Doug Mastriano was hailed as he tried to become Pennsylvania’s next governor.
The Republican state senator from Franklin County not only lost to the Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro. According to unofficial lists, he lost by 781,000 votes.
It took him five days, but Mastriano finally saw the reality and graciously conceded.
But some of his fans don’t want to give up. You are among Republicans who have launched legal action in dozens of counties to prevent confirmation of midterm election results.
It’s time Mastriano called on his supporters to step back and allow democracy to move on.
Monday was the deadline for counties to confirm their election results to the Pennsylvania State Department. Some were unable due to legal challenges, many of which were filed with standard language that failed to cite specific evidence of alleged fraud or error.
It is unclear how many counties missed the deadline. The State Department would not tell me on Wednesday.
“We continue to work with a handful of counties to obtain their full certification results. It’s a fluid situation as our team is always actively receiving new information from the counties,” spokeswoman Amy Gulli said.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last week that vote-resisting groups were organizing through social media, some claiming to be collaborating with Mastriano’s campaign.
Mastriano’s campaign didn’t respond on Wednesday when I asked him why he hadn’t asked his supporters to follow his example and give in.
The challenges are being filed under a rarely used provision of Pennsylvania election law. It allows a district’s results to be recounted when three voters from the district claim in a court filing that they believe there was “fraud or error” in the voting. Applicants must pay a $50 fee.
Berks County is among those who have not confirmed their election results.
Berks officials said they could not proceed until courts resolve challenges in 30 counties. The challenges were submitted by the Berks County Republican Committee and 94 voters, the Reading Eagle reported.
A Westmoreland County judge held a hearing on appeals in five electoral districts on Tuesday. Some voters who filed the challenges said they saw no malfunctions or errors in voting machines. They said they heard from others who said they encountered errors, but the judge would not consider hearsay evidence, TribLive.com reported.
The judge denied requests for manual ballot recounts, but ordered machine recounts in four constituencies. Westmoreland confirmed the results of the 302 constituencies where no challenges were filed.
A dozen counties in Allegheny County have had their votes confirmed delayed. The Post-Gazette reported that debunked allegations of fraud emerged during a raucous board of elections meeting on Monday, which called on sheriff’s deputies to maintain order.
One woman claimed to have photos of a county’s printed election results that showed hundreds more votes cast for Republican candidates than the totals posted on the county’s website. She refused to show the photos to a reporter.
If you have evidence, please spit it out. If you refuse, why should anyone believe you?
No appeals were filed in Northampton County, which confirmed its findings on Nov. 22.
The Lehigh County Board of Elections also confirmed the election results on November 22. A petition was filed the next day allegedly reporting fraud or errors in the processing of ballots for US senators, governors, lieutenant governors and the 7th congressional district in a district in the township of Upper Saucon.
As in other counties, the petition did not address the alleged fraud or error. Judge Thomas Capehart dismissed the case for lack of evidence, reported The Morning Call’s Graysen Golter.
This petition wasted a judge’s and court staff’s valuable time. And the $50 from the people who submitted it.
Here’s how ridiculous some of these challenges are.
A Butler County judge dismissed several challenges last week, including three filed by voters who were poll workers who had previously signed their polling station’s results, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
It’s sad that so many people are such bad losers.
Morning Call columnist Paul Muschick can be reached at 610-820-6582 or paul.muschick[email protected]