Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Counting begins in the 167th

But the media are not allowed to observe from inside the room.

An Inquirer photographer has been told he can't even pick up his camera to take a picture in the lobby of the government building -- more than 100 feet away from the conference room where the counting is taking place, behind a closed door.

The media here are more than a tad annoyed because we can't get an answer from the county as to why we've been shut out. Heck, they might have a legal basis. But we don't know it yet, and all we want is some response.

Melissa Melewsky, a lawyer for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, cited a section of the election code stating that all election returns "should be open to public inspection." But so far, she said she couldn't find anything about how the law applies to the process of counting.

In the meantime, we hope to hear from the county spokeswoman, Evelyn Walker, who has been in a meeting.

She's in a regularly scheduled meeting on the Sunshine Act with other county officials, according to a woman who answered the phone.



Jim said...

Keep pushing for access. This county has been so dominated by one party they think they can dictate every aspect of its administration, from the courts to the voting process. Two out of three on the election board are Republicans and virtually every county employee you meet (including Voter Services) is a Republican.

All we Democrats want here is a fair count. What Republicans seem to want is to count as few ballots as possible. Your active press presence will help protect the rights of all voters.

Thanks for being there.

Martin said...

It seems that the Republican machine in Chester County is going down the list of constitution rights they can violate. First ... denying valid voters the right to vote. Now denying free access to the press.
KEEP DEMANDING TO BE LET IN. These people have been in power so long, they make up the rules as they go along and NOBODY ever challenges them.