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Luzerne County finally certifies election results

A day that's been weeks in the making — the certification of election results in Luzerne County.

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — Three weeks after Election Day, the results in Luzerne County are now certified. Wednesday's vote was "take two" after the Board of Elections deadlocked earlier this week.

A second vote Wednesday afternoon in Luzerne County ended with the certification of the midterm election results, but not everyone was happy about that. There were some heated moments in the room, as many believed the election should not be certified.

A packed council chamber in the Luzerne County Courthouse waited to hear if the election results would be certified days past the state deadline.

"Under state law with the constitution of Pennsylvania, they must be certified just like the Electoral College needs to be certified," said Daniel Schramm, a member of the Luzerne County Board of Elections.

But before the vote could get underway, the election board heard public comments from more than two dozen people concerned about election integrity.

"I voted, but actually, I didn't when you think about it because all I did was color in circles, and my vote was thrown out, and there was no good reason as to why," said a voter from Lehman Township.

"We cherish our right to elections. We want answers. We want to know when you will provide these answers. If you think certifying this election will make this all go away, think again," added a voter from Dallas Township.

The paper shortage at voting locations across the county was the main sticking point for a lot of people as to why the board should not certify.

"You let the people down," said Gregory Griffin of Swoyersville. "Where was the checks and balances? Where was the check-off list for something as simple as paper."

"We're here in 2022, and we have this kind of problem with our election system. To run out of paper, it's like baking a cake without flour," said Mike Stash of Lehman Township.

But with a final vote of 3 – 2, the election was certified.

This comes after the board was deadlocked on certifying the results earlier this week. Two members were in favor, two were against, and one abstained. That board member was Daniel Schramm, who ended up voting in favor after several of his questions were answered late Monday.

"You can't just snap your fingers and say, 'Well, if I couldn't do it, so, therefore, we have to do it all over. 'No, there isn't a do-over. It costs money, too much money, so that is one of the justifications why I've changed my mind. I find no reason why it should not be certified as having done," Schramm said.

A big talking point at the meeting was how Luzerne County ended up in this position. And while it seems they're at the end of this process, many feel it's still not case closed.

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