Late Monday afternoon Common Pleas Judge Anthony Verwey ruled against the Chester County Republican Committee, which had asked for an injunction to prevent ballots harvested from a nursing home to be counted in Tuesday’s primary.

The judge also denied the party’s request to reverse a county Board of Elections ruling that GOP committee members cannot act as poll watchers in their own precincts. The Republicans also objected to the reapportionment of wards in Phoenixville. They are concerned that the Board of Elections gave them insufficient notice of these ward changes in the borough for committee members to gather signatures.

They further argued that the long-term care facility was not a single household, as election law requires, so one person could not legally gather ballots from many residents there.

“The injunction proposed in this matter would disenfranchise and, therefore, harm voters who are unable to submit their ballots on their own and have already provided their mail-in ballot to a single designated agent,” the judge wrote.

Chester County GOP Chair Dr. Raffi Terzian said, “We are disappointed, and quite frankly surprised, with the outcome of the ruling today. During this election cycle, with all eyes on Pennsylvania, it should be of paramount interest to all voters that there be fairness in the electoral process, and this is precisely what we asked for today.

“Our goals are to promote transparency and accountability, to help restore confidence in the integrity of the election process and to make sure that citizens are provided with appropriate notice of actions taken by county government. Unfortunately, it appears that there remains a double standard which is tilted against Republicans,” Terzian said.

Rebecca Brain, a spokeswoman for Chester County, said, “Chester County and its leadership and staff in Voter Services are dedicated to running safe and secure elections, and the County remains committed to open communication and transparency, not just with voters, but with representatives of all parties.”

When DVJournal asked her why it was okay for Commissioner Marian Moskowitz to serve on the Board of Elections while she was a candidate, Brain said, “Marian Moskowitz is running for a party position, and the Election Code does not prohibit a member of a Board of Elections from running for a party position.”

Moskowitz is running to be a delegate to the National Democratic Convention.

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