• My News
• Logout
mcall.com  Google
Currently: 39° F
Scattered Clouds
• Local Weather Forecast
• Email Forecasts & Alerts
Subscribe to The Morning Call!

Voter smashes touch-screen machine in Allentown

A man who reportedly believed Republicans were conspiring to steal today's election entered an Allentown polling site, signed in and proceeded to smash the screen of one of the electronic voting machines with a metal cat paperweight, poll volunteers said.

Michael Young, 43, of 375 Auburn St., will be charged with felony criminal mischief and tampering with voting machines, according to Ronald Manescu, chief of investigations for Allentown police.

Lehigh Valley Local Links
Related Photos
Smashed machine
Smashed machine
(Cesar L. Laure/The Morning Call)
Election night
Election night
Related Videos
Police gave no motive, but a source said Young, a registered Independent, believed Republicans had conspired to win the election by using electronic ballots. This is the first time electronic machines are being widely used in a Pennsylvania general election.

"He smashed it with the cat's ears," said volunteer Jim Govostis, who watched the incident unfold at Raker Center, a nursing home owned by Good Shepherd, around 12:30 p.m.

Young, who brought the paperweight with him, then sat down, hung his head and waited for police, who arrested him without incident.

"He came in here very peaceably and showed his ID," said volunteer Gladys Pezoldt, "then he got on the machine and just snapped�He was immediately remorseful. When the police came, he got up, turned around and put his hands behind his back."

Lehigh County Board of Elections Chief Clerk Stacy J. Sterner said votes recorded on the machine were saved. More than 130 people had voted at the site by the time of the incident.

"The good news is that even though the machine is broken, the votes are not lost on the memory card. They have them in custody at the voter registration office," Sterner said.

Sterner has worked in the voter registration office for 19 years. "Nothing can top this," she said.

The $5,000 machine will have to be replaced, Sterner said. It was one of two in the building.

Volunteer Shirley Rossetti said Young never spoke as he smashed the screen. "He did a job on it, didn't he?" she said. "It's frightening, because in this day and age, you just never know."

-- reporting by Daniel Patrick Sheehan and Wendy Solomon, The Morning Call
Copyright © 2006, The Morning Call
Related Searches
More News
Keywords » 
Articles  Web  Topix.net  Technorati
Election 2006
Election 2006
Get the latest coverage from Election 2006 @ mcall.com! Results, stories, photos, video and more...
• FULL COVERAGE: Election 2006
• RACE RESULTS: National | Local
• PHOTOS: Lehigh Valley | National
• VIDEOS: LV Voters | More Videos
• BLOGS: Election '06 | Capitol Ideas
Sources Wanted
How does your family give thanks on Thanksgiving? A spontaneous prayer or one of the old standbys? For a story on holiday table traditions, contact reporter Daniel Patrick Sheehan at daniel.sheehan@mcall.com or 610-820-6598.
Traffic Information
Traffic Information
Stay up-to-date on area road conditions throughout the Lehigh Valley region. Get the latest information at mcall.com, including traffic advisories, road closures and more...
• Mcall.com Traffic Information
Lehigh Valley Crime Finder
Lehigh Valley Crime Finder
Is crime happening nearby? Check the Lehigh Valley Crime Finder. Local, National police news, searchable database and more...
Search Crime:
Research and Compare area K-12 schools
Research and Compare area K-12 schools
Enter school, district, or city
Send Us Your Stories!
Send Us Your Stories!
Do you have a personal, heartfelt holiday memory to share? We're interested. We're developing a special section that features stories from readers. Send your stories (300 words or less) to Lori McFerran. Please include your name and phone number!
The Road Warrior
The Road Warrior
The Road Warrior takes a look at Lehigh Valley roads from Morning Call reporter Dan Hartzell.
The Morning Call has been capturing local veterans' extraordinary stories of courage and suffering as told to reporters in our ongoing series, "War Stories: In Their Own Words."
Here are their stories.
MCall.com Feedback
Questions or comments about MCall.com? Contact Us
©2006 - The Morning Call Online