The expected wave of technical challenges in crucial Pennsylvania state began Tuesday night with two-state and federal lawsuits seeking to disqualify thousands of votes in dozens of counties.
Carried by lawyers associated with the state’s GOP on behalf of Republican candidates – including Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) – and activists, lawsuits challenge efforts to “cure” ballots that voters filled in incorrectly or did not put in the mandatory envelopes.
One, which will be presented to a federal judge in Philadelphia on Wednesday morning, deals with a relatively small number of ballots in Montgomery County, a major Democratic-leaning suburb.
Citing internal communications from and between county officials, the complaint claims officials broke state law that only allowed processing of mail-in ballots to begin at 7 a.m. on polling day in checking which ballots were “bare” – without a secret envelope – and therefore could not be legally counted. The lawsuit argues that these officials further violated state law and Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent by contacting voters and giving them a chance to fix their ballots.
But “the most important case” – as GOP state attorney Thomas King has presented to the Daily Beast – calls for the state court to castigate the advice Commonwealth Secretary Kathy Boockvar has given. donated to counties in Pennsylvania. Boockvar’s office had ordered counties to allow voters whose votes they rejected for technical reasons absent to vote provisionally.
The Republican lawsuit, to which Kelly is a party, argues that it violates the same state law.
“It is absolutely illegal in Pennsylvania to release this information,” King said in an interview with the Daily Beast. “There is no possibility for a second vote under the law in Pennsylvania.”
Boockvar, a Democrat, defended her advice at a press conference on Tuesday night.
“We do not believe we have broken the law,” public radio station WHYY said. “There is absolutely nothing in Pennsylvania law that prohibits this practice.”
Montgomery County officials also defended their policy, while indicating they would split the votes in question.
“We think our process is strong and authorized under the Election Code,” Kelly Cofrancisco, an electoral council, told Bucks County Mail-Times.
Because not all counties followed the same vote counting policy, the GOP lawsuit explicitly compared the inconsistency to the various proceedings in Florida that led the US Supreme Court to side with it. then candidate George W. Bush in 2000, effectively giving him the presidency.
“He’s clearly ripe for a challenge,” Professor Daniel Mallinson, a politics and election expert at Pennsylvania State University in Harrisburg, told The Daily Beast.
Mallinson is one of several Keystone State observers who have predicted that the millions of ballots sent and returned to its major metropolitan areas could take days to total, creating growing risks of political friction.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in September that “bare ballots” without the secrecy envelope could not count towards state totals. A disproportionate number of Democrats have sought absentee voting, and the issue of “curing” the ballots could shift the margin if the result in the state is extremely tight.
#Legal #challenges #started #Pennsylvania #Trump #Biden #await #outcome