Elections in Pennsylvania have historically been fraught with problems, with some races not being called until many days after election night.
A new option to vote by mail up to 50 days before an election and to be added to a list to perpetually get a ballot application by mail was made possible by Governor Wolfe’s signing of Act 77 in 2019. Additionally, it gave people more time to sign up to vote.
Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano has promised to overturn Pennsylvania’s 2019 mail-in voting law if he is elected, making it a major topic for Republicans on the campaign trail.
Prior to what are anticipated to be hotly contested midterm elections, Pennsylvania lawmakers once more discussed the issue last week.
Republican Sen. Lisa Baker, the bill’s primary sponsor, and co-sponsor Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill said in an interview with the outlet that they brought the legislation forward “because Pennsylvania needs to see action on actual reforms that will improve an election system that has been severely tried and tested in recent years.”
“We believe reform begins with prohibiting private groups from funding election administration. Voting is among our basic rights, and the responsibility for properly running and funding elections is vested in the government,” according to Baker, who was quoted by the site.
“No matter who on the outside is contributing, no matter their expressed motivations, millions of dollars coming in from national figures or organizations naturally raises suspicions of hidden agendas,” she added.
Republicans filed a lawsuit earlier this week to invalidate Pennsylvania’s contentious mail-in voting law.
“The suit, filed Wednesday by 14 state Republican lawmakers, contends that the court must invalidate the law because of a provision written into it that says it is “void” if any of its requirements are struck down in court.
The lawsuit says the non-severability provision was triggered in a May 20 decision by a panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concerning mail-in ballots in a Lehigh County judicial race from last November,” Fox News is reporting.
“The ballots in question lacked handwritten dates on the return envelopes, as required in the law.
In the decision, the panel found that a handwritten date has no bearing on a voter’s eligibility and said it would violate voters’ civil rights to throw out their ballots in that election simply because they lacked a handwritten date.
The panel also pointed out that ballots with incorrect dates had been counted in that election. An appeal by the Republican candidate in the race is pending to the U.S. Supreme Court,” according to the report.
The measure had been struck down by a lower court in January, but the Democratic Governor’s appeal kept it alive for debate.
Just months before the key November elections, the liberal Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the rule, handing Democrats a triumph in more open voting.
In the majority judgment, Justice Christine Donohue stated, “We find no restriction in our Constitution on the General Assembly’s ability to create universal mail-in voting.”
According to Conservative Brief, the 5-2 decision implies that extended vote-by-mail will likely be in place for the governor and U.S. Senate’s most important races in November. The two Republican justices both voted against the decision.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
“A lower court panel with a majority of Republican judges had thrown out the law in January, a ruling put on hold while the state Supreme Court reviewed an appeal by the administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.
In the new decision, the justices agreed with Wolf’s argument that the lower court wrongly based its decision on court rulings that addressed older versions of the state constitution that had invalidated antiquated laws passed to expand absentee voting,” Fox News reported. CONTINUE READING…