Earlier this year, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court declared that unclearly postmarked ballots could be accepted up to three days after next Tuesday’s November 3rd election date.
A newly determined order, upheld by the state’s leading court, interprets a mail-in voting law as allowing mail or drop-off ballots to essentially be fully rendered for the upcoming election without signature matches.
This appears to be a continuation of a wide-ranging watering-down of absentee and mail-in ballot rules passed last year in Pennsylvania.
With a flurry of misleading news stories, the actual two instances for signature congruence are not clear.
1. The mail in ballots require more than one envelope for confidentiality reasons and may require signatures on multiple parts of the ballot papers.
2. The signature matching may also be between the application or request for a mailed out ballot and the signature on the ballot.
If either of these is the case, the argument that a signature could be unrecognizably different from a signature on a mail ballot application or envelope and the actual ballot is unclear: these signatures would be separated by a matter of months at the most. They may even be filled out in one sitting.
The Pennsylvania supreme court is elected by a process called partisan elections where the judge is listed with their given party affiliation on a ballot. The state’s seven member top court has a democratic majority.
The Keystone State is one of seven that holds partisan judicial elections. A provincial high court in the commonwealth has been present in some form since 1684.
The Trump administration’s campaign has lodged an appeal to the last-minute, questionably-broad enfranchisement actions.
State Republicans have additionally made known their disagreement in that the court effectively read into the stated language of the law a negative and based it’s ruling on that: “We decline to read a signature comparison requirement into the plain and unambiguous language of the election code . . .”
Pennsylvania’s democratically controlled government has raised eyebrows over its defense of disallowing poll monitors in it’s temporary satellite ballot offices.
These include locations for ballot drop offs, but also accommodate in-person voting. The US Supreme Court, presently 4-4 after the passing of Justice Ginsburg, may directly affect a ruling in this Pennsylvania electoral matter if the confirmation of Justice Barrett goes through.
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