A Democrat — who wasn't even on the ballot — was elected state representative of the 179th Pennsylvanian House District, located in North Philadelphia. Now, Republican and Green Party nominees are suing.
Philly.com reported that Republican nominee Lucinda Little, Green Party nominee Cheri Honkala and their state parties announced the suit against Democrat Emilio Vazquez, Philadelphia’s Democratic City Committee, the Board of City Commissioners and Department of State on April 6, a day after Vazquez was sworn in.
Little and Honkala are calling for a federal judge to overturn the election.
The special election, which was held on March 21, occurred after Democrat Leslie Acosta pleaded guilty to embezzlement and resigned.
The suit alleges that the election board workers, who are predominantly Democratic, violated election policy by threatening voters to vote for Vazquez. It claims these intimidation tactics include passing out pro-Vazquez literature, allowing Vazquez supporters to stay in polling places and permitting nonvoters into polling booths with voters.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s Election Fraud Task Force is investigating these accusations.
Republican candidate Little was the only name actually on this election’s ballot, since Democrats tried to run a candidate who didn’t live in North Philadelphia and missed the deadline to place a candidate on the ballot.
Despite being a write-in, Vazquez still received 73.5 percent of the votes, with Green Party write-in Honkala receiving 10.5 percent and Republican Little receiving 7.4 percent.
According to PhillyMag, Democratic leaders remain unworried that the lawsuit and investigations by the district attorney and the Office of Attorney General will change the election results.
This unlikely Democratic victory came after Penn Democrats members categorized the election as one that “[didn’t] really matter.”
With 121 Republicans in the House and a Democratic governor, Wharton freshman and Penn Democrats Political Director Dylan Milligan said that he believes this one election wouldn't change the divided state government in Pennsylvania.
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