A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that the state’s Secretary of State did not have the legal authority to change the ballot identification deadline at short notice.
Pennsylvania Secretary Of State Illegally Extended Deadline
Judge Mary Leavitt ruled in favor of the Trump campaign on Thursday, and ordered that ballots must not be counted where the voters in question failed to provide the relevant identification by November 9th.
Two days before Election Day, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar issued guidance telling voters that they had until November 12th. This was another three days from the previously given deadline, and six days after the deadline for ballot acceptance.
“The 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,” the judge ruled.
“Accordingly, the Court hereby ORDERS that Respondents County Boards of Elections are enjoined from counting any ballots that have been segregated pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Court’s order dated November 5, 2020, granting a special injunction,” the ruling continued.
Judge orders segregated ballots should *not* be counted. It rules the PA Secretary of State "lacked statutory authority" to override election law. Critically, the state has a Republican state legislature.#SCOTUS may ultimately decide the case now. pic.twitter.com/2VO6mkl66M
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) November 12, 2020
More Court Orders To Come – PA May Determine Election
It follows a previous order from the court where any ballots where Pennsyvlania voters had provided proof of identification between November 10th and 12th, so after the original deadline, must be segregated and not counted with other voters.
The Trump campaign is still awaiting judgement from SCOTUS as to whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court acted improperly or not when they extended the mail-in ballot acceptance deadline by three days.
The rulings follow a number of irregularities that were brought to attention before the election in Pennsylvania. Nine military ballots were found discarded in Luzerne County in September, seven of which were confirmed to have been cast for President Trump.
— Judicial Watch (@JudicialWatch) November 12, 2020
And in October, charges were announced against Judge Everett Bickford for tampering with the ballots of a Democratic primary race for state representatives earlier this year.
The rulings in Pennsylvania may tip the election itself – out of all the states that currently have electoral disputes, recounts, and lawsuits ongoing, Pennsylvania has the biggest number of electoral college votes to be awarded to their eventual winning candidate.