Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting law has been shot down by the Commonwealth Court after finding it unconstitutional.
Act 77 allows any qualified voter to vote by mail. In a 3-2 vote, however, the state court sided with Republicans, who claim that the law is unconstitutional.
The legal victory for Republicans is big for those challenging the results of the 2020 election. One political expert says it adds fuel to political fire that has been burning since then.
Act 77 was passed in 2019 and was designed to let people vote from home without an excuse. Many people took advantage of the act during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have to remember that this was a bipartisan bill that was passed. There was not really serious opposition to it. It was passed by Democrats and Republicans. In fact, many of those people that filed this lawsuit are people that supported the bill originally.
Local republicans say the court decision was right because it is based on the constitution of the state.
“I was content with the system where if people had any problem with voting they could get and absentee ballot and so forth. But, the rules changed and nobody is really sure of all of the implications of the mail-in system,” said Verel Salmon, Erie County Republican Party Chairman.
Erie County Democratic Chairman Jim Wertz says the bottom lines is that in 2019, the bill was passed by both Democrats and Republicans.
“Once Donald Trump lost in 2020, mail-in ballots were a bad thing all of a sudden, so now they have tried legal attempt after legal attempt to take the vote away from millions of Pennsylvanians,” said Jim Wertz, Erie County Democratic Party Chairman.
Governor Tom Wolf is already appealing to the State Supreme Court.
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Morris adds that every state constitution is different. So, the provision that allowed the court to rule this unconstitutional in Pennsylvania may not even apply in another state.