A Pennsylvania state court on Tuesday rejected the latest Republican effort to throw out the presidential battleground state’s broad mail-in voting law that has become a GOP target following former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims about election fraud.
It is the latest of several refusals by a state court to invalidate Pennsylvania’s 2019 mail-in voting law, enacted barely months before the COVID-19 pandemic began and Trump began attacking mail-in voting.
In the lawsuit filed last year, 14 current and former Republican state lawmakers contended that the court must invalidate the law because two earlier court decisions triggered a provision written into it that says it is “void” if any of its requirements are struck down in court.
Those decisions, they argued, refused to enforce a requirement that a voter handwrite a date on the outer envelope of their mail-in ballot if the ballot is to be counted.
But the Commonwealth Court, in a 24-page opinion, unanimously found that the court decisions did not invalidate “the dating provision” of the law. It dismissed the lawsuit, in favor of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration and the national and state Democratic parties.
Greg Teufel, the lawyer for the 14 Republican lawmakers, said he expects to appeal to the state Supreme Court, which has twice upheld the mail-in voting law against previous Republican-backed challenges.
In an interview, Teufel said he disagreed with the court’s rationale, saying that the court is ignoring the plain language of the law.
“They’re sidestepping a critical issue, just pretending they don’t see it,” Teufel said.
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