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CHALLENGE TO AND OBJECTION TO NOMINATING PETITIONS GEORGE EVANS ET AL. CHARLES M. LOCOCO AND DAVID ELY (04/27/83)

decided: April 27, 1983.

IN RE: CHALLENGE TO AND OBJECTION TO NOMINATING PETITIONS OF GEORGE EVANS ET AL. CHARLES M. LOCOCO AND DAVID ELY, APPELLANTS


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of In Re: Challenge to and Objection to Nomination Petitions of George Evans, Gretchen T. Barnhart, Fred C. Bigley, Kenneth P. Wolfe and Gail J. Eiben, as Republican candidates for Council in the Borough of Castle Shannon, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, No. 45 of 1983.

COUNSEL

John J. Hickton, Hickton & Opsitnick, for appellants.

Kerry A. Fraas, Hilner & Fraas, for appellees.

Judges Blatt, MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 635]

This is an appeal by Charles M. Lococo and David Ely (Appellants) of an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, denying the challenge to the nominating petition of George Evans, Gretchen T. Barnhart, Fred C. Bigley, Kenneth P. Wolfe and Gail J. Eiben. We affirm.

The five individuals named above filed nomination petitions with the Allegheny County Department of Elections (Department of Elections) as Republican candidates for Borough Council in the Borough of Castle Shannon. On March 15, 1983, Appellants filed a petition in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas challenging each of the five petitions on the grounds that eleven individuals signed all five nomination petitions on the same day. As only three Borough Council seats are to be filled in the 1983 election, an elector could validly sign only three petitions. Section 908 of the Pennsylvania Election Code (Election Code).*fn1 In addition, Section 977 of the Election Code provides that:

If a person shall sign any nomination petitions or papers for a greater number of candidates

[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 636]

    than he is permitted under the provisions of this act, if said signatures bear the same date, they shall, upon objections filed thereto, not be counted on any petition or paper. . . .

25 P.S. ยง 2937. Appellants' petition urged, therefore, that the eleven signatures should not be counted on any of the five nomination petitions, which would leave each of the petitions without sufficient signatures.

At a hearing before the court of common pleas on Friday, March 18, 1983, the parties stipulated to the facts above. On Monday, March 21, 1983, two of the candidates, Bigley and Wolfe, filed Withdrawal of Candidate for Nomination forms with the County Department of Elections. There is no question that the withdrawal forms were timely filed according to the Election Code.*fn2 After the submission of briefs and argument on Tuesday, March 22, 1983, the court of common pleas issued the March 24, 1983 order appealed here.

We are persuaded that the logic of the opinion in Carbone Appeal, 395 Pa. 581, 150 A.2d 533 (1959)*fn3 is controlling in the case now before us. In Carbone, the appellant petitioned to set aside the nomination petitions of two candidates for School ...


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