A Pennsylvania judge ruled on Thursday that voters who took advantage of an extended deadline to provide missing proof of identification will not have their ballots counted because the government official who gave the extension lacked the legal authority to do so.
“Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt ruled Thursday that Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar lacked the authority to extend the original Nov. 9 deadline by 3 days,” Bloomberg Law reported. “The ruling means the battleground state that’s already been declared for President-elect Joe Biden can’t count ballots from voters who submitted missing ID between Nov. 10 and Nov. 12. Ballots with ‘cured’ ID issues received before that aren’t being challenged.”
It is unclear how many ballots the ruling will impact but state officials have said that the lawsuits brought by the Trump campaign would not impact enough ballots to alter the outcome of the race.
“On Friday [the Trump campaign is] scheduled to have a hearing over thousands of ballots that they claim were improperly counted despite lacking required information,” Fox News reported. “Additionally, the campaign awaits action from the Supreme Court regarding whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court acted properly in granting the three-day extension for accepting mail-in ballots.”
Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt’s order states:
AND NOW this 12th day of November, 2020, upon consideration of Petitioners’ Petition for Review in the Nature of a Complaint in Equity, and the memoranda of law filed by the parties and the proposed intervenor-respondent, the 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 in Section 1308(h) of the Pennsylvania Election Code, Act of June 3, 1937, P.L. 1333, as amended, 25 P.S. §3146.8(h), for certain electors to verify proof of identification, based on Secretary Boockvar’s interpretation and application of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Pennsylvania Democratic Party v. Boockvar, _ A.3d _ (Pa., No. 133 MM 2020, filed September 17, 2020).
Accordingly, the Court hereby ORDERS that Respondents County Boards 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.