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Appeals court issues significant ruling on mail-in ballots leading up to the 2024 presidential election

via FOX43 News

A federal appeals court ruled that mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania without accurate handwritten dates on envelopes are invalid, overturning a previous decision.

Under state law, mail-in voters must write the date on envelopes to make their vote effective.

The ruling will impact this year’s elections in the important swing state of Pennsylvania.

“The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania unanimously held this ballot-casting rule is mandatory; thus, failure to comply renders a ballot invalid under Pennsylvania law,” Judge Thomas Ambro wrote.

Republicans say the mail-in process raises integrity issues while Democrats argue it increases access and convenience.

Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to vote by mail in Pennsylvania.

The Materiality Provision “only applies when the State is determining who may vote,” Ambro wrote.

The RNC chair said the ruling is a victory for integrity, while civil rights groups argue it could disenfranchise thousands of eligible voters over trivial errors.

“This is a crucial victory for election integrity and voter confidence in the Keystone State and nationwide,” Republican National Committee chair Michael Whatley stated.

“Pennsylvanians deserve to feel confident in the security of their mail ballots, and this Third Circuit ruling roundly rejects unlawful left-wing attempts to count undated or incorrectly dated mail ballots.”

“If this ruling stands, thousands of Pennsylvania voters could lose their vote over a meaningless paperwork error,” Pennsylvania ACLU executive director Mike Lee said.

“The ballots in question in this case come from voters who are eligible and who met the submission deadline. In passing the Civil Rights Act, Congress put a guardrail in place to be sure that states don’t erect unnecessary barriers that disenfranchise voters. It’s unfortunate that the court failed to recognize that principle,” he said.

In 2022, over 7,600 mailed ballots were rejected due to missing or incorrect envelope dates in 12 counties.

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