Pennsylvania state lawmakers are about to be sworn in for a new two-year session, however, Republicans are fighting back against fraud and are refusing to swear in Democrat Senator Jim Brewster from Allegheny County.
The race between Brewster and Republican challenger Nicole Ziccarelli was decided on a court decision that allowed mail-in ballots not filled out correctly to be counted. The result in the decision gave Brewster 69 votes to beat Ziccarelli.
Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa claims Republicans are trying to “steal an election” and that this is a continuation of “the Trump playbook. It’s about abusing the process that’s in place.”
Costa whined that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi swore in Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), despite her Democrat opponent still challenging the election results.
Republican Jake Corman, top Republicans in Pennsylvania’s Senate said the situation is “fairly unique,” the election was “extremely close,” and decided by court rulings.
“I think this unique set of circumstances dictates that the Senate review it and take very seriously the contest,” Corman said.
Ziccarelli filed a 500-page complaint with the Senate charging that Brewster’s lawyer, Cliff Levine, “completely violates” any established procedure in the state to contest an election.
Ziccarelli also filed a suit in federal court in Pittsburgh to overturn the ruling that improper ballots should be counted however, the judge has given no inclination when he would rule.
The last suit filed in federal courts wants 311 mail-in ballots removed from the count because they were improperly filled out.
In November, the incredibly liberal State Supreme Court ruled that ballots improperly filled out because they didn’t include the date should be an eligible voter. However, state law specifically states the voter shall “fill out, date and sign” a declaration on the outside envelope.
The ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court violated the State’s statute.
In Westmoreland County, next door to Allegheny County, 343 mail-in ballots were disqualified because of that law however, in Ziccarelli’s race the ballots were counted.
The rules aren’t being applied evenly inside the state but they may be a bigger reason for that. Republican Sean Parrnell was “defeated” by Democrat Congressman Connor Lamb in a very close election. So far Parnell’s legal challenges have failed, but if the courts allow Ziccarelli’s votes to be tossed, then that gives Parrnell ammo to fight in court. That would cause a snowball effect that would also give President Trump the ability to also have ballots removed from the official count.