Pennsylvania’s Mail-In Voting Rule Suffers Another Defeat in Court

A judge in Pennsylvania has upheld an earlier ruling that reversed the current “universal mail-in ballot law” in a decision that will take effect next month.

Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt ruled in January that the state’s mail-in ballot law violated the Pennsylvania constitution.

Leavitt said, “Republicans who challenged the law are likely to prevail when the state Supreme Court reviews the case in March.”

“No-excuse mail-in voting makes the exercise of the franchise more convenient and has been used four times in the history of Pennsylvania,” Leavitt wrote in her opinion in late January. 

“Approximately 1.38 million voters have expressed their interest in voting by mail permanently. If presented to the people, a constitutional amendment… is likely to be adopted. But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people,” she added.

In short, Leavitt said that simply declaring universal mail-in balloting is not acceptable; it must be approved by state residents or passed via legislation.

In her latest decision, the judge noted that an appeal by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration “assumes the higher court will overrule decisions that were rendered in 1862 and 1924, which would invalidate laws passed to expand absentee voting.” 

Leavitt went on to note that Wolf’s administration didn’t claim that the 1862 or 1924 rulings were in error. 

The case now moves to the state Supreme Court March 8, with Conservative Brief adding:

Republicans have assailed Pennsylvania mail-in ballot laws and vote counting policies, including one that allowed mail-in ballots to be recorded up to three days after the election so as long as they were postmarked by Election Day. 

Former President Donald Trump celebrated last month’s ruling in an email to supporters.

“Big news out of Pennsylvania, great patriotic spirit is developing at a level that nobody thought possible. Make America Great Again!” he said.