Republicans' request late on Friday evening, as it ordered the emergency hearing to occur on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in Courtroom #8 at the Delaware County Courthouse. On Friday evening, I was contacted by the Delaware County Democratic Committee and asked to represent the Democratic Party in the case. Although we were not named as a party in the lawsuit, the Democratic Party surely had standing. I appeared in court on Saturday afternoon and successfully moved to "intervene" in the case; so the Democratic Party was then formally made a party to the case, with the right to fully participate. Saturday’s hearing lasted for several hours, and Plaintiffs called six witnesses. The lawyers for the Plaintiffs, for the Board of Elections and I were permitted to ask questions of these witnesses. The Republicans accomplished their objective of eliciting testimony describing how these clerical errors impacted voters. It was close to 7:00 p.m. before the hearing finally ended and the Court directed that we file briefs on Monday, with the Plaintiffs going first. Plaintiffs' Brief was full of hyperbole, criticizing the (Democratic majority) Board of Elections, and it requested that the Court remove control of the election from the Board, and itself supervise the election. The Board of Elections Brief opposed this vigorously, arguing that the Board already did everything necessary to address the issue and that there was no need for the Court to usurp the Board's authority. The brief I prepared on behalf of the Democratic Party agreed with the Board's position, but did ask for two additional rulings. First, since this judge heard almost five hours of testimony and argument on Saturday, and was now reviewing the briefs, that same judge should retain jurisdiction over future lawsuits involving these ballot-related issues. The second ruling I requested involved the rights of the voters. I argued that the Republicans were correct when they claimed that many voters could possibly be disenfranchised by this unfortunate mix-up. Over 6,000 voters all over Delaware County had not received their ballots as scheduled, and the delay could possibly result in many of them being denied their right to vote. We also knew, based on statistics, that over 70% of the mail-in ballots were requested by Democrats. So, I argued in my brief that the Court had the authority and the obligation, based upon prior precedential cases, to extend the deadline for the receipt of mail-in ballots. Ordinarily, unless a mail in ballot is received by the Board of Elections by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, it is not counted. But historically, if widespread circumstances beyond the voters' control (prior cases discussed a major flood, a pandemic and mail issues) then the court can extend the deadline. We won!!  In our case, the Court issued a ruling on Monday night that held that any mail-in ballot which was part of this universe of 6,000+ ballots and was postmarked on or before November 2 (Election Day) and received on or before 8:00 p.m. on Friday November 5th, will still count. Ironically, had the Republicans not filed that frivolous, publicity-seeking lawsuit, I never would have gotten the chance to ask a court to extend the deadline. Perhaps some of those additional ballots that are (and should be) counted today, tomorrow and Friday will make the difference in some of the hundreds of very close races all over the county.

 

The Court's decision can be found at this link.

https://radnordems.files.wordpress.com/2021/11/agovino-lombardo-v.-delaware-county-board-of-elections-11.1.pdf

 

Things are still very fluid, with the mail-in ballots still being counted, and with more expected to be received over the next two days. We are hopeful that not only Maggy Myers, but other Democrats all across Delaware County will emerge victorious because voters were not disenfranchised by unfortunate clerical errors. This should be interesting, so stay tuned…..…

 

 

Democratically yours,

George Badey

Chair, Radnor Democratic Committee

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