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Philadelphia Commissioner Probing ‘Overvoting’ Irregularities in 2011 Primary

(Philadelphia city commissioner Stephanie Singer.  File photo by Steve Tawa)

(Philadelphia city commissioner Stephanie Singer. File photo by Steve Tawa)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the Pennsylvania primary just one week away, the newly installed head of Philadelphia’s election process says she is investigating voting irregularities during the primary of 2011.

City commissioner Stephanie Singer — who replaced longtime commissioner Marge Tartaglione in January (see related story) — says voting results from at least 10 divisions in last year’s primary show what’s called “over-voting.”

That’s when the number of votes recorded exceeds the number of voters who showed up.

“That says to me something unusual happened here, and that does seem suspicious,” Singer tells KYW Newsradio.

Yet Singer says that for a few divisions, they’ve found surprising explanations for the miscounting.

“It is surprising how often there’s an explanation that is innocent and that you haven’t thought of,” she says.  “So I hesitate to make any kind of prediction.  However, what is clear — what is absolutely clear — is that these kinds of numbers warrant thorough investigation.”

That investigation, she says, is labor intensive and will take several more months.  In the meantime, Singer says, the City Commissioners are working to avoid similar problems in next week’s primary.