Pa. Supreme Court dismisses Republican congressman's bid to toss mail-in ballots, halt certification

8:19 pm - 11-28-2020    342 Add a Comment

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed a case Saturday night brought by Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., and a handful of other Republican voters who sought to overturn last year’s law creating no-excuse mail-in voting as well as halt further action in certifying Pennsylvania’s votes. 

Pennsylvania certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory Tuesday, but Judge Patricia McCullough ordered Wednesday that the state must halt certification “to the extent that there remains any further action to perfect the certification.”

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Pennsylvania passed universal mail-in voting last year with Act 77, but Kelly sought to overturn that law and deem all mail-in votes in the 2020 election illegal. 

“As a remedy, Petitioners sought to invalidate the ballots of the millions of Pennsylvania voters who utilized the mail-in voting procedures established by Act 77 and count only those ballots that Petitioners deem to be ‘legal votes,'” the opinion from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reads. 

The court went on to say that petitioners should have challenged the law when it was first passed in 2019, instead of waiting until the election was over a year later. 

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“Petitioners filed this facial challenge to the mail-in voting statutory provisions more than one year after the enactment of Act 77. At the time this action was filed on November 21, 2020, millions of Pennsylvania voters had already expressed their will in both the June 2020 Primary Election and the November 2020 General Election and the final ballots in the 2020 General Election were being tallied, with the results becoming seemingly apparent,” the opinion from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reads. 

“Nevertheless, Petitioners waited to commence this litigation until days before the county boards of election were required to certify the election results to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. Thus, it is beyond cavil that Petitioners failed to act with due diligence in presenting the instant claim. Equally clear is the substantial prejudice arising from Petitioners’ failure to institute promptly a facial challenge to the mail-in voting statutory scheme, as such inaction would result in the disenfranchisement of millions of Pennsylvania voters.”

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Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro celebrated the ruling Saturday, calling it “another win for democracy.”

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