Supreme Court Sides With GOP Candidate in Pennsylvania Ballots Case

October 11, 2022 by Dan McCue
Supreme Court Sides With GOP Candidate in Pennsylvania Ballots Case
The setting sun shines on the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with an unsuccessful Republican candidate for a Pennsylvania judgeship and threw out a lower court’s ruling that cleared the way for the counting of mail-in ballots in the race that he had sought to exclude.

David Ritter lost his 2021 bid for a seat on the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas by just five votes after 257 absentee ballots he sought to exclude because they did not have a valid date on them were counted anyway.

The ruling vacates an earlier ruling by the 3rd U.S. Circuit of Appeals, which had said invalidating the undated ballots would violate a provision of the Civil Rights Act aimed at ensuring that minor ballot errors do not deny someone the right to vote.

Despite the legal victory, Ritter is still considered to have lost his election.

In his petition to the court, Ritter argued that mail-in ballot rules improve election administration and deter fraud.

He also warned the justices that if the 3rd Circuit ruling were allowed to stand, it could potentially “threaten to invalidate countless regulations of mail-in voting” nationwide. 

The Civil Rights Act prohibits election officials from disqualifying a voter’s ballot for an error that is not “material” to determining whether the person was qualified to vote, such as their age or citizenship. 

The law targeted practices common among election officials in the segregation-era South who relied on minor ballot mistakes to prevent Black people from voting.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

A+
a-
  • ballots
  • mail-in ballots
  • Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Voting

    January 25, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Voter Turnout in New Hampshire Exceeded Expectations

    CONCORD, N.H. — Voter turnout for the 2024 New Hampshire presidential primary on Tuesday exceeded the secretary of state’s expectations... Read More

    CONCORD, N.H. — Voter turnout for the 2024 New Hampshire presidential primary on Tuesday exceeded the secretary of state’s expectations despite the fact many complained beforehand that this year’s contest lacked the oomph of previous primary seasons. Numbers released Wednesday by Secretary of State David Scanlan... Read More

    January 18, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    No Labels Urges DOJ to Investigate Alleged Conspiracy to Subvert Voting Rights

    WASHINGTON — No Labels, the nonpartisan group currently trying to build support for a third-party ticket in the 2024 presidential... Read More

    WASHINGTON — No Labels, the nonpartisan group currently trying to build support for a third-party ticket in the 2024 presidential election, urged the Justice Department on Thursday to investigate an alleged conspiracy to subvert Americans’ voting rights. According to the group, a number of individuals, ranging... Read More

    December 15, 2023
    by Dan McCue
    Outgoing South Carolina Mayor Urges Lawmakers to Adopt Ranked Voting

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — The outgoing mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, would like to see the state change the way its... Read More

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — The outgoing mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, would like to see the state change the way its voters choose their elected officials. Mayor John Tecklenburg lost his bid for a third term in November, and his last city council meeting will be on... Read More

    Ranked Choice Voting Bill Moves to Hearing in Front of Wis. Senate Elections Committee

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A bipartisan bill that would dramatically change how Wisconsin residents choose congressional candidates by asking them... Read More

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A bipartisan bill that would dramatically change how Wisconsin residents choose congressional candidates by asking them to rank their top choices instead of voting for one of two candidates is headed for its first public hearing. The state Senate's election committee was... Read More

    November 22, 2023
    by Tom Ramstack
    Appeals Court Restricts Right to Sue Under the Voting Rights Act

    ST. LOUIS — A federal appeals court ruling this week limits the authority for lawsuits to enforce the Voting Rights... Read More

    ST. LOUIS — A federal appeals court ruling this week limits the authority for lawsuits to enforce the Voting Rights Act to government agencies. The ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals means individuals and civil rights advocates can no longer sue to protect voting... Read More

    October 10, 2023
    by Dan McCue
    Justices to Hear South Carolina Redistricting Case on Wednesday

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday over the constitutionality of South Carolina’s new congressional district map,... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday over the constitutionality of South Carolina’s new congressional district map, which allegedly moved Black voters out of one district to make it more hospitable to Republicans. The focal point of claims of an unlawful racial gerrymander... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top