Pennsylvania Court Rules Segregated Ballots May Not Be Counted
The Trump campaign scored a legal victory in Pennsylvania earlier today when a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court barred election officials from counting mail-in and absentee ballots where voters provided missing information after November 9th.
Last week a Court ordered the ballots be segregated from other ballots received before the November 9th deadline. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar had made last minute changes and extended the deadline from the 9th to 12th, which is what the Trump campaign challenged.
According to Fox:
A Pennsylvania judge ruled in favor of the Trump campaign Thursday, ordering that the state may not count ballots where the voters needed to provide proof of identification and failed to do so by Nov. 9.
State law said that voters have until six days after the election — this year that was Nov. 9 — to cure problems regarding a lack of proof of identification. After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that mail-in ballots could be accepted three days after Election Day, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar submitted guidance that said proof of identification could be provided up until Nov. 12, which is six days from the ballot acceptance deadline. That guidance was issued two days before Election Day.
“[T]he Court concludes that Respondent Kathy Boockvar, in her official capacity as Secretary of the Commonwealth, lacked statutory authority to issue the November 1, 2020, guidance to Respondents County Boards of Elections insofar as that guidance purported to change the deadline … for certain electors to verify proof of identification,” Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt said in a court order.
This was in line with the Trump campaign’s argument, which was that there was no basis in the state’s law to extend the identification deadline, and that Boockvar did not have the power to unilaterally change it.
Boockvar has been under fire for her obvious bias.
She wrote in 2016 that “Trump already provided so many arguments of being dangerously unfit; Now, he proved it beyond doubt,” and in 2017 that “Using the title ‘President’ before the word ‘Trump’ really demeans the office of the Presidency.” She’s shrugged off criticism of those comments by sating that “These were four years ago and at the time I was not in the administration. I was not in any public service. I was a private citizen. It was a personal Twitter account” – a defense that is irrelevant because her comments still expose her bias. Is she pretending to have dropped those views since entering public life?
After this legal victory, the Trump campaign now awaits a decision from the Supreme Court as to whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court acted properly in granting a three-day extension for accepting mail-in ballots.