Fetterman Edges Oz; Shapiro Defeats Mastriano for Governor

In the early hours Wednesday morning, multiple media outlets projected that Democrat John Fetterman would win the open U.S. Senate seat left by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

Fetterman, the state’s Lieutenant Governor who suffered a serious stroke just before the Democratic primary, won his party’s nomination, and then went on to defeat Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz for one of the only Democrat U.S. Senate pickups on the 2022 election cycle.

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Pennsylvania Senate GOP Leaders Ask Secretary of State to Comply on Undated Ballots, Other Election Rules

Days before the 2022 midterm elections, Pennsylvania Republican Senate leaders wrote to their commonwealth’s chief voting overseer seeking assurance that laws governing undated absentee ballots will be followed. 

The letter from Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Greensburg) and Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) goes on to urge acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman (D) to follow official procedure on other electoral matters as well. 

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decides Against Counting Undated Ballots

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court this week ordered counties to decline to count any absentee or mail-in ballot delivered in an undated envelope.

State law, which has permitted no-excuse absentee voting since 2020, requires those not voting in person to place their ballot into a secrecy envelope before placing it into a return envelope. Voter must sign and date that outer envelope for their ballot to be valid under state statute. 

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Election Integrity Storm Brewing in Pennsylvania: Over 250K Ballots Sent to Voters with Unverified I.D.

More than 250,000 ballots have been mailed to Pennsylvania voters without their identities being verified, according to state data collected by election integrity group Verity Vote.

On Tuesday, 15 Pennsylvania state legislators sent a letter to acting Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Leigh Chapman regarding unverified ballots sent to voters. As of Thursday, state data show that more than 250,000 ballots have been mailed to voters without verifying their identification.

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Republicans Sue to Discard Undated Pennsylvania Absentee Ballots

Pennsylvania’s Republican Party and its national counterpart filed a lawsuit this week to prevent the state’s Democrat-run executive branch from requiring counties to count undated absentee ballots. 

A lawsuit that originated in 2021 to settle a dispute about whether such ballots should be tallied resulted in the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals answering in the affirmative this June. That ruling decided a race for Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas in favor of Democrat Zachary Cohen over Republican David Ritter. 

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State Senator Proposes Repealing Pennsylvania Ballot Date Requirement

Pennsylvania Democrats remain opposed to discarding undated absentee ballots, despite a Supreme Court decision suggesting that the ballots should not count.

Shortly after Governor Tom Wolf (D) and acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman (D) indicated they will continue to instruct counties to count mail-in ballots that come in envelopes on which voters did not write a date, state Senator Jim Brewster (D) proposed legislation to end the date requirement entirely.

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After Chaotic 2020 Process, Pennsylvania Still Won’t Have Midterm Results on Election Day

Pennsylvania during the 2022 midterms will once again fail to produce election results on election day itself, a shortfall the secretary of state’s office is blaming on a recently passed law that fails to permit pre-election counting of mail-in ballots.

Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman said in a briefing on Tuesday that state officials are anticipating “that once again Pennsylvania will not have unofficial results on election night.”

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Democratic Judge Questions Differing Ballot-Curing Rules Across Pennsylvania

As political-party attorneys and the state of Pennsylvania argued over “curing” election ballots on Thursday, the Democratic judge hearing the case suggested that differing county rules could undermine confidence in election integrity.

Judge Ellen Ceisler, one of two Democrats on the seven-member Commonwealth Court, conducted the hearing in which Republican Party lawyers pressed their case against Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman (D). Per litigation filed three weeks ago, the plaintiffs contended that the court should not permit the secretary to let counties notify absentee or mail-in voters that their ballots contain mistakes that can supposedly be corrected or “cured.” 

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Pennsylvania GOP Sues Commonwealth over Mail-in Voting Law, Calling It Invalid

Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers are suing the commonwealth over its 2019 law expanding mail-in voting, arguing it’s invalid after a recent court ruling.

On Wednesday, 14 state Republicans filed a lawsuit against acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Leigh Chapman, a Democrat, to throw out the mail-in law.

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Pennsylvania Department of State Sues Counties to Count Undated Ballots

Pennsylvania’s Department of State this week filed a lawsuit against three counties, all controlled by Republicans, to count undated absentee ballots.

Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman (D) wants Berks, Fayette and Lancaster counties to follow the rest of the state in counting votes delivered in undated envelopes toward the official tallies for candidates nominated in May 17’s primaries. A Pennsylvania law requiring absentee and mail-in voters to date their ballot envelope has underwent significant court scrutiny over the last two years.

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Rep. Grove Rebukes Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s ‘Voter Intimidation’ Claims

Pennsylvania Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) castigated the state’s Democratic acting secretary of the commonwealth on Saturday for suggesting that stationing Lehigh County detectives at ballot drop boxes will amount to “voter intimidation.”

Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman last week said that tactics to intimidate voters have “a long history in this country” and that “the mere presence of police at a ballot drop box can deter voters from casting their ballot.” She also mentioned that she has been in conversation with her staff about attempting to dissuade Lehigh County from assigning law-enforcement professionals to watch drop boxes into which absentee voters may place their ballots.

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Appoints Vote-by-Mail Advocate to State’s Top Elections Post

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf appointed Leigh Chapman to serve as Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth, replacing Veronica Degraffenreid who accepted a different position in the Wolf administration.

In her position, Chapman will serve as the state’s top elections official.

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