Lawsuit Filed to Prevent Mail-In Ballots from Being Thrown Out

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A new lawsuit filed Tuesday by a constellation of left-leaning groups in Pennsylvania is trying to prevent thousands of mail-in ballots from being thrown out in November’s election in a battleground state that is expected to play a critical role in selecting a new president.

The lawsuit, filed in a state court, is the latest of perhaps a half-dozen cases to challenge a provision in Pennsylvania law that voters must write the date when they sign their mail-in ballot envelope.

Voters not understanding that provision has meant that tens of thousands of ballots lacked an accurate date since Pennsylvania dramatically expanded mail-in voting in a 2019 law.

The latest lawsuit says multiple courts have found that a voter-written date is meaningless in determining whether the ballot arrived on time or whether the voter is eligible.

As a result, rejecting someone’s ballot either because it lacks a date or a correct date should violate the Pennsylvania Constitution’s free and equal elections clause, the lawsuit said.

“This lawsuit is the only one that is squarely addressing the constitutionality of disenfranchising voters under Pennsylvania’s Constitution,” said Marian Schneider, a lawyer in the case and senior policy counsel for voting rights for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.

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