Original jurisdiction in case of In the Matter of: Nomination Petition of William D. Hall.
Eugene Kelly, with him William R. Balaban, and Thomas R. Balaban, for petitioners.
R. J. Woodside, with him Shearer, Mette & Woodside, for respondent.
Judge Blatt. Memorandum Opinion and Order by Judge Blatt.
Eugene Kelly, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the office of State Senator in the General Assembly of the Commonwealth for the 23rd Senatorial District, has filed a Petition objecting to the Nomination Petitions of William D. Hall as a candidate for nomination to the same office in the Primary Election to be held on April 27, 1976. Pursuant to Section 901 et seq. of The Election Code,*fn1 25 P.S. § 2861 et seq., Hall filed six nomination petitions containing 380 signatures with the Bureau of Elections in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. Kelly has raised 338*fn2 objections to signatures on the Hall petitions, in some cases objecting for more than
one reason to certain signatures, and, if those objections were sustained the number of valid signatures filed by Hall would be reduced to a number less than the 200 minimum required to gain a position on the primary ballot. A hearing was held, therefore, on February 27, 1976 to consider these objections.
It was agreed at the hearing that the photocopies of the challenged nomination petitions submitted by Kelly were accurate reproductions of the originals on file with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. Referring to these copies, Kelly specifically objected that 204 of the signatures appearing on the nomination petitions were not those of the qualified electors that they purportedly represent; that 26 signatures have listed addresses different from those found on the official voter registration cards; that one of the nomination petitions containing 47 signatures was circulated by an individual who was not qualified to do so; that 15 signatures do not represent registered Democratic voters on the date of the signature; that 6 signatures have used ditto marks to indicate required information; that one signature is duplicated on another nomination petition; that 14 signatures have listed occupations different from those found on the official voter registration cards; and that one of the nomination petitions containing 25 signatures was filed after the closing date for the filing of such petitions.
Appearing as witnesses were representatives of the local Bureaus of Elections from Clinton and Tioga Counties wherein the above petitions were circulated, a representative of the Bureau of Elections in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and Mr. Hall, the candidate whose nomination petitions were being challenged. The local Election Bureau representatives presented original voter registration cards to the Court to help the Court resolve the objections,
and the parties themselves further aided the Court by resolving some of the objections by stipulation.
Having now considered the stipulations and having examined the original registration cards, the corresponding signature lines which were subjected to objection and the amended signatures submitted with the Court's permission, we find as follows:
(1) By stipulation, the parties have agreed to strike, and the following signatures will be stricken as invalid:
Petition No. 1 Petition No. 2 Petition No. 3
Petition No. 4 Petition No. 5
(2) By the Court's examination, the following signatures do not conform with the signatures and information on the registration cards and will be stricken as invalid:
Petition No. 1 Petition No. 2