Tuesday’s Framework session on election security was timelier than initially thought as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court just ruled that mail in ballots that were not dated will not be counted. Ball, D., et al, Pets v. Chapman, L., et al - No. 102 MM 2022.
The issue stems from what many would consider an immaterial error. When voting by mail, a voter is given two envelopes, an inner “secrecy envelope” and an outer envelope. WHYY. On the outer envelope there is a voter declaration which is causing the issue. Some voters are either not dating the outer envelope or giving an incorrect date.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the Pennsylvania county boards of elections are to refrain from counting any absentee and mail-in ballots received for the November 8, 2022, general election that are contained in undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes.
The court was evenly divided on whether making the envelope dates mandatory under state law would violate provisions of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that immaterial errors or omissions should not be used to prevent voting. Trib Live. As such the court ordered that the Pennsylvania county boards of elections segregate and preserve any ballots contained in undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes.
The court was able to be evenly divided because of the vacancy caused by the death of Chief Justice Max Baer.
At the Framework session, the general consensus was that the Pennsylvania Forward Party should support mail-in voting & that this issue is not a valid threat to our elections. You can voice your opinion in the next scheduled Framework session on November 15, 2022, and all Tuesdays afterward. Use the link below (the zoom meeting link is the same for all Framework Sessions).
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