Loading...

Pa. Supreme Court Orders Election Official to Set Aside Flawed Mail-In Ballots

November 2, 2022 by Dan McCue
Pa. Supreme Court Orders Election Official to Set Aside Flawed Mail-In Ballots
Election workers perform a recount of ballots from the recent Pennsylvania primary election at the Allegheny County Election Division warehouse on the Northside of Pittsburgh, June 1, 2022.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered state election officials to “refrain” from counting absentee and mail-in ballots ahead of next week’s midterms that were sent back in either undated or incorrectly dated envelopes.

In a tweet after the ruling was announced, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel declared it a “massive” win for her party and “election integrity.”

“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agrees with us that incorrectly or undated mail ballots can not be counted in next week’s elections,” she continued. “Republicans went to court. Now Democrats have to follow the law.”

But the court’s ruling was not so cut and dried. A Pennsylvania law, adopted in 2019, requires voters to sign and date the outer envelope when mailing in a ballot. 

However, the law has been challenged on the grounds that making the envelope dates mandatory under state law would violate provisions of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that immaterial errors or omissions should not be used to prevent voting.

The RNC and other  state and local GOP entities brought their lawsuit to ensure the state law remained intact.

A definitive ruling on the case was made more difficult in late September, when Pennsylvania’s chief justice, Max Baer, died unexpectedly at his home, just two months shy of his planned December retirement.

In his absence, the remaining state Supreme Court justices deadlocked 3-3 on whether the date requirement violated federal law, meaning the provision stands.

In its two-page ruling, the court directed county boards of elections to “segregate and preserve” those ballots.

A spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said the decision was under review but showed it was important “that voters should carefully follow all instructions on the ballot and double check before sending.”

Pennsylvania counties have reported receiving more than 850,000 completed mail-in ballots from the approximately 1.4 million that voters have requested this year. 

About 70% of requests have come from Democrats and about 20% from Republicans.

Election officials have said the total number of the undated or misdated envelope ballots is likely to be small but could be enough to determine the winner of a close race.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

2022 Elections

Democrat Katie Hobbs Takes Office as Arizona Governor

PHOENIX (AP) — Katie Hobbs took the oath of office Monday to become Arizona’s 24th governor and the first Democrat... Read More

PHOENIX (AP) — Katie Hobbs took the oath of office Monday to become Arizona’s 24th governor and the first Democrat to hold the office since 2009. Hobbs was sworn in during a private ceremony at the state Capitol as she formally took over from Republican Doug... Read More

Democrat Wins Arizona Attorney General Race After Recount

PHOENIX (AP) — A recount of votes has confirmed Democrat Kris Mayes narrowly defeated Republican Abraham Hamadeh in the Arizona... Read More

PHOENIX (AP) — A recount of votes has confirmed Democrat Kris Mayes narrowly defeated Republican Abraham Hamadeh in the Arizona attorney general’s race, one of the closest elections in state history. The highly anticipated results announced Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court are among the last... Read More

December 22, 2022
by Dan McCue
McClellan Wins Democratic Nomination in Virginia’s 4th CD

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia state Sen. Jennifer McClellan overwhelmingly won the Democratic nomination to succeed the late A. Donald McEachin... Read More

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia state Sen. Jennifer McClellan overwhelmingly won the Democratic nomination to succeed the late A. Donald McEachin in Congress, garnering 84.81% of the vote, party officials announced early Thursday morning. McClellan far outdistanced her chief rival for the party’s nod, Joseph Morrissey, receiving... Read More

December 21, 2022
by Dan McCue
It’s All Over but the Vote Counting in ‘Firehouse’ Primary in Va.

RICHMOND, Va. — More than 26,400 people turned out to vote in a “firehouse” Democratic primary held in Virginia's 4th... Read More

RICHMOND, Va. — More than 26,400 people turned out to vote in a “firehouse” Democratic primary held in Virginia's 4th Congressional District on Tuesday — so many that the party had to reportedly print as many as 10,000 additional ballots to keep up with demand. "The... Read More

Democratic Sen. Warnock Wins Georgia Runoff Against Walker

ATLANTA (AP) — Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a Georgia runoff election Tuesday, ensuring Democrats... Read More

ATLANTA (AP) — Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a Georgia runoff election Tuesday, ensuring Democrats an outright majority in the Senate for the rest of President Joe Biden's current term and capping an underwhelming midterm cycle for the GOP in the... Read More

December 6, 2022
by Dan McCue
Texas’ Top Election Official Resigns, Abbott Names Replacement

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ top election official, Secretary of State John Scott, resigned from that post on Monday, saying he... Read More

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ top election official, Secretary of State John Scott, resigned from that post on Monday, saying he will relinquish the office at the end of the year. As a result, on Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced he will appoint Republican State Sen. Jane... Read More

News From The Well