Harrisburg, Pa. ( Associated Press) — Republicans have sued again in an effort to outlaw Pennsylvania’s sweeping mail-in voting law, even as the state’s highest court considers a separate lawsuit aimed at the former president. After the legislation that sided with Republicans is to be abolished. Donald Trump’s baseless claims about election rigging,
This is the latest battle over voting laws in the major battlefield state. The lawsuit comes barely two months before voters can send mail-in ballots in a fall election featuring high-profile contests for governor and the US Senate.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by 14 state Republican lawmakers, said the court must invalidate the law because it contains a provision that says it is “void” if any of its requirements are struck down in court. .
The lawsuit says the “non-separation” provision was introduced in a May 20 decision by a panel of the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concerning mail-in ballots in the Lehigh County judicial race since last November.
The ballot papers in question lacked handwritten dates on the return envelopes, as required by law.
In the decision, the panel found that a handwritten date has no bearing on a voter’s eligibility and said it would violate the civil rights of voters in that election, as they lacked a handwritten date.
The panel also pointed out that ballots with the wrong dates were counted in that election. The Republican candidate’s appeal in the race is pending in the US Supreme Court.
Tom Wolf’s administration had no immediate reaction to the lawsuit.
However, it wrote separately on Wednesday in response to a question from a state legislator that the federal appeals court’s decision did not trigger the non-separation provision. That’s because the lawsuit targeted Lehigh County’s decision not to count ballots, not the validity of the date requirement, it said.
In any case, courts have not always chosen to invoke non-separation provisions in the past.
Pennsylvania’s 2019 mail-in voting law has become a hot topic for Republicans on the campaign trail, with Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano vowing to repeal it if elected.
Most states offer mail-in voting for all voters, and every Republican lawmaker, but voted for the law in 2019. But Republicans in Pennsylvania soured the practice when Trump began attacking it baselessly with fraud in his 2020 election campaign. Perhaps as a result, Democrats in Pennsylvania have voted more by mail than Republicans.
Last year, the same 14 Republican lawmakers — 11 of whom actually voted for the legislation — sued, saying prior court decisions make it clear that the Constitution needs to allow mail-in voting without excuse. should be replaced.
An intermediate court agreed in January,
Wolf’s administration appealed, saying that the lower court incorrectly based its decision on court decisions under earlier versions of the state constitution, which invalidated laws passed in 1839 and 1923 to expand absentee voting. was given.