Friday, February 4, 2022

Courts Continue to Invalidate Voting Rules Used During Biden’s 2020 Victory; Swing State Courts Strengthen Election Integrity In Major Rulings Ahead Of 2022 Midterms

VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images
Courts Continue to Invalidate Voting Rules Used During Biden’s 2020 Victory:
Courts continued this week to invalidate some of the extraordinary rules under which President Joe Biden won the 2020 election, and to which many Republicans objected, though litigation at the time failed to overturn the voting results.
An appellate court in Pennsylvania ruled Friday that the state’s 2019 law — passed by a Republican legislature before the coronavirus pandemic — allowing no-excuse vote-by-mail was unconstitutional. A challenge to the same law after the 2020 general election was blocked by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on the grounds of “laches,” because the plaintiffs could have brought their lawsuit before the primary election. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal to that decision.
Earlier this month, a judge in Wisconsin’s Waukesha County ruled that the vote-by-mail drop boxes that the state had used in the 2020 election were unlawful because rules for their use had not been created through a traditional administrative process.
Wisconsin, like other states, adopted the widespread use of the drop boxes after Democrats raised concerns — unfounded in science — that voting in person posed an unreasonable risk of transmission of COVID-19. (Israel and South Korea, two of the most restrictive countries in the world with regard to coronavirus lockdowns, each held in-person elections during the height of the pandemic. Neither allows large-scale absentee voting; in Israel, coronavirus patients had their own polling places.) --->READ MORE HERE
Swing State Courts Strengthen Election Integrity In Major Rulings Ahead Of 2022 Midterms:
Several state courts issued major election integrity rulings this week that could have a profound effect on elections in swing states ahead of the 2022 midterms.
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled on Friday that the state’s “no-excuse” mail-in voting law, also known as Act 77, violates the state’s Constitution which requires in-person voting for most people who don’t fit the state’s list of exceptions.
In a 3-2 decision, the court’s conservative majority determined that the expansion of mail-in voting put ballots in the hands of constitutionally ineligible people. While the court acknowledged that the law made voting “more convenient,” the judges noted that legislators can’t just ignore the Pennsylvania Constitution to get what they want.
“No-excuse mail-in voting makes the exercise of the franchise more convenient and has been used four times in the history of Pennsylvania,” the court’s opinion states. “Approximately 1.38 million voters have expressed their interest in voting by mail permanently. If presented to the people, a constitutional amendment … is likely to be adopted. But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people.”
The law, known as Act 77, was passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, in 2019. It permitted no-excuse absentee voting, created a permanent mail-in voter list, reduced the voter registration deadline from 30 days to 15, and provided for $90 million in election infrastructure upgrades. It also eliminated straight ticket voting. --->READ MORE HERE
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