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§ 3262. Recanvassing voting machines upon petition of electors alleging fraud or error

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 25 P.S. Elections & Electoral DistrictsEffective: October 8, 2004

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 25 P.S. Elections & Electoral Districts (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 14. Election Code (Refs & Annos)
Article XVII. Recounts and Contests (Refs & Annos)
(a) Recounts
Effective: October 8, 2004
25 P.S. § 3262
§ 3262. Recanvassing voting machines upon petition of electors alleging fraud or error
(a) Judicial proceedings shall be as follows:
(1) Except as set forth in clause (2), the court of common pleas, or a judge thereof, of the county in which any election district is located, shall make visible the registering counters of the voting machine or machines used in such election district at any primary or election, and without unlocking the machine against voting, shall recanvass the vote cast therein, if three qualified electors of the election district shall file a petition, duly verified by them, alleging that, upon information which they consider reliable, they believe that fraud or error, although not manifest on the general return of votes made therefrom, was committed in the canvassing of the votes cast on such machine or machines. It shall not be necessary for the petitioners to specify in their petition the particular act of fraud or error they believe to have been committed, nor to offer evidence to substantiate the allegations of their petition.
(2) In cases resulting from a recount or recanvass ordered by the Secretary of the Commonwealth under section 1404(g),1 all of the following apply:
(i) Upon petition under subclause (ii), Commonwealth Court shall:
(A) make visible the registering counter of the voting machine used;
(B) without unlocking the machine against voting, recanvass the vote cast in the machine.
(ii) To obtain relief under subclause (i):
(A) Three qualified electors of the county must file a verified petition alleging that, upon information which they consider reliable, they believe that fraud or error, although not manifest on the general return of votes, was committed in the canvassing of the votes cast on the machine.
(B) It is not necessary for the petitioners to specify in their petition the particular act of fraud or error they believe to have been committed nor to offer evidence to substantiate the allegations of the petition.
(a.1) Every petition for the recanvassing of votes cast in the voting machine, or voting machines of an election district, under the provisions of this section, shall be filed in the office of the prothonotary of the proper county accompanied by a deposit of cash in the amount of fifty ($50) dollars, or by a bond signed by the petitioners as principals and by a corporate surety to be approved by the court in the amount of one hundred ($100) dollars, conditioned upon the payment to the county treasurer for the use of the county of the sum of fifty ($50) dollars, in the event that upon the recanvassing of the votes cast in a voting machine or voting machines, it does not appear that fraud or substantial error was committed in the canvassing of the votes cast on such machine or otherwise in connection with such voting machines.
(b) Before the votes cast on any voting machine are recanvassed under the provisions of this section, the court shall direct that notice of the time and place of the proposed recanvass be given, either personally or by registered mail, to each candidate whose name appears on the ballot labels, and each such candidate may be present at such recanvass, either in person or by his attorney, or by his duly authorized representative, under such regulations as the court may prescribe.
(b.1) If, upon the recanvassing of the votes in any voting machine, it shall appear that fraud or substantial error was committed in the computation of the votes cast on the voting machine or otherwise in connection with such voting machine, it shall be the duty of the court to certify such fact to the prothonotary, and thereupon the prothonotary shall return to the petitioners the said sum of fifty ($50) dollars, or if the petitioners shall have filed a bond, in lieu of cash, to mark said bond cancelled and notify the petitioners that he has done so.
(b.2) If, upon the recanvassing of the votes in any voting machine under the provisions of this section, it shall not appear that fraud or substantial error was committed in the computation of the votes cast in the voting machine or otherwise in connection with such voting machine, the persons upon whose petition such voting machine was recanvassed shall forfeit to the county the sum of fifty ($50) dollars. If said petitioners shall have deposited the said sum in cash with the prothonotary at the time of filing the petition, the prothonotary, upon certification of the court that fraud or substantial error or otherwise in connection with such machine was not discovered, shall pay said sum deposited with him to the county treasurer, and if the petitioners shall have filed with their petition a bond in the sum of one hundred ($100) dollars, it shall be the duty of the county treasurer forthwith to collect from the principals or surety on said bond the sum of fifty ($50) dollars and costs of suit, and for this purpose he is hereby authorized to institute any necessary legal proceedings. When so collected, the said sum of fifty ($50) dollars shall be paid over to the county treasurer.
(c) Voting machines may be recanvassed under the provisions of this section at any time within twenty days after the date of the primary or election at which they were used.

Credits

1937, June 3, P.L. 1333, art. XVII, § 1702. Amended 1959, Dec. 17, P.L. 1891, § 1; 2004, Oct. 8, P.L. 807, No. 97, § 12, imd. effective.
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
Act 2004-97 legislation
Act 2004-97, § 12, rewrote subsec. (a), which had read:
“The court of common pleas, or a judge thereof, of the county in which any election district is located, shall make visible the registering counters of the voting machine or machines used in such election district at any primary or election, and without unlocking the machine against voting, shall recanvass the vote cast therein, if three qualified electors of the election district shall file a petition, duly verified by them, alleging that, upon information which they consider reliable, they believe that fraud or error, although not manifest on the general return of votes made therefrom, was committed in the canvassing of the votes cast on such machine or machines. It shall not be necessary for the petitioners to specify in their petition the particular act of fraud or error they believe to have been committed, nor to offer evidence to substantiate the allegations of their petition.”

Footnotes

25 P.S. § 3154(g).
25 P.S. § 3262, PA ST 25 P.S. § 3262
Current through 2019 Regular Session Act 1
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