Demands are exploding for PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro to “step aside” in the tallying of votes

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HARRISBURG, PA- On Election Day, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) urged all state residents to seek election assistance from the Pennsylvania Democratic Party instead of a non-partisan organization or group.

Now, there are calls for him to “step aside” from the process entirely.

Shapiro tweeted:

“Need help with your mail in ballot, finding out where to vote or something else? Call the @PADems Voter Assistance Hotline. Someone will answer and help you out. Call 1-833-PA-VOTES.” 

According to reports, days prior to the election, Shapiro predicted that Trump would lose the Keystone State, contingent on if “all the voters were added up.” He said:

“If all the votes are added up in PA, Trump is going to lose. That’s why he’s working overtime to subtract as many votes as possible from this process. For the record, he’s 0-6 against us in court. We’ve protected voting rights. Now, ignore the noise, vote!”

Shapiro’s partisan position continues to draw heavy criticism, particularly given that the presidential race could come down to the Keystone State, which as of this writing, is still continuing to count outstanding ballots.

A few days prior to Election Day, Shapiro tweeted:

“FACT CHECK: Our elections are over when all the votes are counted. But if your lawyers want to try us, we’d be happy to defeat you in court one more time.”

Pennsylvania GOP Attorney General candidate Heather Heidelbaugh is now calling for Shapiro to step aside from the process entirely. She said in a statement:

“Shapiro cannot be seen as having his thumb on the scale, acting in the dual roles of legal arbiter of the vote and a candidate deeply invested in its outcome.”

She then called on Shapiro to:

“Appoint a trusted and impartial deputy to oversee any legal questions and disputes in which that office might play a role concerning this election.”

She added:

“The outcome of these elections in Pennsylvania must not be muddled with this glaring conflict of interest.”

The day after Election Day, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) said that there were still “millions” of mail-in ballots that have yet to be counted. He seemingly modified his previous statement of the exact number being 3 million. He added that even though the battleground state is still counting ballots that:

“The most important thing is that we have accurate results. Again, even if that takes a little longer than we’re used to.”

During a Wednesday press conference, Wolf claims that he will do “everything within his power” to make sure the results are “fair” and that every vote is counted. He said:

“Pennsylvania will have a fair election and that election will be free of outside influences.”

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D) also reiterated the governor’s claims of there being millions of ballots left to be counted.

Two Republican state senators in Pennsylvania, Joe Scarnati and Jake Corman are calling for Boockvar’s resignation, citing that she has “fundamentally altered” the manner in which Pennsylvania’s election is being conducted over the last few days.

Allegedly, in addition to whatever ballots came in on Election Day, Pennsylvania poll workers will be able to count main-in ballots that arrive within the three days after, even if there is not a clear postmark date and even if the signature on the ballot does match voter rolls.

The Trump campaign is remaining confident in the president’s prospects. Campaign manager Bill Stephen said in a statement:

“If we count all legally cast ballots, we believe the president will win.”

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PENNSYLVANIA – In recent months, numerous outlets, officials and the ilk have forewarned that with the incredible uptick in mail-in ballots being utilized this election year, the final election results could be delayed.

In Pennsylvania, election officials within the state have reiterated those sentiments, noting that at least seven counties within the state won’t even begin counting the mail-in ballots until November 4th.

According to a report from NBC, the following was noted:

“Seven out of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties will wait to count mail-in ballots until the day after the election, according to local officials, potentially delaying when media organizations will be able to project a winner in the state.”

Apparently the seven counties waiting until November 4th to start counting mail-in ballots are Beaver, Cumberland, Franklin, Greene, Juniata, Mercer and Montour counties. Reportedly, these seven counties had voted in favor of President Donald Trump back during the 2016 election.

While it’s not exactly clear what impact these delayed votes will have in determining who ultimately wins Pennsylvania, a breakdown of the approved mail-in ballot applications within the respective counties is as follows:

Montour – 3,669

Franklin – 24,533

Juniata – 2,753

Greene – 5,092

Mercer – 19,118

Cumberland – 59,189

Beaver – 34,700

So, slightly over 149K votes aren’t going to be counted within the state until November 4th. However, it should be noted that when President Trump won Pennsylvania back in 2016, it was by roughly 44,000 votes.

In theory, these delayed votes could very well determine who will be awarded Pennsylvania’s 20 Electoral College votes.

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar is apparently urging these counties to do their best to start counting mail-in ballots on November 3rd:

“Even if you could only do part [of the mail-in ballot counting], to get started as early as humanly possible on Election Day matters for every single county of any size.”

