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Court Upholds Pennsylvania Law Rejecting Undated Mail Ballots

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  vic-eldred  •  3 weeks ago  •  11 comments

By:   Brianna Lyman (The Federalist)

Court Upholds Pennsylvania Law Rejecting Undated Mail Ballots
The 3rd Circuit upheld a Pennsylvania law that says mail-in ballots that arrive in envelopes with a missing or incorrect date are not valid.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Four years after bureaucrats tried to usurp the Pennsylvania legislature's authority by counting ballots that violated state law, a panel of Democrat-appointed judges upheld a state law that says such ballots are invalid.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Wednesday that mail-in ballots that arrive in envelopes with a missing or incorrect date are not valid, overturning a lower court's decision.

"This is a crucial victory for election integrity and voter confidence in the Keystone State and nationwide," Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Whatley said in a statement. "Pennsylvanians deserve to feel confident in the security of their mail ballots, and this 3rd Circuit ruling roundly rejects unlawful left-wing attempts to count undated or incorrectly dated mail ballots."

Pennsylvania adopted universal mail-in balloting in 2019, with the law requiring voters to "fill out, date and sign the declaration printed on [the] envelope" before returning their ballot.

During the 2020 presidential election and the 2022 midterms, "thousands" of voters' mail-in ballots "did not comply with the date requirement," either due to incorrect dates or missing dates entirely, according to the ruling. Approximately 10,000 such ballots were rejected during the 2022 midterms.

A panel of judges on the 3rd Circuit had previously ruled the date requirement violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act Materiality Provision, which says voters cannot be denied their right to vote because of a paperwork issue if it is "not material in determining whether such individual is qualified" to vote. But the U.S. Supreme Court vacated that decision as moot in its 2022 decision in Ritter v. Migliori.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court then ruled ballots that don't comply with the date requirement are invalid under state law and should not be counted — but the court was split on whether tossing those ballots violated the Materiality Provision, so it directed county election boards to "segregate and preserve" those ballots even though they were not to be counted.

A year later, in response to a lawsuit brought by leftist groups, Erie-based U.S. District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter ruled in November that ballots with missing or incorrect dates should still be counted so long as they are received by Election Day. The RNC and its affiliates appealed the ruling.

In its decision on Wednesday, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state law requiring ballots to be properly dated does not violate the federal Materiality Provision, overturning the district judge's decision. The panel acknowledged their knee-jerk reaction would be to find a "failure to date a return envelope should not cause his ballot to be disqualified."

"But our role restricts to interpreting a statute, and there we hold that the Materiality Provision only applies when the State is determining who may vote," wrote Judge Thomas Ambra, a Clinton appointee. "In other words, its role stops at the door of the voting place."

"The provision does not apply to rules, like the date requirement, that govern how a qualified voter must cast his ballot for it to be counted," the court said, but rather only applies to laws determining who can cast a ballot.

"Pennsylvania's date requirement, regardless what we may think of it, does not cross over to a determination of who is qualified to vote," the majority concluded.



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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    3 weeks ago

It would have been nice to follow the law during the 2020 election, but better late than never.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
1.1  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    3 weeks ago

I imagine that if the law was followed the results may have been different across the board.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.1    3 weeks ago

I would love to see what the results would be if mail-in-voting was prohibited for 1 election cycle.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
1.1.2  JBB  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1.1    3 weeks ago

I would love to see what the results would be if we could vote online as we can now securely pay bills, do our taxes and invest...

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.3  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  JBB @1.1.2    3 weeks ago

I'm sure we would have more votes than registered voters

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
1.1.4  George  replied to  JBB @1.1.2    3 weeks ago

Are you saying that democrats are too lazy to go vote? and that online voting will help democrats? 

 
 
 
bugsy
Professor Participates
1.1.5  bugsy  replied to  George @1.1.4    3 weeks ago
Are you saying that democrats are too lazy to go vote?

I wouldn't say they are lazy, however, we have heard over and over that white liberals say that blacks do not know how to get to voting precincts.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
1.1.6  JBB  replied to  George @1.1.4    3 weeks ago

No, I am saying that if we can now securely do our taxes and our banking at home from our phones then there are no good reasons that we cannot securely vote online in 2024. None...

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
1.1.7  George  replied to  bugsy @1.1.5    3 weeks ago
white liberals say that blacks do not know how to get to voting precincts.

Or how to get an ID to vote, or get into college without help, or get a job. Racism dies hard.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
1.1.8  Sparty On  replied to  JBB @1.1.6    3 weeks ago

Except that attempting to equate paying taxes and doing banking online, etc are non sequiturs when it comes to voting.

Non sequiturs ..

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
2  charger 383    3 weeks ago

Voting is important so it should require some effort.

I have managed to vote in every election, a few by absentee when I had a vaild and documented reason Except one local uncontested town election years ago

 
 

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