Original jurisdiction in case of In Re: Nomination Petition of Michael J. DeFino, of South Union Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania.
Philip T. Warman, with him Warman & Warman, for petitioner.
Lee P. Symons, with him Mancke & Lightman, for respondent.
Judge Blatt. Memorandum Opinion and Order by Judge Blatt.
[ 25 Pa. Commw. Page 647]
On February 24, 1976, Fred L. Lebder, a registered elector of the Democratic Party in the 22nd Congressional District of Pennsylvania, timely filed a petition to set aside the nomination petition of Michael J. DeFino as a candidate for the office of Representative in Congress from the said District in the Democratic Primary election to be held on April 27, 1976. After notice to the candidate-respondent and the Secretary
[ 25 Pa. Commw. Page 648]
of the Commonwealth, a hearing was held on February 27, 1976 and the original nomination petition was presented for examination to the Court by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
The uncontested facts in this matter are: (1) that the nominating petition in question was comprised of four sheets of signatures purportedly those of qualified electors in the 22nd Congressional District, registered and enrolled as members of the Democratic Party; (2) that DeFino executed under oath the Affidavit of Circulator for all of the said sheets; and (3) that DeFino did not personally circulate two of the sheets of signatures.
The sole issue presented is whether or not the two sheets of signatures, for which DeFino executed the Affidavits of Circulator, but for which he did not personally obtain the signatures, may be included in his nomination petition.
Article IX, Section 909 of the Pennsylvania Election Code*fn1 (Code), which relates to the affidavits of circulators of nomination petitions, provides, inter alia, that
"[e]ach sheet shall have appended thereto the affidavit of the circulator of each sheet, setting forth -- (a) that he or she is a qualified elector duly registered and enrolled as a member of the designated party of the State, or of the political district, as the case may be referred to in said petition . . . (b) his residence giving city, borough or township, with street and number, if any; (c) that the signers thereto signed with full knowledge of the contents of the petition; (d) that their respective residences are correctly stated therein; (e) that they all reside in the county named in the ...