Pennsylvania Appeals Court Rules for Trump Campaign in Late-ballot ID Case

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

A state appellate court judge in Pennsylvania ruled in favor of the Trump campaign on Thursday, deciding that Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D) lacked authority to extend a deadline for first-time vote-by-mail participants to show their ID.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported:

A Pennsylvania appellate court handed President Donald Trump’s campaign a minor victory Thursday, barring counties from including in their final vote tallies a small pool of mail ballots from people who had failed to provide required ID by a Monday deadline.

In a two-page order, a Commonwealth Court judge struck down a decision by the Wolf administration to give voters more time, post-election, to fulfill the ID requirement.

Though state law only requires first-time voters to show ID at the polls, all voters who applied to vote by mail had to be validated [sic] their identification against state records by Nov. 9.

Boockvar had extended the deadline to Nov. 12, adding a three-day extension after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided in a separate case that mail-in ballots could be received up to three days after Election Day.

That change was upheld in a 4-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The number of ballots affected by Thursday’s decision — which were sequestered and not counted — is likely small.

However, Republicans believe Thursday’s ruling could help if the Supreme Court resists the issue, because the state judge found that Boockvar acted without authority from the state legislature.

Republicans point out that the Constitution says that election rules are in the hands of state legislatures. It does not say that state courts may change state laws about voting procedure.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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