February 1, 2021 | 2:20pm | Updated February 1, 2021 | 2:42pmEnlarge Image
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar speaks during a news conference on November 4, 2020. AP Photo/Julio Cortez
The Pennsylvania secretary of state who emerged as a villain to supporters of former President Donald Trump said Monday she will resign for failing to comply with an unrelated state election law.
Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, will leave office on Feb. 5. Her office botched the handling of a state constitutional amendment that would allow more sexual abuse victims to sue their alleged abusers.
In a statement, she said, “I’ve always believed that accountability and leadership must be a cornerstone of public service. While I only became aware of the mistake last week, and immediately took steps to alert the administration to the error, I accept the responsibility on behalf of the department.”
Pennsylvania law requires that proposed amendments pass the state legislature twice. The secretary of state’s office must publicize the proposed amendment in two newspapers in each of the state’s 67 counties ahead of the election between votes, which her office failed to do.
Gov. Tom Wolf, also a Democrat, announced Boockvar’s resignation in a press release that stressed the issue was separate from the presidential election.
“This change at the Department of State has nothing to do with the administration of the 2020 election, which was fair and accurate,” Wolf said.Kathy Boockvar speaks at a press conference regarding election vote counting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 5, 2020. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich/File Photo
“The delay caused by this human error will be heartbreaking for thousands of survivors of childhood sexual assault, advocates and legislators, and I join the Department of State in apologizing to you. I share your anger and frustration that this happened, and I stand with you in your fight for justice.”
Boockvar became a national political figure after she sought to accept mail-in ballots three days after the Nov. 3 election, which the state Republican Party said usurped the power of the state legislature.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court sided with Boockvar, as did the US Supreme Court.
Ultimately, Boockvar said about 10,000 ballots arrived in the three days after the election — far short of President Biden’s margin of victory of about 80,000 votes.
Trump and his campaign claimed Boockvar was complicit in voting irregularities, but those claims were presented unsuccessfully in court.
Trump tweeted one day after the election, “We are winning Pennsylvania big, but the PA Secretary of State just announced that there are ‘Millions of ballots left to be counted.'”
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri objected to certification of Pennsylvania’s electors for Biden shortly after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 and disrupted proceedings. The Senate voted 92-7. to accept Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania. The House voted 282-138 to affirm Biden’s win.