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Pa. county meeting again to certify midterm results after Republican-led delay

(WASHINGTON) — The Luzerne County Board of Elections in Pennsylvania is set to meet on Wednesday to vote again on certifying the county’s results from the 2022 midterm election — two days after an unusual delay caused by two Republicans and one Democrat on the board.

According to ABC affiliate WNEP-TV, two Republican members of the board voted at a Monday meeting against certifying the results while two Democrats voted to certify and one Democratic member abstained.

Local paper The Times Leader reported that the board members who voted not to certify cited paper ballot issues on Election Day, and many who attended the public meeting spoke against certifying the results.

On Election Day in Luzerne County, numerous polling places ran out of ballot paper, but a judge issued an order extending in-person voting hours at the polls.

“We went over everything meticulously as far as the reconciliations, that’s any anomalies were pretty much explained. And it was due to the confusion at the polls because of the paper shortage,” Democratic member Audrey Serniak said at Monday’s meeting.

The board member who abstained, Daniel Schramm, initially told WNEP that “I wanted more information so I could make a sure decision on that it’s right to certify it.”

WNEP later reported that Schramm said Monday, after the vote to delay, that his concerns about the election had been addressed and he was ready to vote to certify.

According to The Times Leader, County Assistant Solicitor Paula Radick said at the Monday meeting that the state or candidates could take legal action against the county for not certifying the results.

The Pennsylvania Department of State told ABC News in a statement on Monday that it had contacted Luzerne County officials “to inquire about the board’s decision and their intended next steps.”

In Pennsylvania’s key statewide races, Republican candidate Mehmet Oz received more votes in Luzerne County in the Senate race, while Democratic candidate Josh Shapiro received more votes by a slimmer margin in Luzerne County in the gubernatorial race.

Shapiro went on to win statewide, defeating Republican Doug Mastriano; Oz lost to Democrat John Fetterman.

The delay in certifying the election results in Luzerne County comes at the same time that a county in Arizona, Cochise County, has also delayed certifying its results, prompting a lawsuit from the Arizona secretary of state.

In Cochise, two Republicans voted on Monday to delay certification over the objections over the board’s lone Democrat, who said in a statement that “the other board members accept[ed] unsubstantiated ideas and unverified claims as facts instead of relying on the Arizona State Elections Office.”

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