U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker on Saturday called on President Donald Trump to accept the election results once they are certified, but Lancaster County’s congressman said Pennsylvania’s top legal and elections officials should recuse themselves from any election-related investigations.
“Regardless of party, all Americans must accept the results of the election once they are certified, including President Trump and former Vice President Biden,” Smucker said in a statement issued just prior to national news outlets projecting a Biden victory.
Smucker said all Americans want to be confident that the election is secure and all votes are counted “efficiently and in a transparent manner.” Trump has frequently claimed without evidence that voter fraud “stole” the election from him.
Smucker said he believes Trump is “well within” his right to request a recount, call for an investigation or use his legal resources.
“As a society that respects law and order, allegations of misconduct and fraud are to be vigorously investigated,” Smucker said.
Smucker also said state Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar should recuse themselves from election investigations because of “highly partisan statements” they’ve made about Trump in the past.
Smucker was alluding to a 2017 Boockvar tweet that resurfaced this week. Posted prior to her joining Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration, she wrote that using the title “president” before Trump’s name “really demeans the office of the presidency…” Shapiro has criticized Trump and sued his administrations on multiple occasions.
Smucker also called on the General Assembly to revisit the state’s election law, which significantly expanded mail-in voting last year.
Elections officials have told lawmakers since passing this law that they needed more time to open and prepare ballots. The law prevents counties from beginning the laborious process of opening mail-in ballots until 7 a.m. on Election Day.
Legislators made promises earlier this year they would make these changes, but Republican leaders failed to move the legislation prior to the election, even as COVID-19 concerns drove mail-in ballot requests from voters to record highs. The four-day delay for Pennsylvania’s election results was, in many ways, the result of the legislature’s inaction.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey added to the reactions on Biden's victory Saturday, stating, "I congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory in this campaign. It’s now time to unite and heal our Nation so we can build back better. Coming together as one Nation, we can defeat the virus, rebuild our economy for workers and families and provide a brighter future for our children."
Apart from his statement, Smucker also asked his followers on his political Facebook page to report voter fraud to the Trump campaign.
Smucker’s staff did not respond to requests for an interview with Smucker on Friday and Saturday.