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Group alleges trouble at Coolbaugh polls.
Pocono Record, May 30, 2007. Eric Mark, Pocono Record Writer

The Monroe County Election Board will consider what to do about alleged problems at the polls in Coolbaugh Township when it meets today to certify vote totals from the May 15 primary election.

An informal group that calls itself "Friends of Dagmaris Cabezas" sent a memo to the election board and the Monroe County Office of Voter Registration last week, listing a litany of "potential irregularities" on the day of the primary at the Coolbaugh 3 voting ward, in A Pocono Country Place.

Cabezas ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Pocono Mountain School Board in the primary.

She said Tuesday she is more concerned about the election process than challenging the vote totals that saw her fall short of winning a seat on the school board.

"The problem is not me, it's the integrity of the process," she said.

According to the memo the "Friends" group sent to the election board, problems at the Coolbaugh 3 polling place included:

- One of the voting machines was not locked when a poll worker inspected it just before the polls opened.
- No vote totals were displayed on the tape taken from the Danaher electronic voting machine after the polls closed. A technician was summoned to fix the problem.
- Two of the five voting machines on site were deemed inoperable at some point.
- One of the poll workers allegedly "was overheard to openly express his preference for one candidate."

The memo also questions the reliability of the Danaher machines in general, citing reported problems with the machines in other states.

The election board met on Tuesday to discuss the reported problems in Coolbaugh 3 on primary day, said Sara May-Silfee, director of the county office of voter registration.

The board meets this morning to certify the vote totals from every race in the county from the primary election.

All candidates have the right to appeal the election board's decision to county court, May-Silfee said.

Cabezas did not rule out the possibility of an appeal, though she said she worries more about the integrity of the election process than her personal situation as an unsuccessful candidate.

"Procedures have to be handled properly," she said.

The three county commissioners normally serve as the county election board. Since all three commissioners appeared on the May 15 primary ballot, the election board this year consists of three other county officials: Greg Christine, Paulette Sebring and Tom Hill.


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