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Swing State's Ballots Must Be Counted Even if Verification Signature Doesn't Match

A long-standing practice meant to guard against voter fraud cannot be used in Pennsylvania, according to the state Supreme Court.

The court ruled Friday that ballots cannot be rejected solely because the signature of a voter on the ballot does not match the voter’s signature on file, according to Politico.

Pennsylvania is among those states that have instituted mass mail-in voting for this election.

President Donald Trump’s campaign challenged guidance issued last month by Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar that said signature comparison was not a valid reason to throw out a ballot.

“If the Voter’s Declaration on the return envelope is signed and the county board is satisfied that the declaration is sufficient, the mail-in or absentee ballot should be approved for canvassing unless challenged in accordance with the Pennsylvania Election Code,” Boockvar wrote then.

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“The Pennsylvania Election Code does not authorize the county board of elections to set aside returned absentee or mail-in ballots based solely on signature analysis by the county board of elections,” the guidance read.

The Trump campaign sued, saying that signature comparison — which more than half of states use to verify mail-in voters’ identities, according to The New York Times — was essential to prevent fraud.

The court did not rule on the larger issue of whether or not that’s the case, but said instead that the state’s Election Code sets the rules for rejecting ballots, and does not include a requirement for signature analysis.

“We conclude that the Election Code does not authorize or require county election boards to reject absentee or mail-in ballots during the canvassing process based on an analysis of a voter’s signature,” the court ruled.

Will this ruling lead to more election fraud?

The court ordered “the county boards of elections not to reject absentee or mail-in ballots for counting, computing, and tallying based on signature comparisons conducted by county election officials or employees, or as the result of third party challenges based on such comparisons.”

Some said the ruling will have devastating consequences:

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The court said that if the state legislature had wanted such a measure in the law, it could have inserted it.

“It is not our role under our tripartite system of governance to engage in judicial legislation and to rewrite a statute in order to supply terms which are not present therein, and we will not do so in this instance,” the ruling said.

As one commentator noted, the Trump campaign has the option of appealing the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Boockvar had argued against using signatures to verify ballots, claiming that too many voters would be disqualified if “arbitrary signature comparisons and challenges to signature variations are allowed to be used as a basis for rejecting mail and absentee ballots,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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