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by Ren Jander, JD, ©2016

Blog post by Ren Jander, JD, who provided an analysis of Pennsylvania election law pertaining to recounts and contests

(Nov. 28, 2016) — At 3:23 p.m. EST on Monday, I spoke with Kim Webb, second deputy supervisor prothonotory of Dauphin County, PA.  According to the Pennsylvania election code, any  contest of the election for president and vice-president must be filed in the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas.  As of the time of our phone call, no proper contest had been filed.

I also asked her about a petition for recount, and she confirmed that my analysis was absolutely correct and that the time expired not on the 20th to file, but it was pushed to November 21 because there was a day off in between.  All recounts and petitions for recount at the precinct level are time-barred as of the 21st, and anyone who is filing them today is time-barred.  Ms. Webb said she did not understand why people were filing or why they thought they could file for a recount.

The only thing left was that by the end of today, they would have to file a contest of the election in Dauphin County, and as of now, no contest has been filed.  She confirmed that there were 20 days after the election to contest the election and the expiration was today.  It would have had to have been filed by 100 petitioners with five sworn affidavits.  She knew the law, and she said that unofficial results had to be sent in by November 15 at 5:00 p.m., and then there was a five-day period after that which is now passed.

That all came from Kim Webb, straight from the state capitol.

According to philly.com, Jill Stein has apparently filed a lawsuit to contest the election in the Commonwealth Court, but according to the Pennsylvania Election Code, she is not allowed to file for a contested election because it requires 100 petitioners who were voters who filed five affidavits alleging that the election was illegal.  Kim Webb said, however, that she has no right under the statute to contest the election.

[Editor’s Note:  At 4:25 p.m. EST, The Post & Email called the prothonotory’s office at 717-780-6620 and asked for Kim Webb.  The woman who answered appeared surprised and asked the purpose of our call.  When we said that a researcher had called earlier and obtained some information from her, the clerk, whose name was Jessica, said that she could assist. “We have not received any petitions or lawsuit pertaining to any recount,” Jessica said before we even asked a question.

By the time we finished our conversation, the time on our computer was 4:28 PM. We asked Jessica if the court was open for business until 5:00 PM, to which he answered, “No, we close in three minutes.”

We asked if she would expect that a petition might be received during that time frame, she answered, “No.”  “So it is safe to say that no petition for a recount will be received today?” we asked, to which Jessica responded, “Yes, I think it’s safe to say that.”

When we mentioned that in an article at philly.com posted at 3:30 p.m. EST, it was reported that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein had filed a lawsuit at the Commonwealth Court, Jessica confirmed that that is a separate, appellate court from the Court of Common Pleas.  Jessica then offered to provide us with the phone number, which she did (717-255-1650).

According to philly.com, “Stein’s lawsuit would have to present evidence that election fraud was probable in Pennsylvania. Democratic Secretary of State Pedro Cortes says there’s no evidence of voting irregularities during the Nov. 8 election.”

A calendar of key dates in the election cycle posted by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State indicates that today was the deadline for the county boards of elections to file with the SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH returns from the November election.”

According to the Post-Gazette, however, Allegheny County did not certify its election results on Monday based on reportedly vague claims of “concerns about hacking,” and aging voting equipment.  One voter was quoted as having said, “As some point the burden of proof reached the level where I was not sleeping as well as night.” [sic]

The Washington Examiner also confirmed on Monday afternoon that “Stein missed Pennsylvania’s deadline to file for a voter-initiated recount.”

The Post & Email’s earlier interview with Ren Jander on the topic of a “recount” in Pennsylvania can be read here.]


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  1. VOTE RECOUNT MAY BE PLOY to disenfranchise entire States their Electoral College Vote.
    If a recount is indeed Court Ordered , as Wisconsin’s was, the recount must be accomplished by Dec. 13th. If that Recount isn’t finished, walla that State’s Electoral College vote is moot, null and void.

    By getting 3 States to do that or make that mistake, theoretically the Race tightens or could switch the Electoral College count even off of the 270 Mark.http://bigstory.ap.org/article/d0b5ceb090e44e34bf0d7665ddd188b4/michigan-board-hear-trumps-challenge-recount-effort

    The Dems may have picked the wrong State to pick on in Pennsylvania though as to garner a recount more hoops must be met in every single County including Affidavits that are meritorious. See this Article for that info