February 1, 2023

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The Supreme Court’s Mail-Ballot Mulligan in Pennsylvania

2 min read

The Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.


Al Drago/Bloomberg News

Another year, another Pennsylvania election that might come down to judges resolving a mail-vote snafu. This time it’s the Republican Senate race between

Mehmet Oz


David McCormick.

The hopeful news is a stay Tuesday by Justice

Samuel Alito,

which suggests the Supreme Court might finally tell the judiciary to stop rewriting election rules in the middle of the game.

The official tally says Mr. Oz leads by 955 ballots. Yet Mr. McCormick is winning roughly seven mail votes for each five for Mr. Oz. As usual, many mail ballots have been rejected for one reason or another. Allegheny County has more than 1,500 in the GOP and Democratic primaries. The legal war involves ballots on which the voter forgot to hand-write the date. Team McCormick thinks that includes roughly 900 Republicans statewide.

Pennsylvania law says voters must “fill out, date and sign” the ballot declaration. The state judiciary has held that dating is mandatory. But last month in a dispute over a 2021 judicial election, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that undated ballots are valid if they arrived on time. The court cited the Civil Rights Act, which says officials may not “deny the right of any individual to vote” based on a paperwork error that “is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law.”

This is a good opportunity…

2022-06-02 18:45:00

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