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Updates from Westoreland County, PA

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Westmoreland County, our second largest in Western Pennsylvania,
certified their election November 29 with NO PUBLIC MEETING to do so.
In light of the serious problem that occurred in this county, it seem
to me that a public meeting to certify and explain what happened might
have been in order. But so far there has been no public explanation
(other than what appeared in the press) as to officially what happened
to cause every single voting machine in the county to have been
misprogrammed, how many precincts were affected by shutdowns because of
this, how many voters were turned away or left, and what the county
intends to do in the future to prevent similar problems.

What is even more, Westmoreland County Election Director Paula Pedicone
has announced her resignation (retirement) and did so some time ago!

Westmoreland election director plans to retire
By Rich Cholodofsky
Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Nov. 7 election may have been the most difficult in the 12 years
Paula Pedicone has run the Westmoreland County Election Bureau.

It was her last election.

Pedicone, 54, of Jeannette, told county commissioners Monday that she
would retire at the end of the year to pursue a career change. Rather
than counting votes, Pedicone will play notes while teaching piano for
Seton Hill University's community education program.

It was a move Pedicone said she had contemplated for a while.

"I loved every minute of what I did, and I'm honored I got to do it. I
wanted to wait until after the election so there were no distractions,"
Pedicone said.

The move comes less than a week after Westmoreland County completed one
of the most frantic election days in recent memory. New computerized
touch-screen voting machines experienced a software glitch that
rendered some of the equipment inoperable.

Questions subsequently arose over the county's decision against
stocking emergency paper ballots at the polls. County commissioners
said that next spring paper ballots will be available at every

Pedicone said the Election Day frazzle did not factor into her decision
to retire.

"This is all about this personal dream I have. I've been playing piano
for 49 years and I've always wanted to teach. Now all I need is the
students," Pedicone said.

County commissioners said they have not determined how Pedicone's
position would be filled.

Rich Cholodofsky can be reached at or (724)
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