Green Party of Pennsylvania
I wanted to send you an update on the status of the special election in the 197th district.

On Thursday, we filed a lawsuit in federal court.

The lawsuit asks the court to void the March 21st election because of widespread voter intimidation and election fraud tactics, that those in violation of election code are held accountable, and that a new, fairly-run election be held within 90 days.

Our democracy matters–especially in impoverished, frontline communities who are trying to elect people to fight hard for their basic human rights.

Please help us take the establishment machine to court by donating $27 to our legal costs. 
Take a minute to read a few of these horrific and flagrant election code violations:

  • Misleading literature was given to voters throughout the district. It implied that I was an outsider–despite having lived in the district for 30 years. It also implied that I was a Republican–despite being a Green Party member that was endorsed by the likes of Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution, Tim Canova’s Progress for all, progressives Tom Morello and Rosario Dawson, environmental activist Josh Fox, and many more.
  • At the Beauty School polling place, Honkala poll workers were told they could not put up Honkala signs because this is a “Democratic district.”
  • At the Wyoming Branch Library polling place, establishment Democrats had set up a table outside with sign-in sheets and stickers, giving voters the impression that this party-run table is the place to check in to vote, rather than the actual check-in station inside the polling place.
  • At the Munoz Marin School polling place, a table was set up right next to the voting machine, covered with literature for Democratic candidate Emilio Vazquez, with voters being told that the table has “what they need to vote.”
  • At the Bethune School polling place, judges of elections held and distributed Vazquez stamps.
  • At the Barton School polling place, a voter who walked into the polling place with Cheri Honkala’s stamp was told by the election workers that she “had the wrong stamp.” The Honkala stamp was taken away and the voter was given a stamp for Emilio Vazquez.
  • At the Esperanza Health Center polling place, a Honkala voter was point blank asked by the election workers who she was voting for.
  • An elderly Latina woman reported on video that she was afraid for her safety and that she and other senior citizens were intimidated into voting for Vazquez.
  • At the West Kensington Ministry polling place, an election worker was captured on video coming out of the polling site and taking money from a Democratic poll worker.
  • At the Hartranft School polling place, Mr. Vazquez was inside sitting and talking with the Election Board even though Vazquez was a candidate.
  • At Vazquez’s “victory party” — held on Election Night, 3 days before ballots were even counted — a photograph was taken of a person holding one of the ballot boxes, which were supposed to be securely in the hands of police or city commissioner staff by that point.

And these are just a handful of the dozens of stories!

In addition to our lawsuit, which is bringing together Greens, many Democrats, and Republicans to fight against the corrupt machine in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia District Attorney and the Pennsylvania Attorney General are both investigating this so-called election.

Please donate to help our legal costs–and ask your friends and family to do the same. We cannot let this opportunity to help restore election integrity in corrupt, machine-run Philadelphia go to waste. My team and I need your help so that we can continue to pursue this corruption and stamp it out.

The people’s voice will never be heard if the establishment machine is allowed to get away with manipulating elections, intimidating voters, and generally disrespecting both voters and our democracy.

Together, we can stop this.



Cheri Honkala
Candidate for State Representative
Pennsylvania’s 197th District

P.S. Please remember to donate!

P.P.S. Read the entire federal lawsuit brief here.

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Vasquez – a Democratic ward leader and Philadelphia Parking Authority employee – would be declared the winner with (an unofficial total) of 1,970 votes to Honkala’s 282.

NoneBrian Hickey/PhillyVoice

Cheri Honkala, second from right, awaits the final tallies in the 197th District statehouse race in which she was a write-in candidate. She’d later learn in that Board of Elections hearing room that she lost the race, but will fight on in court.


For Honkala, it ain’t over, though. She – and her attorney Samuel C. Stretton – have already announced their intentions to ask a “federal court to void this election and to hold those accountable for their gross misconduct in undermining our Democracy.” (Early Friday afternoon, the District Attorney’s Office announced that its task force had opened an investigation into the election.)



“This is not a joke. After I declared, people told me that there are going to be problems if I go through with this,” she said. “We’ve gotten some indirect threats. I have to be careful about what I say, but I’ve told 26th (phonkalolice) District detectives that if something happens to me, it’s because I’m running in an election.”

When I asked whether she regretted running in the race, her response was emphatic.

“Absolutely not. Absolutely not,” she said. “I’m outraged because the 2,000 people, these beautiful people who sent me $20, got robbed. They never saw Emilio knock on one door. He was probably out booting their cars.”

And her takeaway from the experience so far?

“It’s a sad day,” she said. “I learned so much in this process.”

For someone whose been active in the city for as long as Honkala has, that’s really saying something.

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