On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that mail-in ballots sent in without the required date on the outer envelope must not be counted, following a lawsuit from the Republican National Committee (RNC).
"The Pennsylvania county boards of elections are hereby ordered to refrain from counting any absentee and mail-in ballots received for the November 8, 2022 general election that are contained in undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes," the court document announcing the decision states.
The court states that they are divided as to whether not counting these ballots violates 52 US Code section 10101 (a)(2)(B).
"We hereby direct that the Pennsylvania county boards of elections segregate and preserve any ballots contained in undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes," the court stated.
The US Code section cited by the court states: "No person acting under color of law shall…deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election."
Pennsylvania is a key battleground state in November's upcoming midterm elections, with two closely watched elections for Senate and governor.
The RNC’s lawsuit alleged that Pennsylvania law requires a voter to provide a date. The suit asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to order counties to segregate the undated and any incorrectly dated ballots.
Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman has said that Pennsylvania will continue to count these improperly dated ballots in accordance with the Commonwealth Court's previous ruling on the matter, according to Fox News.
"Every county is expected to include undated ballots in their official returns for the Nov. 8 election, consistent with the Department of State's guidance," Pennsylvania’s Department of State wrote on October 11.
"That guidance followed the most recent ruling of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court holding that both Pennsylvania and federal law prohibit excluding legal votes because the voter omitted an irrelevant date on the ballot return envelope."
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