NOW, May 5, 2009, it is ordered that the above-captioned Memorandum Opinion, filed April 1, 2009, shall be designated OPINION and shall be REPORTED.
BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, Judge
Brian Miles (Objector) has filed a Petition to Set Aside the Nomination Petition of Philip J. Berg (Petition to Set Aside), seeking to prevent Berg's name from appearing on the primary ballot as a Republican candidate for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Pursuant to Section 912.1(18) of the Pennsylvania Election Code (Election Code),*fn1 Berg is required to present a nomination petition containing at least two-hundred fifty (250) valid signatures of registered and enrolled members of the proper party.
On March 10, 2009, Berg filed his Nomination Petition containing two hundred eighty-seven (287) signatures with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. In the Petition to Set Aside, Objector challenges one hundred twenty-one (121)*fn2 of those signatures found on pages 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15 and 16 as invalid because Berg, himself, notarized the circulators' affidavits that are attached to those pages in violation of the Notary Public Law.*fn3
In compliance with our Scheduling and Case Management Order dated March 17, 2009, the parties filed a timely Stipulation with this Court on March 24, 2009. A hearing was held before the undersigned on March 25, 2009. Berg represented himself at the hearing. Neither Objector nor Berg presented any witnesses at the hearing.
The Election Code sets out the statutory requirements that a candidate must meet in order to be placed on a primary ballot. Section 907 of the Election Code, 25 P.S. § 2867, provides that nomination petitions must be filed by a candidate in a "form prescribed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, [and] signed by duly registered and enrolled members of such party who are qualified electors of the State or of the political district, as the case may be, within which the nomination is to be made or election is to be held." A nomination petition may contain several sheets, which electors have signed; however, each sheet must have a circulator's affidavit appended thereto. Section 909 of the Election Code, 25 P.S. § 2869. An affidavit is statutorily defined as:
A statement in writing of a fact or facts signed by the party making it, sworn to or affirmed before an officer authorized by the laws of this Commonwealth to take acknowledgments of deeds, or authorized to administer oaths, or before the particular officer or individual designated by law as the one before whom it is to or may be taken, and officially certified to in the case of an officer under his seal of office.
Section 1991 of the Statutory Construction Act of 1972, 1 Pa. C.S. § 1991; see In re 2003 General Election for the Office of Prothonotary, 578 Pa. 3, 15, 849 A.2d 230, 237 (2004) (stating that the definitions in the Statutory Construction Act of 1972 apply to the Election Code); see also Section 16(a) of the Notary Public Law, 57 P.S. § 162(a) ("Notaries shall have power to administer oaths . . . .").
In this case, the issue involves only the circulators' affidavits on the signature pages which are challenged. Specifically, Objector contends that those pages, and the signatures thereon, are invalid because Berg, himself, notarized the circulators' affidavits in violation of Section 19(e) of the Notary Public Law, which provides that:
(e) No notary public may act as such in any transaction in which he is a party directly or pecuniarily interested. For the purpose of this section, none of the following ...