Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northumberland County, in case of Pat Weaver v. James K. Brumbach, III, No. CV-87-368.
Robert M. Cravitz, with him, John R. Moore, Moore & Cravitz, for appellant.
Jeffrey Apfelbaum, Apfelbaum, Apfelbaum & Apfelbaum, for appellee.
Judge Palladino and Senior Judges Kalish and Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino. Senior Judge Kalish concurs in the result only.
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 527]
James K. Brumbach, III (Appellant) appeals an order of the Northumberland County Court of Common Pleas striking his nomination petition for the office of mayor of the city of Sunbury on the Democrat primary ballot. We affirm.
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 528]
Appellant filed his nomination petition, with 125 signatures, on March 10, 1987. On March 17, 1987, Pat Weaver (Appellee), who had filed her nomination petition for the same office on February 27, 1987, filed an objection to Appellant's petition. Appellee's objections were: (1) several Democratic voters signed Appellant's petition after having signed hers; (2) several signers were Republicans; (3) several signers were not registered voters when they signed; and (4) several signatures were forged.
After a hearing, on March 20, 1987, the trial court found that: (1) Appellant had stipulated that 2 signators on Appellant's petition were not Democrats and 20 signed Appellee's petition prior to Appellant's and (2) the evidence established that 20 signators were not registered on the date they signed. This left a petition with only 83 valid signatures; 100 were needed. Because less than the required number of signatures then remained, the trial court did not rule on the signatures alleged to be forged and ordered Appellant's name to be stricken as a candidate for mayor of the city of Sunbury.
On appeal to this court, Appellant raises three questions of law. He contends that: (1) because there is no evidence in the record that the county board of elections (board) was served with a copy of Appellee's objection petition, the trial court did not have personal jurisdiction over the board and, therefore, could not order it to strike Appellant's name as a candidate; (2) the trial court improperly relied on an unsigned circulator's affidavit to find that 20 individuals signed Appellee's nomination petition prior to his; and (3) individuals should be considered registered voters on the date when their mail-form voter registration applications are received by the county registration commission (commission). We will address Appellant's arguments seriatim.
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 529]
Section 977 of the Election Code,*fn1 in pertinent ...