Trump campaign wins Pennsylvania lawsuit to block ballots that lacked ID

by Peter Heck · Nov 13th, 2020 8:12 am
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Last Updated Nov 13th, 2020 at 9:22 pm

The Trump campaign won a significant court victory on Thursday when a Pennsylvania judge ruled that provisional ballots that were cast by voters who lacked proper identification at the time of voting and then failed to provide it by the state's November 9 deadline could not be counted.

Pennsylvania allowed voters until November 9 to fix any issues that arose with their ballots on Election Day, including the ability to present with ID if they did not have it with them the day they voted. The problem arose when Pennsylvania's Supreme Court said mail-in ballots could be accepted up to three days following the election itself, meaning November 6.

In light of the ruling, Pennsylvania's Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar made the unilateral decision to extend the "fix-by" date an additional three days as well, to November 12. The Trump campaign objected, saying she lacked the authority to do that, and the court agreed.

"The Court concludes that Respondent Kathy Boockvar, in her official capacity as Secretary of the Commonwealth, lacked statutory authority to issue the November 1, 2020, guidance to Respondents County Boards of Elections insofar as that guidance purported to change the deadline … for certain electors to verify proof of identification," Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt ruled.

The decision will not affect the current vote lead for presidential candidate Joe Biden, which stands at nearly 54,000. None of the ballots in question in this case had yet been counted.


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