World Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules mail-in ballots can’t be rejected over mismatched signatures
Latest Mail-In Ballot Controversies Fact-Checked and Explained
The topic of mail-in voting has been a point of focus and controversy throughout the 2020 election season. President Donald Trump has consistently "warned" Americans about the dangers and frauds that are attached to mail-in voting through the use of false information and the distortion of the mail-in voting practice. © Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty A woman holds up a mail-in ballot during the Massachusetts state primary on September 1 in Boston. On the other hand, Democrats have expressed their belief in Trump's motivation to depress voter turnout rather than to prevent voter fraud.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Courton Friday that mail-in ballots cannot be rejected if a voter’s signature looks different than the one on their registration form.
The ruling came after Pennsylvania’s Democratic Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, the state’s top election official, turned to the court for clarity on the legality of her signature-matching policy. Shein September that said ballots shouldn’t be thrown out due to mismatched signatures, and has since been mired in a legal battle with President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and other Republicans.
Republicans Lose Supreme Court Battle Over Pennsylvania Mail-in Ballots as Roberts Sides with Liberals
The U.S. Supreme Court was evenly divided on the issue as conservative justice John Roberts sided with the three liberal justices.The decision is seen as a blow to Republicans, who had asked the Supreme Court to overturn part of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision which would allow ballots postmarked by November 3 to be counted. Republicans objected to the decision on the grounds that allowing ballots to be counted after Election Day would break a federal law that established the date of Election Day as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The Supreme Court decision is expected to delay the final tally of election results from Pennsylvania.
The court decision — backed by five Democrat and two Republican justices — marks a victory for Democrats and voting-rights advocates in a critical battleground state Trump won by roughly. It comes on the heels of another loss for Republicans in the state: the October 19 order by the , which let stand a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that mailed-in ballots received up to three days after Election Day must be counted.
“County boards of elections are prohibited from rejecting absentee or mail-in ballots based on signature comparison conducted by county election officials or employees, or as the result of third-party challenges based on signature analysis and comparisons,” the court wrote, upholding Boockvar’s guidance.
Hundreds of Thousands of Voters Do Everything Right—Then Get Their Ballots Discarded
The process—which one expert described as “witchcraft”—could lead to thousands of legitimate ballots being thrown out.“It’s just something you do,” he told me. “You are given an opportunity to select people who make influence over your lives, and so it’s important you have a voice.
“If the Voter’s Declaration on the return envelope is signed and the county board is satisfied that the declaration is sufficient, the mail-in or absentee ballot should be approved for canvassing unless challenged in accordance with the Pennsylvania Election Code,”. “The Pennsylvania Election Code does not authorize the county board of elections to set aside returned absentee or mail-in ballots based solely on signature analysis by the county board of elections.”
Over 1.4 million Pennsylvanians have already submitted mail ballots,, the overwhelming majority of which have been sent by registered Democrats.
Pennsylvania and other states across the US are expecting an unprecedented surge in mail ballots as voters attempt to find ways to avoid in-person voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The radical implications of the Supreme Court’s new ruling on Wisconsin mail-in ballots
The Supreme Court’s new decision on Wisconsin mail-in ballots threatens a century of voting rights lawThe ruling, which was decided by a 5-3 vote along party lines, is not especially surprising. The lower court determined that an extension was necessary to ensure that voters could cast their ballot during a pandemic, but the Court has repeatedly emphasized that federal courts should defer to state officials’ decisions about how to adapt to the pandemic. Monday night’s order in Democratic National Committee is consistent with those prior decisions urging deference.
Signature-matching processes are a contentious issue because, as political scientists and voting rights advocates point out, election officials who arein an electoral system in which fraud is exceedingly rare.
, a Carroll College political scientist working on behalf of plaintiffs challenging a signature-matching law in Ohio that there was a 97 percent chance that a given ballot in Ohio rejected on the basis of a signature mismatch was wrongly rejected. And in 2016, perceived signature mismatches constituted .
Voting rights advocates have alsothat signature matching processes are likely to authentic signatures from very young voters, very old voters, disabled voters, and voters of color.
In battleground states — like Pennsylvania — with potentially razor thin margins between candidates, policies surrounding matching signatures could play a decisive role in the outcome of the election. With a significant 20 electoral votes at stake, and an ideologically heterogeneous population, Pennsylvania’s laws on including ballots are particularly pivotal. According to FiveThirtyEight’s polling averages, Democratic nominee Joe Bidenin the polls over Trump in Pennsylvania — but both in the final days ahead of the election, hoping to win over new supporters.
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Postal Officials Probe Claims of Mail-in Ballots Backlog in Florida County, as Dems Worry of Low Voter Turnout .
Although the investigation remains ongoing, USPS special agents confirmed to Newsweek that they located 48 pieces of election mail.Florida House Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee tweeted a video on Friday afternoon showing mail piled up in dozens of bins, possibly containing ballots, at the Princeton post office in Homestead, located in Miami-Dade County. A resident in the area told McGhee that some people hadn't received their mail from the post office in five days, he tweeted.