A group of Pennsylvania GOP senators has sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) imploring him to hold off certifying their state’s electors while a case regarding election “inconsistencies” awaits a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The letter, signed by President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, Majority Leader Kim Ward, and Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, says “after speaking without our colleagues, a majority of the State Senate is troubled by the many inconsistencies that happened in our Commonwealth during the 2020 election.”
President Donald Trump tweeted out a screengrab of the letter with an accompanying post, “BIG NEWS IN PENNSYLVANIA!”
you fucking loser
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) January 6, 2021
“Due to numerous unlawful violations taken by Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf; Secretary of State, Kathy Boockvar; and the rogue State Supreme Court, the balance of power was taken from the State Legislature, who by the U.S. and PA Constitutions, set the time, place, and manner of holding elections,” the letter, which is also addressed to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), states.
The senators also cited a 2019 law, Act 77, to substantiate their claims that illegal, unconstitutional irregularities took place.
The law states that all mail-in ballots have to be received by election officials no later than 8 p.m. on election night; polling officials must authenticate voter signatures on their mail-in ballots; county election boards are permitted to start pre-canvassing of absentee and mail-in ballots after 8 a.m. on election day; poll watchers approved by candidates and various political parties are authorized to observe ballot canvassing and counting of mail-in/absentee ballots, and there were no provisions in the law that provided for ballot drop boxes or “curing” of ballots — a process by which poll workers notify voters they’ve made errors on their ballots and allow them to fix them.
Regarding curing, counties were given conflicting guidance from Boockvar’s office ahead of the Nov. 3 election. The day before, all counties were issued the same curing guidance, but not all of them had time to notify voters.
In their letter to McConnell, the senators said the Democrat-controlled state Supreme Court, “overstepped” its authority by authorizing mail-in ballots to be received three days after election day; “ballots mailed without a postmark would be counted”, and that signatures on ballots “would not need to be verified.”
As for Boockvar, the senators said she acted outside the law by “allowing for a proliferation of unsecured drop boxes in key Democratic areas” as well as encouraging “some counties (not all) to notify party and candidate representatives” about ballots that needed to be cured the day before the election.
“In addition to these inconsistencies, certified Republican poll watchers in Philadelphia were prohibited from overseeing the canvassing of ballots,” they wrote. “After a court-order these poll watchers to be allowed to observe, they were ‘corralled’ so far from the canvassing of ballots, that they could not view the activities.”
The state Supreme Court ruled 5-2 in mid-November that Act 77 only provides that observers be allowed “in the room” where ballots are counted and that the law did not establish a minimum distance.
But for these and other irregularities, the state senators said they “believe that PA election results should not have been certified by” Boockvar, who is also a Democrat, as is Gov. Wolf.
The letter asks “for more time given the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court is to hear Trump vs. Boockvar in the coming days.”
“We ask that you delay certification of the Electoral College to allow due process as we pursue election integrity in our Commonwealth,” it concludes.
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