The Lead

Pa. elections chief Boockvar says she will not order statewide recount

By: - November 13, 2020 4:16 pm

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar on October 27, 2020 | Source: Commonwealth Media Services

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar confirmed Friday that she will not order a recount or recanvass of election returns in Pennsylvania’s 67 counties because no statewide candidate was defeated by one-half of 1 percent or less of the votes cast, which is the threshold under state law for such an action.

President-elect Joe Biden who was leading President Donald Trump by 60,183 votes on Friday, according to unofficial tallies, is one of the candidates impacted by Boockvar’s statement. Other statewide races impacted by Boockvar’s statement include the campaigns for attorney general, auditor general and state treasurer, Boockvar, whose office oversees elections, said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have spent the 10 days since the Nov. 3 general election making repeated, and thus far, unfounded claims of voter fraud in Pennsylvania, which Biden won on Nov. 7, netting him the state’s 20 Electoral College votes, and the 270 electoral votes he needed to become president-elect.

Biden’s lead in the Keystone State has only grown in the days since the election, as counties tally up mail-in and provisional ballots.

On Friday, Boockvar said the state had received about 10,000 mail-in ballots by 5 p.m. on Nov. 6, the deadline for submitting them. There weren’t enough of those ballots to impact the no-recount determination of any of the statewide races, Boockvar’s office said.

On Thursday, a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge ruled that county elections officials can’t count mail-in ballots that weren’t verified by Nov. 9, no matter what Boockvar had told them.

The decision by Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court President Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt voids a Nov. 1 directive that Boockvar issued to elections directors in all 67 counties, giving them until Nov. 12 to verify the identities of voters who cast mail-in ballots, PennLive reported.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.