Political News

Trump campaign loses five more cases in Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision

iStock_112420_JudgeGavel
Kuzma/iStock

By ALEX HOSENBALL and MATTHEW MOSK, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Monday issued opinions rejecting five lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign aimed at invalidating 8,329 ballots cast in the 2020 presidential contest over technical concerns.

Three justices wrote in the majority that, “no allegations of fraud or illegality” came up in examination of the ballots.

“Failures to include a handwritten name, address or date in the voter declaration on the back of the outer envelope, while constituting technical violations of the Election Code, do not warrant the wholesale disenfranchisement of thousands of Pennsylvania voters,” Justice Christine L. Donohue wrote for the majority.

Two other justices joined Donohue, while other members of the court issued separate opinions. In one separate opinion, Justice David N. Wecht wrote that while he agrees technically deficient ballots should be counted this year, he does not believe the absence of a date on the declaration “should be overlooked as a ‘minor irregularity.'”

Wecht wrote, “in future elections, I would treat the date and sign requirement as mandatory … with the omission of either item sufficient without more to invalidate the ballot in question.”

Wecht concluded his concurring and dissenting opinion with the “hope that the General Assembly sees fit to refine and clarify the Election Code” in the future.

In a second concurring, dissenting opinion, Justice Kevin M. Dougherty, joined by Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor and Justice Sallie Updyke Mundy, wrote that the justices agreed the deficient ballots should be counted this year and that ballots missing “fill out” information, such as printed name or address, should not be voided due to technical faults. However, Justice Dougherty noted that “the terms “date” and “sign” — which were included by the legislature — are self-evident,” and that they “do not view the absence of a date as a mere technical insufficiency we may overlook.”

The court also ruled on a similar, separate challenge by a Republican candidate for state senate in Allegheny County contesting 2,349 ballots. The court denied that request as well.

All 10,678 ballots will count towards the 2020 election.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.