Congressional Repubs, without evidence, accuse Wolf, Dems of ‘putting their thumbs’ on electoral scale

    The Republican members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation fell in line behind President Donald Trump on Saturday, accusing the Democratic Wolf administration, without evidence, of “[putting] their thumbs on the scale in pursuit of what they believe should be a preordained outcome.”

    In a joint letter to Gov. Tom Wolf, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, and Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the nine GOP congressional lawmakers reiterated Republican concerns about guidance from Boockvar’s office that allows Pennsylvania’s 67 counties to count ballots, postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day, that arrived by Friday at 5 p.m.

    The lawmakers who signed the letter are: U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1st District; Dan Meuser, R-9th District; Scott Perry, R-10th District; Lloyd Smucker, R-11th District; Fred Keller, R-12th District; John Joyce, R-13th District; Guy Reschenthaler, R-14th District; Glen ‘GT’ Thompson, R-15th District and Mike Kelly, R-16th District.

    “The citizens of the Commonwealth do not just expect free and fair elections, they deserve free and fair elections. We believe that every legal vote should be counted, and it is compulsory for the Secretary of the Commonwealth to discount any votes that do not meet the letter of the law,” they wrote.

    In a statement, the Republicans called on the Democratic administration to ensure that “every legal ballot is counted once,” though there is no evidence that ballots are being counted anything other than once.

    On Friday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito ordered counties to segregate those late-arriving ballots — a step that Boockvar said counties were already taking. Without providing evidence themselves, the nine lawmakers asserted that “there has been little evidence to support these statements.”

    The nine Republicans also called on Shapiro, a Democrat whom unofficial tallies showed winning a second, four-year term, to recuse himself from any election-related litigation. The nine, who also won re-election on Tuesday by hitching their fortunes to Trump, described Shapiro as a “highly partisan political candidate,” who could not impartially represent the commonwealth.

    “As many of these issues will now be addressed by the United States Supreme Court, we remain concerned about the integrity of the election and continued attempts by the administration and its officials . These actions continue to chip away at the foundation of our representational democracy and challenges the citizens of Pennsylvania’s faith in their government. We implore you to put politics aside and provide these requests all due consideration,” the lawmakers argued.

    John L. Micek
    A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press