Dozens of members of the Pennsylvania legislature asked their state’s congressional delegation to reject Pennsylvania’s slate of electors on Friday.
The lawmakers are seeking to have Pennsylvania’s 20 Electoral College votes, which are likely to be cast for Joe Biden later this month and certified by Congress in January, be disputed.
In a letter addressed to Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, as well as the state’s representatives in the U.S. House, 64 Republican state-level legislators called out Pennsylvania’s election results, which have already been certified by state officials. The letter originally included 64 signatories, but 11 names were then removed, with Republicans blaming the original count on a clerical error, according to WCAU-TV.
In their letter, the lawmakers accused Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathryn Boockvar, both Democrats, of undermining election security.
“In 2019 the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted comprehensive changes to our Commonwealth’s Election Code. These changes both expanded voting access by permitting no-excuse mail-in ballots while also implementing reasonable safeguards to ensure that this new system would be secure, transparent, and would ensure that all Americans could have confidence in Pennsylvania’s election results,” the letter said.
“These changes received bipartisan support, including the signature of Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat.”
The letter accused Wolf and others of “undermining the many protections provided under this law.
For instance, the letter continued, “The Pennsylvania Election Code requires that all mail-in ballots be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day; Governor Wolf ordered that this statutory deadline be waived in some counties during the Primary Election, then sought its waiver statewide for the General Election.”
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The lawmakers also said that Boockvar encouraged counties to inspect mail-in ballots earlier than permitted, which is a violation of Pennsylvania’s election code, and that state officials illegally included thousands of defective ballots in the certified count.
Furthermore, the letter accused some polling locations of blocking poll watchers from “meaningfully observing the pre-canvassing and canvassing” of absentee and mail-in ballots.
The argument is that the election results should not have been certified, and that due to doubts about election integrity, the certified results cannot be trusted.
Citing the Electoral Count Act of 1887, the letter said, “3 U.S.C. §15, empowers Congress to reject electoral votes that are not ‘regularly given’ or ‘lawfully certified.’
“The aforementioned conduct has undermined the lawful certification of Pennsylvania’s delegation to the Electoral College.
“For these reasons, we the undersigned members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly urge you to object, and vote to sustain such objection, to the Electoral College votes received from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” the letter concluded.
A U.S. House representative would have to join a U.S. senator (though they don’t have to be from Pennsylvania) in signing an objection before the matter could be debated.
Casey is a Democrat and Toomey, the state’s GOP senator, is ready to accept the certified election results and move on, even after reading the letter.
“Senator Toomey will not be objecting to Pennsylvania’s slate of electors,” Toomey spokesman Steve Kelly told The Morning Call.
Even if another Republican senator and at least one House member were onboard, the House and Senate would both have to vote to reject the state’s slate of electors. Since it’s highly unlikely that both chambers of Congress would do so, it appears probable that the state’s certified results will stand.
And even if this scenario did play out like some Trump supporters hope, it likely wouldn’t restore confidence that the election in the state was conducted fairly.
Much of the election fiasco of course could have been avoided, had the state’s majority liberal court not legislated from the bench.
But the court did exactly that by allowing for the possibility of untold mail-in ballots flooding the state’s election after Nov. 3 with a decision in September.
When challenged by Republicans in the then-eight person U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with that court’s liberal justices, that ruling stood and the rest is history.
How the next few weeks will play out remains to be seen.
But at least 64 elected officials in Pennsylvania were willing to stand up for election integrity, and against their state’s highly questionable election results, on Friday.
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