Republican state lawmakers in Pennsylvania on Nov. 30 introduced a resolution to dispute the results of the 2020 election.
The text of the resolution, first previewed in a memo on Nov. 27, states that the executive and judicial branches of the Keystone State’s government usurped the legislature’s constitutional power to set the rules of the election.
“Officials in the Executive and Judicial Branches of the Commonwealth infringed upon the General Assembly’s authority under the Constitution of the United States by unlawfully changing the rules governing the November 3, 2020, election in the Commonwealth,” the resolution (pdf) states.
The resolution calls on the secretary of the Commonwealth to withdraw the “premature certification” of the presidential election and delay certifying other races. It declares the 2020 election to be in dispute, and urges the U.S. Congress “to declare the selection of presidential electors in this Commonwealth to be in dispute.”
Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly said in a statement: “A number of compromises of Pennsylvania’s election laws took place during the 2020 General Election. The documented irregularities and improprieties associated with mail-in balloting, pre-canvassing, and canvassing have undermined our elector process and, as a result, we cannot accept certification of the results in statewide races.
“We believe this moment is pivotal and important enough that the General Assembly needs to take extraordinary measures to answer these extraordinary questions. We also believe our representative oversight duty as Pennsylvania’s legislative branch of government demands us to re-assume our constitutional authority and take immediate action.”
The proposed text lists three steps taken by the judicial and executive branches to change the rules of the election.
First, on Sept. 17, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court “unlawfully and unilaterally” extended the deadline by which mail ballots could be received, mandated that ballots without a postmark would be treated as timely, and allowed for ballots without a verified voter signature to be accepted, the resolution says.
Second, on Oct. 23, upon a petition from the secretary of the commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that signatures on mail-in ballots need not be authenticated.
And third, on Nov. 2, the secretary of the commonwealth “encouraged certain counties to notify party and candidate representatives of mail-in voters whose ballots contained defects,” the resolution states.
All of the changes are contrary to the Pennsylvania Election Code, which requires mail-in ballots to be received at 8 p.m. on Election Day, mandates that signatures on the mail-in ballots be authenticated, and forbids the counting of defective mail-in ballots.
The resolution also lists a variety of election irregularities and potential fraud, including the issues brought up by witnesses during the hearing before the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee on Nov. 25.
“On November 24, 2020, the Secretary of the Commonwealth unilaterally and prematurely certified results of the November 3, 2020 election regarding presidential electors despite ongoing litigation,” the resolution states.
“The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has the duty to ensure that no citizen of this Commonwealth is disenfranchised, to insist that all elections are conducted according to the law, and to satisfy the general public that every legal vote is counted accurately.”
Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican, said on Nov. 27 that the GOP-controlled state legislature will make a bid to reclaim its power to appoint the state’s electors to the Electoral College, saying they could start the process on Nov. 30.
“So, we’re going to do a resolution between the House and Senate, hopefully today,” he told Steve Bannon’s War Room on Nov. 27.Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ivanpentchoukov