November 25, 2020

Pennsylvania Halts Election Certification

  • Horse Race

By: Amy Jo Underwood

In Brief:

A judge in Pennsylvania ruled that the state must pause its certification process until there is a hearing on a possible conflict with the current law on mail-in ballots and the state constitution.  Pennsylvania AG states that he will file an appeal with the state Supreme Court. 

The Background:

A Pennsylvania judge has ordered that the certification be stopped until a hearing on Friday, according to the Washington Times. State officials had announced on Tuesday that the election was certified for Joe Biden, but U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Republican nominee Sean Parnell brought a lawsuit stating that the mail-in votes were unconstitutional according to the Pennsylvania state constitution. Judge Patricia McCullough ordered that the certification process be halted until there was an evidentiary hearing on Friday. 

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro states that the electors are already selected and that the votes will not change, and that he will immediately send an appeal to the state Supreme Court. 

The lawsuit by Pennsylvania GOP members states that the current mail-in ballot law is unconstitutional and that in order to change the guidelines for mail-in and absentee voting, the state constitution would need to be amended. According to the state constitution, absentee voting is only allowed if an individual’s job prevents them from going to the polls, if an individual is physically ill and incapacitated, or if the individual cannot go to the polls because of a religious holiday. According to the lawsuit, the Pennsylvania mail-in ballots issued with any other reasoning are not constitutional or valid. 

Notable Quotes:

"Since the birth of our nation nearly 250 years ago, no court has ever issued an order purporting to interfere with a state's ascertainment of its presidential electors - until today.” - Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf

What do you think?