All I Want for Christmas is a Finalized Election…

by | Dec 4, 2020 | Supreme Court, Voting | 7 comments

Over a month since the election and we’re still waiting for the final results in some parts of the state, and litigation is still ongoing. Below is the newest information we’ve learned since our last election update:

Election Results Status:

  • In one State Senate race in the Pittsburgh area, there are still 3,700 provisional ballots to be counted. As of this week, the Westmoreland County election director said she hoped to have them counted in the next couple of weeks. That race for Senate District 45 is also under litigation regarding mail-in ballots missing information. It is in federal court in the Western District. Read more here…
  • The election results were certified by the PA Secretary of State and the Governor on November 23rd. 
  • The Electoral College votes on December 14th.

Litigation:

  • An emergency application to the U.S. Supreme Court appeal was filed this week in Kelly, et al. v. Commonwealth, et al. – brought by Congressman Mike Kelly (R-Erie), Sean Parnell (Republican candidate for US-17), and others seeking to throw out the mail-in ballots on the claim that Act 77, which allowed mail-in ballots for any reason, was unconstitutional. This case was first brought in Commonwealth Court, where they won a preliminary injunction to stop further certification of the Pennsylvania election results, but quickly lost at the PA Supreme Court after the Wolf administration appealed the ruling.
  • Last week, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the lawsuit by the Trump campaign, Trump v. Boockvar, seeking to throw out invalid ballots and ballots counted without transparency due to the violations of election law in Allegheny County, Centre County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Northampton County, and Philadelphia County. This lawsuit has the potential to invalidate 600,000+ ballots due to election law violations. By comparison, Biden and Trump are separated by 81,654 votes. The Trump legal team could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but that has not been filed at this time.
  • No word yet on the U.S. Supreme Court appeal regarding ballots that came in after 8pm on Election Day.

Legislative efforts:

  • The 2019-2020 legislative session has officially ended. 
  • House and Senate Republicans are calling on Congress to dispute Pennsylvania’s electors, calling for an independent investigation into fraud, and for more details on the Department of State’s handling of the election.
  • House and Senate leaders announced their election reform plans for 2021.
  • However, a number of state representatives and a state senator sent a letter to Governor Wolf asking for a special session dealing with the election results. No surprise, he said no. They could get a special session without the governor’s approval if they had a majority supporting their efforts, but Senate and House leadership have both declined.
  • The Senate Majority Policy Committee held a hearing in Gettysburg on election integrity, featuring testimony by Rudy Giuliani and other witnesses, last Wednesday. You can watch the video here.
  • Some House Republicans are reintroducing their resolution to dispute the results of the 2020 election. A resolution does not have any legal authority, but it’s a good way to make a strong statement.

While it appears that the presidential election is over here in Pennsylvania, there is still pending litigation that could change those results. And there is still one State Senate race that has yet to be concluded. We’ll keep you updated.