Pennsylvania Republican state congressmen presented a resolution that rejects the certification of election results and declares that the selection of presidential electors is in dispute. If the ruling is successful, the Legislature—with a Republican majority—could appoint delegates to the Electoral College in the coming days.
The rule, announced on Nov. 27, states that the executive and judicial branches of Pennsylvania usurped the constitutional power of the Legislature to set the rules for the Nov. 3 election.
The resolution states, “The selection of presidential electors and other statewide electoral contest results in this commonwealth is in dispute” and “urges the secretary of the commonwealth and the governor to withdraw or vacate the certification of presidential electors and to delay certification of results in other statewide electoral contests voted on at the 2020 general election.”
The measure was proposed by state Sen. Doug Mastriano in conjunction with Sens. Michele Brooks, Dave Arnold, and Mario Scavello.
Among the numerous irregularities that occurred on Nov. 3, Mastriano described failure to comply with the requirement that all mail-in ballots be received by 8 p.m.; “satellite locations” that were used outside of the parameters established by state law; failure to comply with requirements that election officials must authenticate voters’ signatures in person; and, among other issues, failure to comply with the law for tabulation of defective absentee and mail-in ballots.
“Pennsylvanians want transparency and accountability with our electoral process—it is the hallmark of our American system to ensure that we the people select our government leaders, including the president of the United States,” Mastriano said.
“As state legislators, we take our responsibility to guard and guarantee our constituents’ right to free and fair elections…nothing is more sacred in our democracy,” Mastriano added in a statement.
Likewise, the resolution presented by the state senators “urges the United States Congress to declare the selection of presidential electors in this Commonwealth to be in dispute.”
“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,” the congressmen stated in the text.
“We believe this moment is pivotal and important enough that the General Assembly needs to take extraordinary measures to answer these extraordinary questions,” they added.
The three measures that changed the rules of the election
The text lists three measures taken by the judicial and executive branches that changed the rules of the election.
- On Sept. 17, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court “unlawfully and unilaterally” extended the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots, ordered that unstamped ballots be treated as timely, and allowed ballots to be accepted without a verified voting signature.
- On Oct. 23, at the request of the secretary of the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the signatures on the mail-in ballots did not need to be authenticated.
- On Nov. 2, the secretary of the Commonwealth encouraged certain counties to notify party representatives and candidates of defective mail-in ballots.
Republican senators noted that all changes are contrary to the Pennsylvania Election Code, which requires that mail-in ballots be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, mandates that signatures on mail-in ballots be authenticated, and prohibits the counting of defective mail-in ballots.
The resolution also lists a variety of election irregularities and possible fraud, including some of those mentioned by witnesses during the public hearing held on Nov. 25, at Gettysburg and organized by the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee.
In summary, the resolution states that the certification of election results by Pennsylvania Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Nov. 24 was exercised “unilaterally and prematurely.”
“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,” the text states.
Regarding the next steps, Mastriano explained that the state Legislature will seek to reclaim its power and appoint the state’s electors to the Electoral College.
It should be noted that both the Pennsylvania House and the Senate are controlled by the Republican Party.
According to the congressman, the process could begin on Monday, November 30.
“We’re gonna do a resolution between the House and Senate,” Mastriano said on Steve Bannon’s War Room program on Friday.
“There’s a lot of good people working this here. Saying, that the resolution saying we’re going to take our power back. We’re gonna seat the electors … we’re getting there on that,” he added.
President Trump’s campaign legal team, meanwhile, highlighted the action of Pennsylvania state legislators.
🚨PA House press release. pic.twitter.com/W6dUTh6Tes
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) November 28, 2020
“We are grateful to the PA state legislature for their COURAGE! Their Resolution takes back their Article II authority [for the Pennsylvania government] to appoint Electoral College delegates after a RIGGED election!” team attorney Jenna Ellis wrote on Twitter.