Pa. Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit attempting to invalidate absentee votes

Nov. 28 (UPI) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit Saturday from Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Penn., and other Republicans that attempted to invalidate absentee voting and block the certification of votes.

The dismissal is the latest court loss for Republicans and supporters of President Donald Trump contesting election results and attacking voting systems in several key battleground states.

The court unanimously decided against the plaintiffs and five of the seven judges wrote that the lawsuit, which came a year after the state established new absentee voting procedures and weeks after Pennsylvanians voted, was filed far too late.

Kelly and his allies had asked the court to invalidate all votes cast by mail or direct the majority-Republican legislature to choose a slate of presidential electors.

On Friday 26 Pennsylvania introduced a resolution calling for state leaders to vacate the certification of state presidential electors, repeating President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of
“substantial irregularities and improprieties associated with mail-in balloting.”

“It is absolutely imperative that we take these steps if we are to ensure public trust in our electoral system,” Pennsylvania State Rep. Russ Diamond, who was among the 26 lawmakers who signed onto the resolution, said in a release, which he posted on social media, including Twitter and Facebook pages.

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar certified the statewide results Tuesday for the general election showing President-elect Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris ahead of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, by a margin of 80,555 votes to earn the state’s 20 electoral votes.

“As required by law, I’ve signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for the slate of electors for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Gov. Tom Wolf tweeted in response.

The GOP resolution urged Boockvar and Wolf “to withdraw or vacate the certification of presidential electors.”

It also urged them “to declare the selection of presidential electors in this Commonwealth to be in dispute,” and “to delay certification of results in other statewide electoral contests,” in the general election.

But other Pennsylvanian Republican politicians distanced themselves from the resolution. A spokesman for Republican Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler said that he was not involved in the resolution. And a spokesman for Republican Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff said caucus leaders would stand by the popular vote winner in the presidential election being assigned electors.

Instead of Wolf selecting electoral college delegates, State Senator Doug Mastriano called for state legislature to pick electors.

“This power was given to the state legislature for the purpose of safeguarding the appointment of our president, specifically contemplating corruption and ensuring that the people are not disenfranchised through a corrupt election process,” Mastriano tweeted.

Mastriano signed a different resolution, along with three other state senators, which was similar to the resolution signed by the 26 representatives.

Biden won the November election with 306 electoral votes compared to Trump’s 232, with only 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, but Trump has refused to concede defeat.

Biden and Harris also surpassed 80 million votes, which broke a record for the most in U.S. election history and lead in the popular vote by more than 6 million votes over Trump and Pence.

On Friday, 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephanos Bibas refused to block certification of Pennsylvania’s vote based on lawsuit led by Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, saying it had “no merit.”

In other statewide races, some Republicans won, including Republican Auditor General candidate Timothy DeFoor and Republican State Treasurer candidate Stacy Garrity. However, Democratic incumbent Josh Shapiro won re-election as attorney general.

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