Republicans Sue Pennsylvania Over Illegal Mail-In-Ballot Procedure

On Sunday, the RNC, NRCC, and the PAGOP filed a lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for its plan to illegally accept undated mail-in-ballots in direct opposition to a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month.

The complaint explained:

The General Assembly has mandated that a voter who uses an absentee or mail-in ballot “shall . . . fill out, date and sign the declaration” printed on the outer envelope of the ballot. 25 P.S. §§ 3146.6(a), 3150.16(a). A majority of this Court has already held that any absentee or mail-in ballot that does not comply with the General Assembly’s date requirement is invalid and cannot be counted in any election after the 2020 general election. See In re Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, 241 A.3d 1058, 1079-80 (2020) (Opinion of Justice Wecht); id. at 1090-91 (Opinion of Justices Dougherty, Saylor, and Mundy) (“In re 2020 Canvass”). Thereafter, a panel of the Third Circuit held that the federal materiality statute—which touches on election officials’ determination of whether an “individual is qualified under State law to vote,” 52 U.S.C. § 10101(2)(B)—somehow preempts the date requirement. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated that holding last week. See Migliori v. Cohen, No. 22-1499 (3d Cir. May 27, 2022), cert. granted and judgment vacated, Ritter v. Migliori, No. 22-30, 2022 WL 6571686 (U.S. Oct. 11, 2022) (Mem.). And when addressing a request for a stay earlier in that case, three Justices even opined that the Third Circuit’s holding is “very likely wrong” on the merits because it rests upon a misconstruction of federal law. Ritter v. Migliori, 142 S. Ct. 1824, 1824 (2022) (Mem.) (Alito, J., dissenting from the denial of the application for stay).

Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of State Leigh Chapman has been blatant in her disregard for the authority of the Supreme Court:

Chapman says the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling does not affect the state's current election protocol, which will continue accepting and counting the ballots in defective envelopes. She cited a separate Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruling that said such ballots must be accepted.

"Today's order from the U.S. Supreme Court vacating the Third Circuit's decision on mootness grounds was not based on the merits of the issue and does not affect the prior decision of Commonwealth Court in any way," the acting secretary of state continued. "It provides no justification for counties to exclude ballots based on a minor omission, and we expect that counties will continue to comply with their obligation to count all legal votes."

While practices like illegally accepting undated mail-in-ballots breed distrust in our elections, Republicans are fighting back to ensure "free, fair, and transparent elections."