PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a certificate of ascertainment to show the slate of electors for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris after Pennsylvania certified its election results Tuesday.
Gov. Wolf announced the Pennsylvania Department of State certified the Nov. 3 election results for president and vice president.
Again, I want to thank the election officials who have administered a fair and free election during an incredibly challenging time in our commonwealth and country's history.
Our election workers have been under constant attack and they have performed admirably and honorably.
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) November 24, 2020
He says as required by federal law, he signed a certificate of ascertainment, which is sent to the national archivist. Four years ago, Gov. Wolf made that notification Dec. 12.
“Again, I want to thank the election officials who have administered a fair and free election during an incredibly challenging time in our commonwealth and country’s history,” Gov. Wolf said in a tweet. “Our election workers have been under constant attack and they have performed admirably and honorably.”
The certificate of ascertainment includes 3,458,229 votes for Biden, 3,377,674 for Donald Trump and 79,380 for Jo Jorgensen.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar also expressed gratitude towards the state’s election workers.
“We are tremendously grateful to all 67 counties who have been working extremely long hours to ensure that every qualified voter’s vote is counted safely and securely. The county election officials and the poll workers are the true heroes of our democracy, enabling us to vote in record numbers, amid challenging circumstances, so that every eligible voter’s voice could be heard,” Boockvar said in a statement.
The boards in two populous counties split along party lines in votes taken Monday, with majority Democrats in both places voting to certify the results.
Allegheny County, which gave a majority to Democrat Joe Biden, voted 2-1, and Luzerne County, which Republican Donald Trump won, approved its results, 3-2. Messages seeking comment were left for Republicans who voted no in both counties.
Several other counties voted unanimously to certify on Monday, as Erie County did late last week, and there were no reports of counties voting against certification.
Meanwhile, the state Supreme Court on Monday said that more than 8,300 mail-in ballots in Philadelphia that had been challenged by the Trump campaign because of minor technical errors should be counted.
A voter’s failure to include a handwritten name, address or date by their declaration on the outer envelope, the court said, does not “warrant the wholesale disenfranchisement of thousands of Pennsylvania voters.”
The decision also went against a Republican state Senate challenger in Allegheny County, Nicole Ziccarelli, who wanted to keep votes without a handwritten date from counting. Ziccarelli is down in AP’s count by a single vote, out of about 133,000 cast, against Democratic Sen. Jim Brewster.
Although all seven justices agreed that handwritten names and street addresses on the outer envelopes are not mandatory, just three said the date definitely is not required. Three others, a Democrat and both Republicans, would have required the date.
The seventh justice, Democrat David Wecht, said that the date is clearly required but that it may not have been clear to voters, so in this election, ballots inside an envelope without a date should count.
Wecht wrote that he would not enforce the date requirement this year but considers it mandatory for future elections.
Biden won the presidency with the help of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes. His margin in the state currently stands at more than 81,000 out of nearly 7 million cast.
Trump’s federal lawsuit challenging the results was dismissed Saturday by a judge who declined to halt Boockvar’s certification. The Trump campaign has appealed to the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The large number of votes cast by mail, and the large number of provisional ballots that were cast, have been a challenge for vote counters across the state.
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