The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has ruled in favor of the Trump campaign in its ongoing efforts to contest the apparent results of the election following apparent irregularities in the voting process. In a ruling on Thursday, a judge ordered that the state may not count ballots where voters needed to provide proof of identification and failed to do so by November 9.
According to Pennsylvania state law, voters have until six days after the election – or November 9 – to cure problems regarding a lack of proof of identification. Ballots that fail to be certified are to be automatically invalidated.
After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that mail-in ballots could be accepted three days after Election Day, Secretary of State Kathy Brockvar sent in guidance that said proof of identification could be provided up until November 12, which is three additional days from the ballot acceptance deadline. She issued her guidance two days before Election Day – guidance that the court has now found to be invalid.
“[T]he Court concludes that Respondent Kathy Boockvar, in her official capacity as Secretary of the Commonwealth, lacked statutory authority to issue the November 1, 2020, guidance to Respondents County Boards of Elections insofar as that guidance purported to change the deadline … for certain electors to verify proof of identification,” Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt said in a court order, as obtained by Fox News.
The judge’s ruling is in line with the Trump campaign’s argument, which is that there is no basis in PA state law to extend the identification deadline. Brockvar does not have the authority to change the law.
The court previously ruled in favor of the Trump campaign to segregate ballots where voters provided identification between November 10 and 12 until a ruling was issued to determine what to do with the late ballots. Judge Leavitt ruled on Thursday that those ballots will not be counted.
The Trump campaign is currently awaiting a decision from the US Supreme Court to determine whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court acted properly in its action to grant a three-day extension for accepting mail-in ballots.