The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday ordered state election officials to shelve undated mail-in ballots ahead of next week’s midterm elections.
The court unanimously decided to void the undated or incorrectly dated mail-in ballots. Under Pennsylvania law, mail-in voters are required to sign and date a statement on the outer envelope. Despite this requirement, if undated or incorrectly dated ballots are delivered on time, they may be counted.
However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ordered election officials to “separate and retain” any incorrect or undated mail-in ballots.
“Pennsylvania County Boards of Elections are hereby ORDERED to refrain from counting mail-in and mail-in ballots received for the November 8, 2022 general election that are contained in undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes” , the court wrote.
“We hereby order that the Pennsylvania County Election Commissions segregate and retain all ballots contained in undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes,” the court added.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court opposes Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration, which recently advised county election officials to count undated or incorrectly dated mail-in ballots.
The court’s decision comes after a lawsuit by the Republican National Committee against Pennsylvania’s acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman and other state officials.
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel called the court’s decision a “massive victory.”
Mc Daniel said:
This decision is a massive victory for Pennsylvania voters and the rule of law. Following an RNC, NRCC and PAGOP lawsuit, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has made it clear that incorrectly dated and undated mail-in ballots cannot be counted. Republicans went to court, and now Democrats and all counties must obey the law: This is an important step in Republicans’ ongoing efforts to make it easier to vote and make it harder to cheat in Pennsylvania and across all the countries.
Although the court’s decision is a victory for Republicans who have challenged election laws in various states in court, America First Policy Institute Center for Election Integrity President Ken Blackwell warned that the decision could have been a “retreat tactics” from the Democrats on the court. Blackwell said:
It’s a big win for electoral integrity, leaving open the question of how a partisan Supreme Court in a Democratic state could have voted for it. We wondered if this demand could be separated from other elements that concern the left. Given that, I raise my eyebrows as to whether this was a tactical retreat.
The justices were divided on whether the date requirement for mail-in ballots would violate the US Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that insignificant errors should not be used to prohibit voting.
Three Democratic judges would find the dating requirement a violation of federal law, while one Democratic judge and two Republican judges see no violation. The judges’ opinions were not immediately published.
Of the nearly 1.4 million mail-in ballots requested by Pennsylvania voters, counties reported receiving more than 850,000 completed ballots, the Associated press reported.
The case is Ball c. Chapman, No. 102 MM 2022, before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.