Federal judge agrees to expedite Trump campaign’s lawsuit over vote-by-mail in Pennsylvania

Trump-Pence 2020 campaign bus

A Trump-Pence 2020 campaign bus parked at the Lancaster airport on July 9, 2020. Vice President Mike Pence flew into Lancaster for a fundraiser in Manheim, then traveled by bus for appearances in Chester County and Philadelphia. (Kate Landis/PA Post)

This story originally appeared in PA Post.

___

A federal judge has agreed to fast-track the lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump’s election campaign against Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and the commonwealth’s 67 county election boards over their vote-by-mail procedures.

U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan has limited the scope of discovery, however, to the information counties and the Department of State already have assembled to compile a report on the primary due Aug. 1 to the state legislature.

In his order issued Friday, Ranjan wrote he’s attempting to balance the need to expedite the case given the election’s only 15 weeks away with counties’ “competing obligations to administer the upcoming general election.”

The judge scheduled arguments to begin Tuesday, Sept. 22 in Pittsburgh in the order; however, Ranjan will still consider motions to dismiss due next week.

Trump’s campaign wants Ranjan to require counties to reject mailed ballots that arrive without a secrecy envelope and limit in-person ballot delivery to official county election offices. The suit also seeks to allow Pennsylvanians to serve as poll watchers in any county, not just their county of residence as under current law.

Which way will Pa. vote?

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.