enate Republican leaders are calling for Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar’s immediate resignation for her handling of Pennsylvania’s election process.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and Majority Leader Jake Corman claim Boockvar took numerous actions to undermine public confidence in Pennsylvania’s elections.
“Twice in the last two days, the Secretary of State has fundamentally altered the manner in which Pennsylvania’s election is being conducted. The constantly changing guidance she has delivered to counties not only directly contradicts the Election Code language she is sworn to uphold, but also conflicts her own litigation statements and decisions of both the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court.
“Secretary Boockvar told the U.S. Supreme Court on October 28 that ballots received after 8 p.m. on November 3 would be segregated, but she changed the rules on November 1 and directed counties to canvass those ballots as soon as possible upon receipt. In some counties, it is not possible to both segregate and canvass ballots as directed. This directive leaves open the possibility that timely votes will be commingled with votes received after 8 p.m. on Election Day, despite the fact that these votes remain the subject of litigation before the United States Supreme Court.
“The Department changed the rules again on November 2 when they provided last-second guidance directing counties to provide information to help voters whose mail-in or absentee ballots were incorrectly completed so those voters could vote on a provisional ballot. The late release of this “guidance” resulted in inconsistent application across the counties – some of whom contacted voters as directed and some who did not. There is no basis for this guidance in current law. The Secretary created this new process out of thin air.
“This scattershot approach to Pennsylvania’s elections is wholly inappropriate and a direct breach of the positions she is on record of supporting in litigation – a position that Justice Baer specifically said is best left to the legislative branch of Pennsylvania’s government.
“As leaders, we simply cannot stand by and allow Kathy Boockvar’s blatant disregard for the legislative process and the law to continue. In order for trust to be restored to the Pennsylvania election system, Kathy Boockvar must resign as Secretary of State in Pennsylvania following these most recent efforts to weaken the state’s voting system and damage the integrity and confidence in our elections.”
In an election update press conference late Tuesday night, Boockvar was asked to respond to the calls for her resignation.
She said she does not intend to resign and instead called for Scarnati’s and Corman’s resignation.
“I have no intent to resign and I disagree with everything they say in their release,” Boockvar said. “Quite frankly I think they’re the ones that should resign for not allowing Pennsylvania and this nation to start pre-canvassing ballots early as 46 other states across the country have done, we’d be getting results a lot sooner if they had.”
Gov. Wolf chimed in early Wednesday morning calling the demand a partisan attack.
“This is a partisan attack on Pennsylvania’s elections and our votes. Our election officials are working diligently to make sure every vote is counted and everyone’s voice is heard. Attacks like this are an attempt to undermine confidence in the results of the election, and we should all denounce them for the undemocratic actions they are. I support our Secretary of State and all of our state and local election officials who are working hard to deliver timely, accurate results and ensure that everyone’s vote is counted and protected.”