Trump Appointed Federal Judge Orders Counting of Undated Mail-in Ballots for 2024 Election
(Matt Couch, The DC Patriot) - A Pennsylvania judge has issued a consequential ruling on undated mail-in ballots that could have significant implications for the upcoming presidential election in the crucial battleground state. U.S. District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter’s decision may allow tens of thousands of mail-in ballots to be counted in the state, a move that could impact the election’s outcome.
The ruling comes in the midst of ongoing debate and skepticism surrounding mail-in ballots, a voting method predominantly favored by Democratic voters. In the 2020 presidential election, concerns over the integrity of mail-in ballots were at the center of GOP allegations of voter fraud.
Judge Baxter’s decision is expected to face appeals, ultimately reaching the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and possibly the Supreme Court.
Judge Baxter determined that the state’s mandatory requirement for dating mail-in ballots was in violation of the Materiality Provision of the Civil Rights Act. Consequently, she ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, concluding that there was no need to address their constitutional claim, and dismissed their equal protection claim.
While state law mandates handwritten dates on mail-in ballot envelopes, voters have exhibited confusion by occasionally inserting dates like their birthdates on the line or omitting the date altogether.
The plaintiffs in this case include the Pennsylvania State Conference of the NAACP and the Democratic Party’s campaign committees for U.S. House and Senate candidates. They argue that not counting undated ballots would be in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits the denial of the right to vote due to errors or omissions that are not material in determining a voter’s qualification.
Judge Baxter was appointed to the bench by President Trump on September 10, 2018.
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