Beaver County Commissioner Jack Manning explained that between the massive amounts of mail-in ballots in concurrence with the staffing of polling sites, there’s just too much to tackle in one single day:

“We do not have the capacity to work and securely oversee 129 polling venues, secure those election day votes and also simultaneously open up 35,000 mail-in votes and then start manually scanning after the polls close [on November 3rd].”

Manning explained that the polling locations will tally the votes made in person and then “start fresh” with processing the mail-in ballots come November 4th:

“We will handle and count the polling location votes Tuesday night and then start fresh in the morning on the mail-in ballots.”

A statement released by the Commissioners of Cumberland County mirrored the sentiments of Manning from Beaver County, also noting that actions are “fully” compliant with Pennsylvania law:

“This action fully complies with state law. Due to available resources and the COVID-19 pandemic, this will allow the county to give equal weight to in-person and mail-in and absentee ballots.”

The press release from the Commissioners of Cumberland County clearly detailed that tallied votes from physical polling locations will be available online on November 4th and then mail-in ballot counts will be updated daily thereafter as they’re counted:

“All election results from the polls will be posted on the Bureau of Elections website, beginning at 8 p.m. on Election Day. Mail-in and absentee ballot counts will be posted on the Bureau of Elections website daily, after each day count.”

According to the most recent CBS News Battleground Tracker, Pennsylvania is cited as being one of at least 13 states in the 2020 election that could go in any direction between Joe Biden and President Trump.

Per the CBS Battleground Tracker:

“Biden leads in Pennsylvania, 53% to Mr. Trump’s 46%, with a 5.9 point margin of error, according to the CBS News Battleground Tracker. Pennsylvania holds 20 votes on the electoral college map, making it one of the most valuable election prizes.”

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In other mail-in ballot related reports, an investigation was recently launched pertaining to undelivered mail that included mail-in ballots. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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HOMESTEAD, FL – Both law enforcement and post office officials are investigating the circumstances of a recently discovered batch of undelivered ballots found within a post office in Florida.

Reportedly, four dozen ballots were found within the facility – with some having been filled out while others were not.

On October 31st, U.S. Postal Service Office investigators revealed that piles of undelivered mail were found within a post office location not far from the city of Homestead. Among said undelivered mail was reportedly 42 blank ballots and six completed ones.

Video evidence that was reviewed by investigators purportedly shows that the undelivered mail had been sitting there for over a week.

The special agent in charge of the postal service’s inspector general’s office in South Florida, Scott Pierce, released the following statement regarding the matter:

“The investigation is ongoing and is being closely coordinated with U.S. Postal Service to ensure all delayed mail has been properly handled and delivered.”

According to Miami-Dade County elections officials, reportedly 18 of the affected voters relating to the undelivered mail were said to have already cast their votes either in-person or by via requesting a replacement mail-in ballot.

Officials obtained the six completed ballots that were discovered and are working to contact the remaining 24 voters said to be affected by this incident.

In a statement released by Katherine Fernandez Rundle, who serves as the Miami-Dade state attorney, she noted that she’s called for an “audit” of USPS delivery outlets following the recent discovery:

“I have requested that all postal distribution centers be audited and any and all ballots that may remain in these centers be immediately transported to the Department of Elections.”

Mark Travers, who serves as the South Florida president for the National Association of Letter Carriers, had reportedly informed postal service officials that there was a present backlog related to delivers as long back as a week ago – but noted that nothing was immediately tended to when he brought up those concerns.

However, when Florida House Minority Leader Kionne McGhee shared a video online on October 30th showing the stacks of undelivered mail that came compliments of a postal worker, that was when officials began taking investigative action.

When McGhee was applying pressure to have this matter looked into, he released the following statement:

“I call on the Postal Service to correct this and promise the citizens of Miami-Dade that these ballots will be delivered in time. I call on Laurel Lee, Florida’s Secretary of State, and Governor Ron DeSantis to use their power and influence to guarantee every valid vote in Florida is counted.”

Days prior to the discovery, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan on October 27th issued an order that the USPS will be ensuring to “the maximum extent necessary” that mail – especially election related – will arrive at their respective destinations:

“USPS personnel are instructed to perform late and extra trips to the maximum extent necessary to increase on-time mail deliveries, particularly for Election Mail. To be clear, late and extra trips should be performed to the same or greater degree than they were performed prior to July 2020 when doing so would increase on-time mail deliveries.”

Officials from the USPS have not commented on whether there’s any pending disciplinary action being taken against any employee(s) related to the discovered undelivered mail.

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