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Old 2020-11-25, 21:42   #543
Dr Sardonicus
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Feb 2017

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Default And yet again...

Judge halts further vote certification; Gov. Wolf to appeal
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania appeals court judge ordered state officials on Wednesday to halt any further steps toward certifying election results, a day after Gov. Tom Wolf said he had certified Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election in Pennsylvania.
Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly and others filed suit Saturday to challenge approximately 2.5 million mail-in ballots that were predominantly cast by Democrats. They said the GOP-controlled state Legislature had failed to follow proper procedure when they voted last year to expand mail-in voting. The state Supreme Court has twice this month overturned Republican challenges over election issues.
EDIT: The Pennsylvania lawsuit is based on the narrow scope of absentee voting described in Article VII of the Pennsylvania State Constitution:
§ 14. Absentee voting.
(a) The Legislature shall, by general law, provide a manner in which, and the time and place at which, qualified electors who may, on the occurrence of any election, be absent from the municipality of their residence, because their duties, occupation or business require them to be elsewhere or who, on the occurrence of any election, are unable to attend at their proper polling places because of illness or physical disability or who will not attend a polling place because of the observance of a religious holiday or who cannot vote because of election day duties, in the case of a county employee, may vote, and for the return and canvass of their votes in the election district in which they respectively reside.
(b) For purposes of this section, "municipality" means a city, borough, incorporated town, township or any similar general purpose unit of government which may be created by the General Assembly.
The latest lawsuit, which would, if successful, result in the invalidation of approximately two and a half million ballots, is based on the contention that the above clause does not allow the Legislature to provide for absentee voting in any other circumstances.

I note, however, that the word "shall" mandates the legislature to provide for absentee voting under the stated circumstances, but the language does not forbid the Legislature from providing for absentee voting in other circumstances.

The law itself (2019 Act 77) has not previously been challenged as being contrary to the Pennsylvania State Constitution, though the 2020 extension of the deadline for the arrival of mail-in ballots was challenged.

Further edit: Governor Wolf has appealed Judge McCullough's order to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Thanks to Rick Hasen's Election Law Blog we are informed of an effect of this appeal:

Pennsylvania Code, Title 210 Chapter 17:
Rule 1736. Exemption from Security.
(a) General rule. -- No security shall be required of:
(1) The Commonwealth or any officer thereof, acting in his official capacity.

(2) Any political subdivision or any officer thereof, acting in his official capacity, except in any case in which a common pleas court has affirmed an arbitration award in a grievance or similar personnel matter.

(3) A party acting in a representative capacity.

(4) A taxpayer appealing from a judgment entered in favor of the Commonwealth upon an account duly settled when security has already been given as required by law.

(5) An appellant who has already filed security in a lower court, conditioned as prescribed by these rules for the final outcome of the appeal.
(b) Supersedeas automatic. -- Unless otherwise ordered pursuant to this chapter the taking of an appeal by any party specified in Subdivision (a) of this rule shall operate as a supersedeas in favor of such party, which supersedeas shall continue through any proceedings in the United States Supreme Court.
"Supersedeas" means the lower court's proceedings are stayed pending review.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2020-11-26 at 13:30 Reason: As indicated
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