BUT IS THE ENTIRE MATTER “DEFECTIVE?”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 2, 2016) — On Friday, Ren Jander, JD, published a new article on his blog contending that the lawsuit filed by an attorney representing Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is “statutorily defective and must be dismissed with prejudice” based on Pennsylvania election law.
Stein’s brief, filed by Atty. Lawrence M. Otter, claims that “the 2016 Presidential Dlection was illegal and the return thereof was not correct” based on alleged “vulnerabilities of the electronic voting systems used within the Commonwealth to interference or hacking…”
Jander, has since Monday has been writing about Stein’s attempts to compel the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to perform a statewide recount of votes cast in the November 8 election. His posts refute the validity of Stein’s lawsuit, or “contest” of the election, for lack of the required affidavits.
Jander’s first post, titled, “THERE WILL BE NO RECOUNT IN PENNSYLVANIA: Jill Stein Perpetrating Election Fraud,” began with, “Everything you’ve been reading about a possible recount of the 2016 Presidential Election in Pennsylvania is wrong. There will be no ‘recount’ in Pennsylvania. Book that. It is not speculation. It is legal fact.”
On a fundraising website Stein established after announcing her filing for a recount in the state of Wisconsin last Friday, her goal, first set at $2.5 million, is now $9.5 million. Earlier this week, Stein expressed her frustration and dismay that Wisconsin election officials informed her that contrary to an estimated $1.1 million thought to be required to perform a recount there, it would cost $3.5 million.
According to news reports, Stein paid the requisite fee by wire transfer on Tuesday morning, and a recount began on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Republican Party filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) alleging that Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s subsequent immersion in the recount effort “demonstrates a clear link between the actions of the Stein campaign and the strategic goals of the Hillary for America.” [sic]
“Further, the Clinton campaign joined the Stein campaign in a lawsuit petitioning with state of Wisconsin for a hand recount which serves no purpose other than to drag out the process to the benefit of Sec. Clinton,” the complaint continues, alleging “a severe specter of illegal coordination” between the two campaigns.
Despite reports that some districts in Pennsylvania had withheld their vote tabulations from certification in light of Stein’s challenge, Jander on Tuesday reported that “recounts,” which must be “voter-initiated” in Pennsylvania, were already “time-barred.”
A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State confirmed that the deadline for requesting a recount in any district was November 21. By Pennsylvania law, a “recount” is initiated within a ward or district upon the submission of sworn affidavits from three registered voters who voted in the election and allege that an error or some other irregularity occurred during the tabulation of votes.
In contrast, an election “contest” is a legal action disputing the results of the entire statewide election.
On Tuesday, Jander wrote that Stein had failed to submit the required sworn affidavits necessary to filing her contest. Referring to case law on Thursday, he reiterated that “The deadlines for filing voter-initiated recount petitions in Pennsylvania have passed.”
Not only are her “recount” efforts statutorily time-barred, but her election “contest” petition failed to secure the sworn affidavits of five petitioner/voters before yesterday’s filing deadline. In fact, she didn’t attach even one such petioner/voter affidavit.
Furthermore, the entire filing is deficient in that it does not offer one single fact to make a prima facie case that the election in Pennsylvania was illegal. It is a publicity stunt featuring multiple hypotheticals and absolutely zero facts concerning the election in Pennsylvania.
Jander’s main points on Friday were expressed as:
A link Jander included to a November 29 Order from the Commonwealth Court reveals that anyone wishing to intervene in the contest, the arguments for which are scheduled to be heard on Monday at 10:00 a.m. EST, must have done so by 12:00 noon on Friday.
In the upper-left corner, the order references “One Hundred (100) or more unnamed registered voters” of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” but no affidavits from voters were posted with the brief.
The substantive part of the order reads:
On Thursday, however, at approximately 5:38 p.m., the petitioners asked for a three-day delay in the hearing which was opposed by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, which cited the federal “Safe Harbor” law requiring the “certification of Presidential Electors by the Governor on or before December 13, 2016.”
As of this writing, the court does not appear to have ruled on the petitioners’ request to delay the hearing.