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Saying Philadelphia's election system had collapsed under "a massive scheme" by Democrats to steal a State Senate election in November, a Federal judge today took the rare step of invalidating the vote and ordered the seat filled by the Republican candidate.

In making such a sweeping move, the judge, Clarence C. Newcomer of Federal District Court here, did for the Republicans what the election had not: enable them to regain control of the State Senate, which they lost two years ago.

Judge Newcomer ruled that the Democratic campaign of William G. Stinson had stolen the election from Bruce S. Marks in North Philadelphia's Second Senatorial District through an elaborate fraud in which hundreds of residents were encouraged to vote by absentee ballot even though they had no legal reason -- like a physical disability or a scheduled trip outside the city -- to do so.

In many instances, according to Republicans who testified during a four-day civil trial last week, Democratic campaign workers forged absentee ballots. On many of the ballots, they used the names of people who were living in Puerto Rico or serving time in prison, and in one case, the voter had been dead for some time.

"Substantial evidence was presented establishing massive absentee ballot fraud, deception, intimidation, harassment and forgery," Judge Newcomer wrote in a decision made public today.

The district, which includes white, black and Hispanic neighborhoods, is overwhelmingly Democratic by registration. Nonetheless, campaign workers testified that widespread voter apathy had prompted them to promote a "new way to vote" to insure a victory.

Door to Door for Votes

In addition to specific instances of wrongdoing, the state Republican Party, which filed the suit, contended that the door-to-door solicitation of votes by the Democrats was not permissible under the state election code, which says the Philadelphia County Board of Elections "shall deliver or mail" the ballots to a voter.

The city, whose lawyers represented the board of elections, contended that the statute was open to broad interpretation, but throughout the hearing Judge Newcomer made it clear that he did not agree.

Indeed, the two Democrats on the three-member board of elections, an elected body, testified that they were aware of the voter fraud, had intentionally failed to enforce the election law and had later tried to conceal their activities by hurriedly certifying the Democratic candidate as the winner.

Comment: Shock! Horror! The Democrats would never do such a thing, then or now! Oh wait, that's exactly what is happening. And it's exactly what happened then.

Judge Newcomer ordered that Mr. Stinson, a 49-year-old former assistant deputy mayor of Philadelphia, be removed from his State Senate office and that Mr. Marks, a 36-year-old lawyer and former aide to United States Senator Arlen Specter, be certified the winner within 72 hours.

"This is extraordinary relief," Judge Newcomer wrote. "However, it is appropriate because extraordinary conduct by the Stinson campaign and the board tainted the entirety of the absentee ballots."

Comment: And that's what the Trump team is alleging about the votes in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania. There was so much fraud, that hundreds of thousands were tainted in their entirety.

The two parties agreed that Mr. Marks would not try to enforce the order and take his seat until the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit here reviewed an appeal that Mr. Stinson said he planned to file on Tuesday.

At stake is the result of a special election held last November to fill the seat made vacant by the death of a Democratic senator. The election was crucial because the party that won the seat also won control of the 50-member State Senate.

Comment: If Democrats are willing to engage in such massive fraud to secure the State Senate, they'd be more than willing to do so to secure the presidency. Because Trump.

The judge decided to hear the case after state election officials and state courts rejected the Republicans' claims. The Republicans have an appeal pending before the state's highest court. They went to Federal court on the ground that there were violations of the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act.

Comment: Another good precedent. State election officials are already rejecting 2020 Republican claims. And Trump is filing a federal suit in PA declaring the election tampering unconstitutional.

The Democrats, fearing that the court would rule against them, suddenly adjourned the State Senate on Monday, two days ahead of schedule. But when the Senate reconvenes next month, barring any successful Democratic appeal, Republicans will control the Senate by outnumbering Democrats by 26 to 24.

Republican leaders minimized the effect of today's ruling, saying they were eager to work with Gov. Robert P. Casey, a Democrat, on reforming the state's health care and welfare systems.

Ralph J. Teti, the lawyer for Mr. Stinson, said in an interview, "We believe, as we have said from day one, that a Federal Court has absolutely no jurisdiction in a purely state law proceeding when there are appeals pending in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court." Mr. Teti noted that five or six state judges had already reviewed Mr. Marks's case and that they had all dismissed it on procedural grounds without considering the merits.

The dispute has also captured the attention of the national Republican Party, which asserted that the accusations of voter fraud were particularly egregious. But some election experts noted today that there have been many larger cases of voter fraud in Chicago and Louisiana in the 1970's and Alabama in the 1980's.

The case involving the Philadelphia seat, however, may be the largest example involving fraudulent absentee ballots.

Comment: A new contender has entered the ring: 2020.

Sharp Turnaround

Mr. Marks won 564 more votes at voting booths than his Democratic opponent. But Mr. Stinson won the election by 461 votes after he obtained 80 percent of the 1,757 absentee ballots cast.

Comment: What were Biden's mail-in ballot results again?

Legal experts said that Judge Newcomer's decision was highly unusual because he threw out all of the 1,757 absentee ballots. The judge wrote in his ruling, "The will of the electorate is reflected in the votes cast on the voting machines."

In justifying his decision to throw out all of the absentee ballots, he cited a similar situation in Alabama. In that case, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled in 1986 that there was no need to be "mathematically precise" when a candidate has engaged in "massive" violations of election law.

The abuse of absentee ballot applications and the ballots themselves, which are typically written in English, has apparently become more widespread with the increasing number of Hispanic voters in the inner cities, according to Arlene C. Rubin, executive director of Project LEAP -- which stands for Legal Elections in All Precincts -- a Chicago-based organization that monitors elections.

"Vote fraud is moving out of the polling places and into people's living rooms," Ms. Rubin said.

In the meantime, two criminal investigations are being conducted, one by the State Attorney General Ernest D. Preate Jr. and the other by the Justice Department.