Federal courtroom guidelines mail-in poll dates have to be counted in Pennsylvania

Federal court rules mail-in ballot dates must be counted in Pennsylvania

A federal courtroom in Pennsylvania dominated Tuesday that mail-in ballots have to be counted so long as they arrive at county elections places of work by the deadline, even when there isn’t a handwritten date or the date is improper.

The case was introduced by advocacy teams and voters whose ballots weren’t counted within the final election on account of a date error. In accordance with courtroom filings, 7,600 mail-in ballots in 12 Pennsylvania counties weren’t counted because of this.

U.S. District Choose Susan Paradise Baxter, a Trump appointee, stated counties put a time stamp on mail-in ballots when they’re formally acquired, and that is what issues. She stated a date handwritten by the voter isn’t materials or needed.

“Whether or not a mail-in poll is well timed, and subsequently counted, is set not by the date indicated by the voter on the outer return envelope, however as a substitute by the point stamp,” the decide wrote.

The ruling went on to say {that a} requirement is important to depend ballots if it specifies the voter’s age, citizenship, residency, or felony conviction.

“Federal legislation prohibits a state from erecting non-physical obstacles, resembling these, to voting,” the decide wrote of the historical past case.

Mail-in ballots have lengthy been out there to voters in Pennsylvania, and new provisions have been enacted in 2019 to make absentee ballots out there to all registered voters within the state.

Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania voters used mail-in ballots within the 2020 and 2022 elections.

Mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania are scheduled to be acquired by 8 pm on Election Day.

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