Exclusive — RNC Sues Key Pennsylvania County for Absentee Ballot Transparency

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is suing Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to push for more transparency when it comes to the county’s processes for counting absentee ballots, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.

The lawsuit represents an escalation by the GOP in an effort to establish uniformity in the Keystone State when it comes to the process of absentee ballot counting, with several counties in the state still resisting transparency and reform efforts.

“The RNC is suing the Bucks County Board of Elections because Pennsylvanians deserve transparent elections,” RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Breitbart News. “Refusing to share crucial information about how absentee ballots are counted is unacceptable. This is yet another example of how the RNC is fighting for election integrity in courts across the country: whether it’s non-citizens voting in New York City or local election boards hiding information, we hold Democrats accountable.”

Filed Friday in the Court of Common Pleas in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the RNC lawsuit against the Bucks County Board of Elections seeks to compel the county to provide documents and information the RNC previously filed formal requests for regarding the process for absentee ballot counting in Pennsylvania elections. The county previously denied the information through the formal request, and the RNC seeks to have the court overturn that denial and force the county to cooperate with the public records requests.

The original request from the RNC sought several items, per the lawsuit. “Any and all communications from the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Elections, regarding the counting, processing, curing, or rejection of mail-in or absentee ballots for the 2020 General Election” is the first item listed.

The next eight items sought are as follows, quoted directly from the lawsuit:

  • Any and all communications to the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Elections, regarding the counting, processing, curing, or rejection of mail-in or absentee ballots for the 2020 General Election.
  • Any and all communications from the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Elections, regarding training for poll workers and judges of elections for the 2020 General Election.
  • Any and all documents reviewed or utilized by the Bucks County Board of Elections regarding the counting, processing, curing, or rejection of mail-in or absentee ballots for the 2020 General Election.
  • Any and all documents regarding and/or relating to any training sessions regarding the procedures to be used in counting, processing, curing, or rejection of mail-in or absentee ballots for the 2020 General Election.
  • Any and all documents reflecting the procedure used to count, process, cure, or reject mail-in or absentee ballots for the 2020 General Election.
  • Any and all documents relied upon and/or referred to during the Canvass, as that term is described in the Pennsylvania Election Code.
  • Any and all communications to or from any employee or staff member of the Bucks County Board of elections, including the administrator of mail-in elections regarding the counting, processing, curing, or rejection of mail-in or absentee ballots for the 2020 General Election.
  • Any plan, documents, training materials, or other materials created or used by the Bucks County Board of Elections, its employees, officers, or agents for creating the system used to process, count, cure, or reject mail-in or absentee ballots for the 2020 General Election.

At first, per the RNC lawsuit, Bucks County sought extensions from the deadline Pennsylvania open records laws impose on such requests—but then later formally denied the request. The RNC appealed the denial to the state Office of Open Records, where the request was also denied. This lawsuit is the next step in attempting to procure all that information as the GOP seeks to rein in the left when it comes to election matters in Pennsylvania and other states.

Bucks County is also not the only Pennsylvania where the GOP is fighting this matter. Similar battles are playing out in Berks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and Allegheny counties as well. Party officials say they are prepared to bring similar lawsuits against other counties that resist the production of these records, like Bucks County is doing.

RNC officials told Breitbart News that during the 2020 election in Pennsylvania, counties lacked uniformity in how absentee ballots were counted and that some counties allowed voters to “cure” what election officials considered “defective ballots” while other counties did not allow curing of ballots—something that the party believes negatively impacted Republican voters, while disparately helping Democrat voters, in the state of Pennsylvania.

The RNC is attempting to, through these efforts, compel counties across Pennsylvania to be transparent in how they process and count absentee ballots—several of these countries are notoriously secretive about the process, as evidenced by the formal denials of the open records requests. What’s more, RNC officials believe that once the information on the process is available and transparent, it could provide the basis for a larger lawsuit and legal action forcing a uniformity statewide on the process of handling absentee ballots.

This latest action comes on the heels of a state court in Pennsylvania in late January striking down Act 77, the state law that retiring Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf used as the basis for the state’s 2020 election activities.

Source

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