Philadelphia, December 7, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the creation of a fact-finding team to explore issues that arose in connection with the November 6 General Election with the goal of making recommendations that will strengthen the election system in the City of Philadelphia.
On Election Day the Mayor acknowledged that many Philadelphians confronted serious issues as they voted in polling places across the city and that he wanted to engage in a fact-finding effort about those issues. As a result, the Mayor assembled a team of Administration and community officials to work with the cooperation of the City Commissioners to review the voting system in Philadelphia. The team, led by Deputy Mayor and Managing Director Rich Negrin, will identify the problems and potential solutions to the variety of issues identified on – and leading up to – Election Day.
Members of the fact-finding team are the following:
- Rich Negrin, Deputy Mayor for Administration & Coordination and Managing Director,
- Jordan Schwartz, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor,
- Terry Gillen, Director of Federal Relations,
- Hope Caldwell, Chief Deputy Integrity Officer,
- Nicole Harrington, Investigator, Office of the Inspector General,
- And Kevin Johnson, Pastor of Bright Hope Baptist Church.
“On Election Day, there were reports questioning the integrity of the voter registration lists, the supply of provisional ballots, and the preparedness of some poll workers to address new state voter laws,” said Mayor Nutter. “Some of these issues may be legitimate, and some may be unfounded. The confusion clouded what should have been an exciting, smoothly run election.
“I have a problem with that because Philadelphia is the birthplace of our Nation: the home of freedom, liberty and democracy. As Mayor, I want the most efficient, honest and informative elections operation in the country. We need to use public resources to strengthen the cause of democracy. We should aspire to having the most educated, well-informed voting public casting ballots in record numbers for each election.
“Despite the issues that arose on November 6, I want to thank the employees of the City Commissioners Office for their hard work that day which allowed hundreds of thousands of Philadelphians to cast their votes. I also want to thank the City Commissioners for issuing their post-election report on the events and processes surrounding the election, and for pledging their full cooperation as the fact-finding team analyzes the report’s findings and addresses other questions in more detail.”
The fact-finding team will focus on areas of interest that include but are not limited to: accuracy and integrity of voter rolls; voter registration process and system; technological interaction between state and City voter databases; production of the Voter Registration Book; provisional ballot use, supply and delivery; poll worker training; Election Day communication and coordination.