Because Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor and GOP-controlled legislature couldn’t agree on a congressional redistricting plan, a Commonwealth Court judge has stepped in and chosen one favored by the latter.
Judge Patricia A. McCullough (R), who was charged individually with selecting a new congressional map from among several proposed by state officials and nongovernmental actors, issued a 228-page report explaining her decision.
Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court green-lighted the state Senate Republicans’ election probe this week; the state Supreme Court has meanwhile declined to take up the remapping of congressional districts.
As a result of the Commonwealth Court’s ruling, the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee may proceed with its subpoenas of voter records. The Supreme Court’s decision means Gov. Tom Wolf (D) will likely have to work out a compromise with the Republican state legislature on congressional reapportionment.
Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court this week ruled that 257 flawed ballots in a Lehigh County judgeship election cannot be counted, prompting Democratic candidate Zachary Cohen to announce a state Supreme-Court appeal.
Excluding these mail-in ballots, which contain no date on their return envelopes, puts Republican David Ritter 74 votes ahead of Cohen in their contest for Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas judge, in which about 22,000 total votes were cast. Ritter initially sued in county court to exclude 261 ballots, four of which displayed a date, albeit not on the correct line. Trial Judge Edward D. Reibman (D) handed down a ruling favorable to Cohen, spurring Ritter to appeal to the Commonwealth Court which handles litigation between governing entities, public officials and candidates.
Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court is expected to soon issue a decision on whether the state Senate Republicans’ 2020 election probe may continue.
Specifically, the judges must determine whether delivery of information subpoenaed by the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee would breach voters’ privacy rights as state Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) and other plaintiffs maintain.
Amidst public concerns of electoral irregularities in Pennsylvania, a recount will decide the outcome of the Commonwealth Court contest between Republican Drew Crompton and Democrat Lori A. Dumas.
Based on unofficial returns published by the Pennsylvania Department of State, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Dumas now leads Superior Court Judge Crompton by 16,804 votes out of more than 2.5 million votes cast for either of the two. That’s a margin of about a third of one percent, within the 0.5 percent difference that prompts a recount under Pennsylvania’s Act 97 of 2004.
A Pennsylvania court this week issued an opinion allowing litigation attempting to block the use of electronic voting devices in Philadelphia, Northampton and Cumberland counties to proceed.
Commonwealth Court Judge Kevin P. Brobson (R), currently a candidate for Pennsylvania Supreme Court, ruled that two advocacy groups and several state residents have standing to challenge the use of ExpressVote XL systems.