WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, Nov. 30, the Luzerne County Board of Elections voted to certify the results of the 2022 midterm elections after failing to certify results by the Nov. 28 deadline. On Monday, two members voted to certify, two members voted against certification and one member abstained, leaving the board deadlocked. Notably, the member who abstained did so because he wanted to know “what happens if the vote is not certified.” The county’s failure to certify led to a lawsuit from U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), who argued that certification is a “ministerial act—one which the board is required to perform and has no discretion to refuse.” Today, the board voted 3-2 to certify, with all Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans opposed.
Luzerne County’s initial failure to certify is part of a trend of Republicans weaponizing previously routine tasks to undermine confidence in the electoral process. Earlier this year, three other Pennsylvania counties (Berks, Fayette and Lancaster) were sued over their refusal to include valid undated mail-in ballots in election certification totals for the 2022 primary election. Such tactics aren’t limited to Pennsylvania, either: Cochise County, Arizona also failed to certify results on Nov. 28, the state’s deadline to do so, leading to lawsuits from the Arizona secretary of state and Arizona voters.