A Pennsylvania judge ruled on Thursday that the state cannot count late ballots which required voters to provide proof of identification to ‘cure’ them by an arbitrary deadline set by the Secretary of State.
After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that mail-in ballots could be accepted three days after Election Day, a separate issue in dispute, PA Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar submitted her own guidance that said proof of ID could be provided up to Nov 12, three days from the ballot acceptance deadline.
The order is notably separate from a challenge to the PA Supreme Court decision to allow late ballots, and invalidates only those subject to Boockvar’s extension to cure a lack of ID between Nov. 10-12.
“[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,” wrote Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt in a court order.
“Accordingly, the Court heareby ORDERS that Respondents County Board 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.”
Of note, with less than 10,000 ballots received after Nov. 3, the number of ‘cured’ ballots from Nov. 10-12 which are now invalid is unlikely to be high.