Top Pennsylvania Republicans Call on Secretary of State to Resign for Illegally Changing Voting Laws
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Disgusted and fed up with Democrat chicanery, the two top Republicans who head up the Pennsylvania state senate are demanding that Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar resign after she blatantly altered election procedures in violation of the law.
Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said in a joint statement that Boockvar "fundamentally altered" the way the state runs its elections with changes she made just weeks out from Election Day on Tuesday regarding mail-in ballots.
In a guidance to her state's counties dated Oct. 21, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar advised that a voter whose mail-in ballot was rejected would be eligible to vote in-person with a provisional ballot on Election Day as a way to "cure" their ballot.
Now, GOP Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly, state General Assembly candidate Joseph Hamm and four other plaintiffs are suing Boockvar over her guidance.
After some county election officials questioned the guidance, Jonathan Marks, deputy secretary of state for elections and commissions, clarified on Nov. 2 how the department of state wanted counties to handle the rejected mail-in ballots.
Marks advised county election officials to inform "party and candidate representatives" about the identification of the voters whose ballots had been rejected as a way "to facilitate communication with these voters."
According to the lawsuit, the counties of Berks, Carbon, Blair, Clinton, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lycoming and Perry ultimately declined to implement the guidance. The suit argues that individuals who submitted rejected mail-in ballots shouldn't have been given provisional ballots on Tuesday.
Like Democrats in other states, Boockvar changed voting procedures to ‘protect’ voters from COVID-19. But under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, only state legislatures can make changes to voting rules and laws – not secretaries of state or courts.
“The Department changed the rules again on November 2 when they provided last-second guidance directing counties to provide information to help voters whose mail-in or absentee ballots were incorrectly completed so those voters could vote on a provisional ballot,” the lawmakers noted.
“The late release of this 'guidance' resulted in inconsistent application across the counties — some of whom contacted voters as directed and some who did not," the state senators said. "There is no basis for this guidance in current law. The Secretary created this new process out of thin air."
Boockvar "told the U.S. Supreme Court on October 28 that ballots received after 8 p.m. on November 3 would be segregated, but she changed the rules on November 1 and directed counties to canvass those ballots as soon as possible upon receipt," the lawmakers said. "In some counties, it is not possible to both segregate and canvass ballots as directed.”
Now, normally – and we are in anything but a ‘normal’ election year – states wouldn’t be allowed to get away with changing election procedures so close to voting dates. Also, state officials would have been stopped by state legislatures from making changes because courts would have sided with them, since the Constitution is very clear on this.
But again, we’re not in a normal year. And now, President Trump’s reelection is being stolen from him. He can’t allow that to happen.
As for Boockvar, she's not going to resign just because the state Senate's two top Republicans are demanding it; she wouldn't do the right thing anyway. But at least they are bringing attention to what she did, and that will aid lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign.