The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania prohibits the counting of undated or incorrectly dated ballots. – The Informant. 🇳🇱 #WeStandAsOne

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania prohibits the counting of undated or incorrectly dated ballots.

Published on 3.11.2022

The Epoch Time reports that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on Tuesday ordered counties not to count the ballot papers contained in undated or incorrectly dated envelopes in the upcoming November 8 election, giving reason to the Republican groups who filed a lawsuit in mid-October.

Early voting ballot box in front of City Hall in Philadelphia, Oct. 17, 2020. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Early voting ballot box in front of City Hall in Philadelphia, Oct. 17, 2020. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

“The county election commissions of Pennsylvania are hereby ORDERED to refrain from counting all mail-in and proxy ballots received for the November 8, 2022 general election contained in undated or incorrectly dated envelopes”the court said in its order (pdf).

The order adds: “We hereby direct Pennsylvania county election commissions to segregate and retain all ballots contained in undated or incorrectly dated envelopes. »

The justices of the Court were divided (3-3) on whether failing to count these ballots violated United States Code Section 10101(a)(2)(B), a voting provision under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The provision states that“no person acting in the name of law shall deny the right to vote of any individual at an election on account of any error or omission in any record or document relating to an application, registration or any other act required to vote, if such error or omission is not material to determining whether such individual is qualified, under state law, to vote in this election”.

Supreme Court President Debra Todd and Justices Christine Donohue and David Wecht (Democrats) found a violation of federal law if ballots were rejected because a date was required. Judge Kevin Dougherty, Democrat, and Judges Sallie Updyke Mundy and Kevin Brobson, Republicans, ruled that federal law was followed. The Court has one member less since the death of former President Max Baer in September.

The court said the case was ” to be continued “.

Republicans call for expedited review

This latest decision comes a day after the Republican National Committee (RNC), the Republican National Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the Republican Party of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit to stop the counting of absentee and proxy ballots. undated, even when these bulletins have arrived on time.

In a petition, the group called for an expedited review, forcing the Court to use its special power to circumvent trial courts. On October 21, the Court acceded to this request, apparently itself considering the matter as urgent and important.

Pennsylvania State Department officials argued that between 1945 and 1968, state law directed counties to set aside mail-in ballots when the date on the envelope was after the day of the election. But in 1968, state law was changed, removing a section requiring counties to set aside ballots based on the date on the return envelope.

Republicans have asked judges to rule on the terms of the Pennsylvania law, which says an absentee or mail-in voter “shall … complete, date and sign the declaration” printed on the ballot envelope. They demanded that the Court require counties to separate incorrectly dated ballots, if not discard them.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday denied the individual petitioners’ claims, but admitted that the Pennsylvania RNC, NRCC and GOP had standing.

Prior to the latest legal battle, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in May that the date on the return envelope was not required. The undated mail-in ballots therefore had to be counted for the 2021 election for state judge in Pennsylvania.

The decision was welcomed by Democrats, including the Pennsylvania State Department under the administration of Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf. He immediately adjusted his guidelines and ordered counties to count undated ballots.

But in October, the US Supreme Court overturned and overturned the appeals court’s decision as questionable.

Pennsylvania state law requires voters to handwrite a date on the ballot envelope when mailing it in. In reality, the handwritten date on the envelope is not used to verify whether a ballot was received in time for the election, as ballots are time-stamped when they arrive at county offices.

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