21 Pennsylvania lawmakers have formally introduced a resolution to the state legislature seeking to delay the certification of votes in Pennsylvania for the 2020 election, citing multiple actions by Democrat state leaders that they believe put the election results “in dispute.”
In their resolution, the legislators note several irregularities with the election results, including poll watchers not being allowed to observe the counting process, irregularities in the canvassing of absentee votes, postal workers reporting ballots mailed to nonexistent addresses, and Democrats selectively ignoring state law regarding defective ballots, while Republicans followed the law and invalidated defective ballots.
According to lawmakers, the executive and judicial branches of the state of Pennsylvania went beyond their constitutional authority when they changed the rules of the election shortly before voters went to the polls. In the resolution, legislators allege that “officials in the Executive and Judicial Branches of the Commonwealth infringed upon the General Assembly’s authority under the Constitution of the United States by unlawfully changing the rules governing the November 3, 2020, election in the Commonwealth.” The resolution, sponsored by Representative Russ Diamond and backed by 20 other legislators, seeks to delay the “premature certification” of the Presidential election, as well as other contested races in the state.
In a statement, lawmakers said, “a number of compromises of Pennsylvania’s election laws took place during the 2020 General Election. The documented irregularities and improprieties associated with mail-in balloting, pre-canvassing, and canvassing have undermined our elector process and, as a result, we cannot accept certification of the results in statewide races. We believe this moment is pivotal and important enough that the General Assembly needs to take extraordinary measures to answer these extraordinary questions. We also believe our representative oversight duty as Pennsylvania’s legislative branch of government demands us to re-assume our constitutional authority and take immediate action.”
Lawmakers further allege that the judicial and executive branches of the state of Pennsylvania took three specific actions to change the rules of the election, starting less than two months before voters went to the polls on November 3rd, 2020. “On September 17, 2020, less than seven weeks before the November 3, 2020 election, the partisan majority on the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania unlawfully and unilaterally extended the deadline for mail-in ballots to be received, mandated that ballots mailed without a postmark would be presumed to be received timely, and could be accepted without a verified voter signature,” lawmakers stated in their resolution.
The legislators further argued that “on October 23, 2020, less than two weeks before the November 3, 2020 election and upon a petition from the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ruled that mail-in ballots need not authenticate signatures for mail-in ballots, thereby treating in-person and mail-in voters dissimilarly and eliminating a critical safeguard against potential election crime.”
Finally, they noted that “on November 2, 2020, the night before the November 3, 2020 election and prior to the prescribed time for pre-canvassing mail-in ballots, the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth encouraged certain counties to notify party and candidate representatives of mail-in voters whose ballots contained defects.”
Besides these three specific instances, the resolution also noted several other actions that they believe put the election results into question. According to them, “heavily Democrat counties permitted mail-in voters to cure ballot defects while heavily Republican counties followed the law and invalidated defective ballots,” following existing state law. Additionally, “watchers were not allowed to meaningfully observe the pre-canvassing and canvassing activities relating to absentee and mail-in ballots,” and “in other parts of the Commonwealth, watchers observed irregularities concerning the pre-canvassing and canvassing of absentee and mail-in ballots.”
The resolution concluded that, “the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has the duty to ensure that no citizen of this Commonwealth is disenfranchised, to insist that all elections are conducted according to the law, and to satisfy the general public that every legal vote is counted accurately.”
According to Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who was banned from Twitter last week, the GOP controlled legislature may soon attempt to appoint the state’s electors to the Electoral College themselves, despite House members’ terms expiring today unless the election results are certified.