Pennsylvania’s top elections official fully certified results from the November vote late last week after recount petitions in some counties had delayed the process, the Department of State confirmed Tuesday.
Secretary of State Leigh Chapman’s spokesperson told The Associated Press Tuesday her office completed certification of all races in the 2022 midterm election last week. The Epoch Times has contacted Chapman’s for comment.
The final tally was issued about two weeks before members of Congress, including Sen.-elect John Fetterman (D-Pa.) and state lawmakers are due to be sworn in on Jan. 3. The inauguration of the state’s next governor, Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro, will be held later in January.
Recount petitions in at least 27 of the state’s 67 counties, covering 172 voting precincts, caused delays as some county elections boards waited until litigation was resolved before sending in their own certifications to the state.
The Department of State had said it expected to comply with a request from the clerk of the U.S. House to send certification documents to Congress by mid-December.
There were concerns about election-related issues across the state, namely in Luzerne County, after officials ran out of paper on Election Day. Ultimately, on Nov. 30, the county’s Board of Elections and Registration voted 3–2 to certify the county’s election results following a tense public comment period and days after the board deadlocked 2–2 after one of the board members abstained from voting.
A left-wing election law firm headed by longtime Democrat-aligned lawyer Marc Elias filed a lawsuit against Luzerne County on behalf of Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), leading to the abstaining Democrat member of Luzerne’s board, Daniel Schramm, to ultimately join other Democrats in certifying the results of the election. Before the vote last month, Schramm told CNN that there was much “complaining about things, but no substantial proof” of malfeasance.
But the Republican members of the election board said that voters were turned away from polls due to the paper shortage, privacy safeguards were not upheld, and that machines jammed. And Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office has stated it’s investigating the paper shortage along with related issues on Election Day.
“There were so many challenges, so many issues, so many problems, so many concerns, that I can’t with good conscience certify this election,” Republican board member Alyssa Fusaro told a hearing last month.
In that same hearing, a local man accused Democrat board member Denise Serniak of being a liar after she said she cannot “see any massive fraud in this,” local media reported. The unnamed man was escorted from the building by law enforcement officers. Another attendee called the other Democrat board member a communist before he, too, was escorted from the premises, it was reported.
GOP House candidate Jim Bognet, who was running against Cartwright, issued a statement saying the country should not have certified due to the polling-day issues.
“On election day, the polls were effectively closed for hours at many precincts across Luzerne County. Citizens were disenfranchised, and many voters still don’t know if their emergency ballots were properly counted. Voters deserve answers immediately,” Bognet said last month.
Outside of Pennsylvania, several counties in Arizona after the midterms signaled they would not certify election results amid issues reported in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous area. Ultimately, those counties’ boards voted to certify the election as one board of supervisor member in Cochise County indicated they would face felony charges if they did not approve the election results.
In Maricopa, meanwhile, a lawsuit that was filed by Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake that challenged the election in the county was dismissed last week by a judge. Lake has pledged to appeal to the state’s Supreme Court.
On Monday, lawyers for Maricopa and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs filed a motion to sanction Lake’s lawyers and recoup legal fees. Lake has not publicly responded to the motion.
“Courts are established by Arizona’s Constitution and statutes to resolve actual disputes between parties,” Maricopa’s attorneys wrote. “They do not exist so that candidates for political office can attempt to make political statements and fundraise. And they should not be used to harass political opponents and sow completely unfounded doubts about the integrity of elections. All of those things happened in this matter.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.