A Pennsylvania court on Thursday invalidated 2,349 absentee ballots in Allegheny County where the voter didn’t date their declaration.
Commonwealth Court Judge P. Kevin Brobson on Thursday reversed a lower court judge and directed the “Elections Board to exclude the challenged 2,349 ballots from the certified returns of election for the County of Allegheny….”
“…[There] is an obvious and salutary purpose behind the requirement that a voter date the declaration. The date provides a measure of security, establishing the date on which the elector actually executed the ballot in full, ensuring their desire to cast it in lieu of appearing in person at a polling place. The presence of the date also establishes a point in time against which to measure the elector’s eligibility to cast the ballot, as reflected in the body of the declaration itself,” the judge wrote.
Judge Brobson said the votes in question will not be counted “because the votes are invalid as a matter of law.”
The judge said the terms are set by the General Assembly and warned that the real danger to our democracy is leaving it to each county board of election to decide what laws must be followed and what laws are optional.
“Such a patchwork system does not guarantee voters an “equal” election, particularly where the election involves inter-county and statewide offices. We do not enfranchise voters by absolving then of their responsibility to execute their ballots in accordance with law.”
Just in: A GOP win in Pennsylvania — Commonwealth Court judge ruled that 2,349 absentee ballots in Allegheny County where the voter didn’t date their declaration are invalid, reversing a lower court judge https://t.co/PwJddq2Hw5 pic.twitter.com/0AR0DCflku
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) November 19, 2020