Pennsylvania Republicans Cite No Evidence of Election Fraud, But Say Wolf Administration Undermined Confidence in Election Results
Republican state leaders said on Friday they had no evidence of fraud in Tuesday’s presidential election. But they claimed Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration had spent months “doing everything they could to destroy the security of the process.”
“Let me be very clear. I am not aware of any electoral fraud. I am not aware of any wrongdoing other than the process by which the department organized this election, ”said Majority Leader Senator Jake Corman, a Central County Republican.
The result, Corman said, is that no matter who wins, “You’re going to have 50% of the population, depending on which side, who doesn’t trust the results.”
Wolf, along with Kathy Boockvar, the state’s top election official, has been responding to Republicans’ claims since Tuesday. They say they have followed the law closely and portrayed the allegations as an attempt to interfere with election results. Boockvar said the electoral process was completely transparent and will withstand any scrutiny or legal challenge.
Corman spoke on Friday afternoon, hours after Pennsylvania’s ongoing tally showed Democrat Joe Biden had taken a small lead over President Donald Trump.
It also came as the Trump campaign and other Republicans pursued several lawsuits over issues related to the Pennsylvania election.
Much of the Republicans focused on a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling allowing ballots received between Nov. 3 and Friday to be counted, provided they are obliterated by election day.
Corman was joined by House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler, a Lancaster-area Republican. Cutler said his party’s objections involve: inconsistencies in whether or not counties allow people to correct mistakes with mail ballots; a large number of provisional ballots, which he said could reflect “problems” or unfairness; what he called “conflicting directives” given to counties for the separation of postal ballots received after November 3; and claims that Republican observers have at times been denied the opportunity to witness parts of the counting process.
Cutler called on the Wolf administration to conduct a “full audit” of the election before certifying a winner.
The Wolf administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement, Boockvar said the State Department planned to conduct a post-election audit, adding that a similar audit took place after the primary.
Some Republicans and domestic commentators have said Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled legislature should nominate pro-Trump voters to the electoral college, which could overturn a popular vote in favor of Biden.
When asked about it, Corman said he understood Pennsylvania law required that the popular vote be certified and passed to the federal government, with lawmakers having no role in the process.
“It’s my understanding of the law. Others may have different opinions on this. But at the end of the day, let’s let this process unfold, ”he said. “We are governed by law. We cannot choose which ones we adhere to and which ones we cannot adhere to. “
The US Postal Service said at the end of this week that more than 1,700 ballots were found at post offices in areas like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley.
Corman was asked on Friday if they should count. He said they shouldn’t because they weren’t delivered until Nov. 3. Pennsylvania law requires that ballots be received before election day to be counted. However, due to a historic volume of mail-in ballots resulting from the pandemic and recent delays in mail delivery, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended the deadline to allow received ballots until 5 pm. Friday pm to be counted as long as they are postmarked by Nov 3.
Republicans and the Trump administration are appealing this extension to the United States Supreme Court.
State officials have ordered counties to count these late ballots separately, in light of legal challenges. GOP officials filed an appeal on Friday asking for a separation order for late ballots, but state officials say this is already happening.