Senate to Delay Swearing-In for 45th District Senator

(HARRISBURG) – Following last week’s filing by PA Senate candidate Nicole Ziccarelli contesting the election results in the state’s 45th Senate District, Tuesday’s swearing in of a senator for that district will be delayed, interim Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-34) announced today.

Ziccarelli’s filing addressed the decision by the Allegheny County Board of Elections on November 10, 2020, to count undated election ballots. A response to the Ziccarelli filing was made by Pa Senate candidate James Brewster on January 4. The Senate is scheduled to begin its new legislative session at noon Tuesday by swearing in those who were elected during the 2020 General Election.

“Ziccarelli’s position is that Pennsylvania election law is entirely clear that voters must sign and date their mail-in ballot to be counted,” Corman said. “She argues that a bipartisan coalition of legislators and Governor Wolf agreed on this important integrity and anti-fraud provision, and that his Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar provided clear and consistent instructions to county election boards.”

The Westmoreland County Board of Elections – along with 61 other counties in Pennsylvania – followed Secretary Boockvar’s September 28, 2020, guidance that said “a ballot-return envelope with a declaration that is not filled out, dated, and signed is not sufficient and must be set aside, declared void and may not be counted.

“We understand that this issue needs to be resolved promptly, while ensuring that the constituents of the 45th Senate District have properly elected representation,” Corman said. “Constituents in that community will continue to receive assistance with their state-related issues.”

CONTACT: Jenn Kocher – jkocher@pasen.gov