A voter arrived to hand in his ballot during an early vote in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on October 29, 2020.
Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images
A Pennsylvania court dismissed the state court the law on postal voting on Friday morning, saying voters must amend the state constitution before such legislation becomes legal.
“Voting by mail without excuse makes the franchise more convenient and has been used four times in Pennsylvania’s history,” Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Livit wrote in her ruling Friday. “If it is presented to the people, an amendment to the Constitution that terminates the requirement of section 1 of Article VII on face-to-face voting will most likely be adopted. But an amendment to the Constitution must be presented to the people and adopted in our fundamental law before the law allows Sorry, voting by mail can be “included in our charter.”
The decision can be appealed to a higher court.
Pennsylvania has expanded postal voting with a 2019 bill that was declared a two-party compromise, as it was passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolfe. He later became a target for Republican criticism when then-President Donald Trump falsely criticized postal voting as a source of widespread fraud.
In August 2021, 14 members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from Republicans filed a lawsuit against the state’s postal voting law, arguing it was unconstitutional. The National Committee of the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania, as well as several district committees of the Republican Party, intervened to defend the law with the state.
In 2020, when a meeting at polling stations posed a health risk due to a pandemic, voting by mail increased in popularity; according to NBC Newsmore than 2.6 million Pennsylvania voters voted by mail or early.
The National Committee of the Democratic Party and the Office of the Acting Secretary of State of Pennsylvania did not respond immediately to requests for comment.