A Pennsylvania court sides with Trump lawyers, ordering the disqualification of ballots that lacked proper voter identification by November 9. This issue is one of several legal challenges submitted by the Trump campaign in the state.
On November 4, the day after Election Day, the Trump campaign sued the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The suit asked the courts to adhere to the original deadline for voters. If voters cannot verify their identification by November 9, their ballots will not count.
Pennsylvania state law gives voters six days after the election to submit proof of identification. Prior to election day, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled allowed acceptance of mail-in ballots three days after Election Day. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar mistakenly interpreted the Supreme Court rule to extend the proof of identification rule by three days. Then, she submitted guidance that says voters can send proofs until November 12. Boockvar issued the guidance two days before the elections.
President Donald Trump’s election lawyers argued that there was no basis in the state’s law to extend the identification deadline. At the same time, they said Boockvar does not have the authority to unilaterally change the deadline.
Upon submission of the suit, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ordered the segregation of any ballots fixed during the extended deadline. They will await the outcome of the case before election officials will take any further action.
The ruling, released Thursday, favored the Trump campaign. “[T]he Court concludes that Respondent Kathy Boockvar, in her official capacity as Secretary of the Commonwealth, lacked statutory authority to issue the November 1, 2020, guidance to Respondents County Boards of Elections insofar as that guidance purported to change the deadline … for certain electors to verify proof of identification,” Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt said in a court order.
Will it change the count?
As the court ordered the separation of the ballots in question, the vote count did not include them during the canvassing. Ultimately, this will not affect Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania. It remains unclear how many ballots will constitute the freeze order.
Officials say the total is small. For example, Philadelphia county, which is the largest in the state, only counts 2,100 ballots with identification problems. As of Thursday, Biden leads trump by 53,580 votes.
Rule of Law
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said it’s a “huge victory” for election integrity. In a statement, she called the state’s three-day extension for providing ID “a cut and dry brazen power grab by a Democrat official trying to tip the scales in Joe Biden’s favor.”
In summary, the ruling cannot and will not overturn the count. Nonetheless, this ruling presents an important landmark. This reminds local officials that they cannot change rules and laws arbitrarily especially if it’s convenient for them. Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt’s order assured Philadelphia votes that the rule of law stays and does not need unnecessary interpretations. Therefore, even if this ruling doesn’t change the outcome but preserves the integrity of elections, it’s a victory for the people.
Watch this as News Now by Fox reports a Trump campaign win in Pennsylvania:
Do you agree with the ruling of the court, even if it doesn’t change the outcome of the Pennsylvania vote? Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts in the comment section below.