Politics

Pennsylvania high court throws out challenge to mail-in ballots

Pete Williams and Dennis Romero
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Employee holds bundles of mail-in ballots to be counted in Pennsylvania, November 4, 2020.
Aimee Dilger | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Saturday rejected an election challenge spearheaded by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, who argued that a law permitting no-excuse mail voting violated the state Constitution.

Kelly, along with several other Pennsylvania Republicans, sought to invalidate millions of mail-in votes, which could have ceded a key state won by President-Elect Joe Biden to President Donald Trump.

The ruling said, "Petitioners sought to invalidate the ballots of the millions of Pennsylvania voters who utilized the mail-in voting procedures. ... Alternatively, Petitioners advocated the extraordinary proposition that the court disenfranchise all 6.9 million Pennsylvanians who voted in the General Election and instead 'direct the General Assembly to choose Pennsylvania's electors.'"

The high court ruled no on all counts and said, "All other outstanding motions are dismissed as moot." It said the claim could have resulted in the "disenfranchisement" of millions of voters.

A spokesman for Kelly did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The state Supreme Court unanimously wiped out a lower court order that had blocked state officials from doing anything further to carry out this week's certification of the election results.

The court criticized plaintiffs for filing the suit more than a year after universal mail-in voting was established in the state and said they lacked "due diligence."

The suit is one of more than 26 pro-Trump election challenges dismissed by courts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and elsewhere.

The president has claimed his loss is the result of widespread fraud but so far not a single court, including some headed by Trump appointees, have agreed.

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