On Tuesday, a Pennsylvanian statewide court that ruled that the state's mail-in voting law violated the state's constitution said that its ruling can take effect in mid-March. The ruling would come into effect around a week after the state's Supreme Court hears oral arguments in regards to the case, according to WTAE.
Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt said that the Republican leaders who challenged the state's mail-in voting law would likely prevail at the state Supreme Court. According to WTAE: "Leavitt also said that the appeal by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's administration assumes the higher court will overrule decisions in 1862 and 1924 invalidating laws passed to expand absentee voting, but that administration lawyers did not identify an error in those decisions."
The Commonwealth Court ruled late last month to strike down the state's mail in voting law. Under this new ruling, this decision can take effect on March 15.
Leavitt said the timeline would allow county boards of election to notify voters of any change in law with two months remaining before the May 17 primary.
She added that if the Commonwealth Court's ruling were to take effect immediately and be overturned, counties would have to do it twice.
Act 77 allows the state's residents to file mail-in ballots without an excuse. The act was struck down not because of the merits of it, but rather because it was implemented through legislation, rather than a Constitutional amendment.
"No-excuse mail-in voting makes the exercise of the franchise more convenient and has been used four times in the history of Pennsylvania. Approximately 1.38 million voters have expressed their interest in voting by mail permanently. If presented to the people, a constitutional amendment to end the Article VII, Section 1 requirement of in-person voting is likely to be adopted," Leavitt wrote last month.
"But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people and adopted into our fundamental law before legislation authorizing no-excuse mail-in voting can 'be placed upon our statute books,'" she added.
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