Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright (Pennsylvania) sued Luzerne County’s elections board over its decision not to certify its vote canvass because of a shortage of paper at some polling places.
During a meeting on Monday (November 28), two Republicans on the board opposed certification while two Democrats voted in favor of certification, while a third Democrat abstained.
Elias Law Group, a progressive law firm, and a Pennsylvania-based firm filed Tuesday’s suit. The law firms argue that Luzerne County’s election board was required to certify the elections by Monday under state law.
The suit describes the certification of the elections as a “ministerial act” that the board didn’t have the discretion to defy.
The lawsuit explains the role of the elections board. Noting that the state’s law specifies the role of the board is to certify the election canvass irrespective of any “error or fraud that is discovered” and that if the board believes there is a fault or fraud, it should be reported to the district attorney.
Voting in Luzerne County was extended by two hours on Election Day after a ruling by a judge who ruled it was a necessary measure following the county’s election workers discovering a paper shortage.
Alyssa Fusaro, one of the Republicans on Luzerne County’s election board, pointed to a lack of voter privacy, a paper shortage, and election machine’s jamming as the reason she refused to certify the canvass.
However, her Democratic counterpart, Audrey Serniak, who voted to certify, said she hadn’t seen any “massive fraud” and didn’t want to “disenfranchise the voters.”