Voting Equipment Stolen From Philadelphia Warehouse, Election Officials Say

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Thomas Catenacci Energy & Environment Reporter
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Philadelphia election officials scrambled Wednesday after a computer and two flash drives used to program electronic voting machines were stolen, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report.

The three items are the only pieces of election equipment that were stolen, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Officials said the theft would not affect voting in the upcoming presidential election.

“We are confident that this incident will not in any way compromise the integrity of the election,” said Nick Custodio, a deputy to chair of the city commissioners Lisa Deeley, who oversees elections, The Inquirer reported. (RELATED: USPS Faces Financial, Logistical Hurdles In Run Up To Expected Election Mail-In Ballot Surge)

Philadelphia election officials decided not to publicize the theft because they didn’t want President Donald Trump using it as proof of election fraud, according to The Inquirer. The city refused to confirm the incident happened and police deferred questions on a potential investigation to the mayor’s office.

An elections worker loads unopened ballots into a machine for sorting at the King County Elections headquarters on August 4, 2020 in Renton, Washington.(David Ryder/Getty Images)

An elections worker loads unopened ballots into a machine for sorting at the King County Elections headquarters on August 4, 2020 in Renton, Washington. (David Ryder/Getty Images)

However, officials confirmed the theft upon learning The Inquirer were publishing a story on the incident.

“Since being informed of the incident, I have immediately committed to making necessary police resources available to investigate this incident and find the perpetrators,” said Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement, The Inquirer reported.

He added: “I have also committed to the city commissioners additional resources to provide enhanced security at the warehouse going forward.”

The integrity of voting and mail-in ballots was a topic during the first presidential debate Tuesday. Trump said there would be fraud in the election while Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he wouldn’t trust the courts to decide a contested election.

“This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen,” Trump said. “You know, we might not know for months.” (RELATED: Military Mail-In Ballots Cast For Trump Discarded In Pennsylvania, Federal Investigation Finds)

He continued: “I hope it is a fair election … but if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that.”

Many states have changed their voting policies for November’s general election to allow more people to vote by mail, according to A record 76% of Americans will be able to vote by mail in the general election, The New York Times reported.

Deeley’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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