14th District Senate race settlement could bring improvements for voters

Written by on June 16, 2022

14th District Senate race settlement could bring improvements for voters

By WLVR Staff
June 16, 2022

A mail-in ballot lawsuit has been settled involving the Democratic primary for the Lehigh Valley’s new 14th District Senate seat.

And with it has come a clear outcome.

Northampton County Council member Tara Zrinski has conceded to Allentown School Board member Nick Miller.

The settlement has allowed the Northampton County primary election to be certified, according to attorney Anthony Mobilio, who represented the voters who filed the lawsuit.

The settlement also has implications for the next election. Going forward, both Lehigh and Northampton counties have agreed to implement “sweeping reforms to vote-qualifying procedures and voter education efforts.”

Zrinski said she’s pleased with the settlement, because it will help ensure every vote gets counted in November.

“Making sure every vote gets counted has been my highest priority,” she said in a prepared statement.

“This settlement represents movement towards that goal, while also allowing us to move forward toward the November elections. While I am deeply saddened that the votes in this race will not get counted, which means I will not be the Democratic nominee for state Senator for District 14, improving the vote-by-mail process and ensuring greater access to the ballot box in future elections is what is most important to me.”

The 14th District includes parts of Lehigh and Northampton counties.

As part of the settlement, Lehigh County has agreed to notify voters of naked ballots, or those without an outer secrecy envelope; explore the purchase of a more precise ballot sorter; and consider changing the color of mail-in ballots’ outside envelopes.

Northampton County agreed to include messaging on the county’s voter registration website on the importance of voters providing contact information; provide the names of all voters whose naked ballots are discovered prior to 8 p.m. on Election Day so party representatives can notify them; and consider changing the color of the secrecy envelopes.

Miller will face Republican nominee Dean Browning in the general election.

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