BREAKING: Court Rules Undated Ballots Cannot Be Counted in Pennsylvania

by J Pelkey
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On Wednesday, the Third US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Pennsylvania election officials cannot count mail-in ballots that don’t have dates.

The ruling at least temporarily curtails this tactic, which is commonly used by Democrats to add to their candidate’s vote counts after election day.

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals supported the arguments put forth by lawyers representing the Republican National Committee. These lawyers argued that mail-in ballots lacking dates or with incorrect dates should not be included in the election day totals. This ruling reverses a previous decision by a federal appeals court that invalidated a state Supreme Court ruling regarding the “dated signature requirement” for mail-in ballots.

George Behizy posted the entire ruling on X:

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NPR reported:

A federal appeals panel has set up a potential U.S. Supreme Court battle about Pennsylvania’s mail-in ballots that could play a role in determining who wins this year’s presidential election and other races in the key swing state.

Mailed ballots that arrive on time but in envelopes without dates handwritten by Pennsylvania voters or with incorrect dates should not be counted, a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. Their 2-1 decision strikes down a lower court ruling.

The main legal issue surrounding what are often called “undated ballots” is whether not tallying them violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which says a person’s right to vote cannot be denied for “an error or omission” that is “not material” in determining voting eligibility.

A current, handwritten date on the return envelope is required by Pennsylvania state law, but that date is not used to confirm if a person is eligible to vote. For past elections, the final vote tallies by county election officials have included ballots arriving in undated or misdated return envelopes.

In the panel’s majority opinion, 3rd U.S. Circuit Judge Thomas Ambro said that what’s known in legal circles as the materiality provision “only applies when the State is determining who may vote.”

“In other words, its role stops at the door of the voting place,” wrote Ambro, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, who was joined by Circuit Judge Cindy Chung, a Biden appointee. “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 RNC issued a statement declaring the ruling as a victory for election integrity and a setback for left-wing activists who seek to challenge close elections through legal means.

This is a crucial victory for election integrity and voter confidence in the Keystone State and nationwide. 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. Republicans will continue to fight and win for election integrity in courts across the country ahead of the 2024 election.

This ruling will have far-reaching effects regarding left-wing attempts to weaponize the Materiality Provision of the Civil Rights Act across the country and represents a victory for mail ballot safeguards in a crucial swing state.

Under state law, a voter who submits their ballot by mail must sign their name on an outer envelope. This allows local and state election officials to compare the signature with those on file from the Department of Motor Vehicles or other state agencies.

In the court’s opinion, Circuit Court Judge Thomas Ambro emphasized that opponents’ claims regarding the signature requirement violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act were incorrect. The judge clarified that the landmark law is solely concerned with determining a voter’s eligibility to cast a ballot, rather than establishing broad ballot-casting rules, according to the AP.

Newly appointed RNC Chair Michael Whatley, a close ally of President Trump, has intensified the GOP’s efforts on election integrity, filing at least 81 lawsuits this election cycle alone. With the court’s ruling, Whatley now has a federal precedent to leverage in lawsuits pertaining to states controlled by Democrats, where instances of mail-in voting abuse have been repeatedly cited in recent years.

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