Should the Most Recent Election Be Considered As the Base for Calculating the Two Percent of the Largest Entire Vote Cast for Any Officer ?

In Moore v. Osser, 427 Pa. 238, 233 A.2d. 579 (1967), candidates of a minor political party filed nomination papers in Philadelphia for the offices of mayor and several councilmen-at-large which were rejected. The candidates then brought a mandamus action to compel the commissioners to accept the contested papers. The decision turned on the construction of 25 P.S. 2911(b) of the Election Code and involved the same general issue, namely, which election year should be used to calculate the two percent (2%) of the largest entire vote cast for any officer. The dispute was whether the base year was 1963, where the highest number of votes cast were for a successful city-wide candidate for mayor, or 1965, where the candidate for district attorney received the highest number of votes. If 1965 was the proper year to be utilized, the candidates would have sufficient signatures, but if the 1963 mayor race was used, then the petitions would be deficient. Our Supreme Court held that 25 P.S. 2911(b) held that statute employed as the base the most recent election, regardless of the office involved, in the particular election district in question.