Pennsylvania Delaware County Poll Watchers Challenge
Delaware County Republican Executive Committee v. Delaware County Board of Elections
Petition filed by the Delaware County Republican Party against the Delaware County, Pennsylvania Board of Elections (“BOE”) requesting that the court “grant access to and permit [the plaintiff’s] watchers and attorneys to be present in all areas of the Board of Elections offices where pre-canvassing, sorting, opening, counting and recording of absentee and mail-in ballots is occurring or taking place for the returns of the November 3, 2020 General Election.” The plaintiff alleges that the BOE established a “pen” for watchers that allowed poll watchers and attorneys to observe the pre-canvass and canvass of ballots from the front of the BOE’s office but there were also pre-canvassing and canvassing activities taking place at “the Rear” end of the building that Republican watchers and attorneys could not see. The plaintiff alleges that the “restriction of watchers and attorneys to the ‘pen’ in the Front [of the BOE office] precludes the watchers from observing even basic matters” and argues that it “believe[s] that the Board will apply these same Draconian rules and restrictions not only to the pre-canvass and canvass process, but also to the computation of returns” in violation of Pennsylvania law. On Nov. 4, 2020, the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas ruled that four observers were “permitted to observe the resolution area at all hows while ballots are being resolved,” that an observer from each party was “permitted to enter the ballot room, to examine the room; however, are not permitted to examine the physical ballots contained within the room individually” every two hours and held that any “observer may not interference with the process, nor may any observer object to individual ballots.”
On Dec. 30, 2020, the petitioners filed an emergency petition for bifurcation alleging that the Delaware County Board of Elections “is in contempt and guilty of a misdemeanor for not allowing observers to be present to inspect/View the canvassing and resolution of mail in and absentee ballots.” The emergency petition and three pro se parties’ motion to intervene was denied on Jan. 12, 2021. The three self-represented parties who were denied intervention in the lawsuit appealed to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. The Commonwealth Court affirmed the lower court’s Jan. 12 order on July 19, 2022. The petitioners appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court who denied the petitioners’ petition for allowance of appeal on June 22, 2022.
Two of the rejected intervenors then filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 20, 2022 arguing that they had “a mountain of evidence that approximately 327,000 votes were fraudulently certified in Delaware County.” On Jan. 23, 2023, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, putting an end to it.
Case Documents (Appellate court)
Case Documents (PA supreme Court)
Case Documents (U.S. Supreme Court)