On Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alilto temporarily blocked a lower appeals court decision allowing for the counting of undated ballots in the Pennsylvania elections held on May 17.
The case centers around a dispute in Lehigh County by David Ritter, a Republican state judicial candidate, who wants the Supreme Court to block the appeals court decision that allowed for undated ballots to be counted. He argues that if they are counted then then he may lose his election to Democratic rival Zachary Cohen.
Watch a video of what Justice Alito did by CBS Philly.
The decision could impact Pennsylvania’s US Senate primary involving Mehmet Oz and David McCormick. The latter tails Oz by less than 1,000 votes, said the Washington Post.
McCormick filed a lawsuit asking that the “undated ballots” be counted in the Senate recount.
Pennsylvania election code requires that mail-in voters “fill out, date and sign” a form on the outside of the envelope. The ballots in question were received legally on the state’s deadline and Federal appeals judges argued that not counting the undated votes violates civil rights because dating the ballot is an immaterial requirement to voting.
“Ignoring ballots because the outer envelope was undated, even though the ballot was indisputably received before the deadline for voting serves no purpose other than disenfranchising otherwise qualified voters.”U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.
“In this case, voters forgot to date their ballots but their ballots arrived on time and we know they were timely,” said election law expert Rick Hasen at the University of California, Irvine. He noted that the state initially denied these votes.
John M. Gore, an attorney for Dr. Oz, filed a brief with the Supreme Court calling the appeals court decision “thinly reasoned.”
“It’s now being ““weaponized to undermine the apparent result of a statewide primary election for the Republican nomination to represent Pennsylvania in the United States Senate,” Gore said about the appeals decision that Alito stayed.
Do you think that the undated ballots should count in the race or does this just show another problem with mail-in ballots? Let us know your thoughts.