(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) In a major win for election integrity, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Tuesday that officials cannot accept undated or inaccurately marked mail-in or absentee ballots.
The court directed county boards of elections to “segregate and preserve” those ballots and not include them in the final vote tally.
“The Pennsylvania county boards of elections are hereby ORDERED to refrain from counting any absentee and mail-in ballots received for the November 8, 2022 general election that are contained in undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes,” the court wrote in its order.
The ruling, issued as voters head to the polls for the highly contentious Senate race that has national implications, came after acting Pennsylvania Democrat Secretary of State Leigh Chapman said that the state would count undated ballots.
The justices split 3-3 on whether making the envelope dates mandatory under state law would violate provisions of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that immaterial errors or omissions should not be used to prevent voting.
Republican National Committee chief Ronna McDaniel called the court’s ruling a “massive” win for election integrity.
“The PA Supreme Court agrees with us that incorrectly or undated mail ballots can not be counted in next week’s elections,” McDaniel tweeted. “Republicans went to court. Now Democrats have to follow the law.”
The PA Supreme Court agrees with us that incorrectly or undated mail ballots can not be counted in next week’s elections.
Republicans went to court. Now Democrats have to follow the law.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) November 1, 2022
The Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the state party had sued Chapman and election boards in every county.
Pennsylvania counties have reported receiving more than 850,000 completed mail-in ballots from the roughly 1.4 million that voters have requested, according to the Associated Press. About 70% of requests have come from Democrats and about 20% from Republicans.
In the 2020 presidential election, Democrat stronghold Philadelphia reported receiving almost 381,000 mail ballots. Among them were about 8,300 undated ballots.