The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the ballots could not be rejected if the signature on the ballot did not match the signature on the request for the ballot.
The unanimous decision was a blow to Republicans who argued inadequate signatures could lead to voter fraud and a victory for Democrats who argued that requiring matching signatures could lead to the deprivation of the voters’ right to vote.
With Election Day just 10 days away, Pennsylvania is a key state in the battlefield. President Trump won the state by less than 45,000 votes in 2016.
It was reported that around 26,500 ballots were rejected during the June primaries due to apparent signature flaws.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has also said that if voters don’t put their ballot in a “secret” envelope, their votes won’t count.
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Pennsylvania Democratic Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar had asked for clarification on voting rules in Keystone state. Boockvar and the Trump campaign had argued over the interpretation of the law, with the court ultimately siding with the secretary.
“[We] argue that county election councils are prohibited from rejecting mail or mail ballots based on the comparison of signatures by election officials or county employees, or as a result of third-party challenges based on the analysis and comparisons of signatures, ”the court wrote.
The United States Supreme Court handed another victory to the Pennsylvania Democrats after a deadlocked court, 4-4, ended a GOP-led effort to block an extended period of ballot counting. vote.
In the event of a 4-4 block, the lower court’s decision is confirmed and maintained.
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The ruling means Pennsylvania will be able to accept and count ballots for up to three days after Tuesday’s election, through Friday, November 6, provided they are postmarked by November 3.
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About 2.5 million Pennsylvanians are expected to vote by post this electoral cycle.