On Nov. 5, 2019, Jack Stollsteimer, a Democrat of Haverford Twp., Delaware County, shattered more than 150 years of history as the first democrat to be elected Delaware County District Attorney.
Stollsteimer claimed his predecessor, then-District Attorney Katayoun Copeland, was ‘greeting voters 20 days out from Election Day’ during a heated Oct. 28, 2019 debate.
“She spends her time over on 69th Street greeting voters 20 days out from Election Day with county detectives at toe, which she’s paying overtime to.” said Stollsteimer.
“It cannot be said often enough: the right to vote in a free and fair election is the foundation of our democracy,” First Assistant Rouse said on Oct. 31.
“For that reason, early in this election cycle our office began its effort to prepare for Election Day.”
According to the county, First Assistant Rouse emphasized that the preparations have been conducted free from any political interference, and have involved participants from every part of the political spectrum.
“Now we wait.”
Stollsteimer’s opponent, Katayoun Copeland, a longtime Radnor resident, was appointed in January 2018 to serve out the remainder of former District Attorney Jack Whelan’s term when he was elected to the Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
Copeland now sits as Chief of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, supervising all criminal investigations and cases in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
“It is alarming that we are just days away from the election and the Election Board has failed to address many important issues related to ensuring a fair and secure election,” said McGarrigle. “The county Republican Party has attempted to work in good faith with the Democratic run county government, but many of our concerns about the lack of transparency and details on steps being taken to ensure the integrity of the election have gone unanswered.”
McGarrigle said he was driven to take his concerns public because those concerns have gone unanswered and unaddressed.
He said the Delaware County Republican Party was informed that Tanner Rouse, the First District Attorney under Democratic DA Jack Stollsteimer was the county’s “point person” on addressing election concerns.
What’s more, McGarrigle says that a number of questions and concerns have gone unanswered by Rouse and was bewildered when Rouse posted today on social media that he was out campaigning on behalf of Democrats Deb Ciamacca and Mary Gay Scanlon.
The former senator-turned party boss noted the irony, particularly since the Chester Spirit reported shortly after Stollsteimer took office earlier this year that as a result of a new ethics policy he instated that “partisan activity was ceased” by employees of the DA’s office.
“It is unbelievable that the county’s point person on ‘fair elections’ who is responsible for reviewing and investigating any complaints from the Republican Party is engaging in campaign activities for one party while ignoring our requests to ensure the integrity of the elections,” said McGarrigle. “It’s a blatant conflict of interests and raises serious questions about whether our our concerns will receive an unbiased, fair review.”
“When voters approved Delaware County’s Home Rule Charter, they specifically established the Election Bureau as an independent entity free of the control of Delaware County Council to provide for fair elections and safeguard against improper influence by any one political party. In the months leading up to the election, we have seen the complete politicization of the Election Bureau and Election Board by Delaware County Council.
“County Council’s violation of the independence of the Election Board, the repeated violations of the Sunshine Act, lack of transparency, and the failures to safeguard the security of the election process need to be addressed.”
What’s more, Delaware County Republican Party Chairman Tom McGarrigle says that when at least two duly elected Judges of Election went to pick up their voter books from the Election Board today, they had already been picked up by other individuals.