Court Makes Game-Changing Ruling Right In Time For '24 Election

Court Makes Game-Changing Ruling Right In Time For '24 Election

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently issued a significant ruling in a voting case that has implications for Pennsylvania's absentee ballot procedures, affirming a strong stance on election integrity.

The court, in a decisive 9–4 vote, declined to review a previous ruling that upheld the requirement for absentee ballots to be dated, effectively settling the debate on strict election laws by confirming that late-submitted absentee ballots will not be counted.

Several voter advocacy groups, including the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Conference of NAACP branches, challenged the rejection of absentee ballots lacking proper dates as per state law.

They argued that the date requirement was crucial to maintaining the integrity and organization of the voting process, a position supported by the Secretary of the Commonwealth and multiple county boards of elections.

Judge Ambro, in the court's opinion, noted, "Pennsylvania, like all other States, has devised a web of rules that qualified voters must follow to cast a ballot that will be counted."

However, the court also acknowledged that the date requirement serves little purpose in confirming timely receipt or completion of ballots but is mandated by state law.

The court's decision clarified that the provision in question does not fall under rules governing how a qualified voter must cast a ballot, emphasizing the importance of adhering to state election laws for ballot validity.

This ruling brings Pennsylvania's absentee ballot laws in line with those of other states, with proponents arguing that such measures are necessary to safeguard against voter fraud and uphold public confidence in election outcomes. Many view this decision as reinforcing legal frameworks that ensure free and fair elections.

In light of this ruling, recent polls for Pennsylvania's upcoming general election in 2024 indicate a competitive landscape in this critical battleground state. Surveys conducted by Emerson College for The Hill and Nexstar between April 25 and 29, involving 1,000 registered voters, show varying results. One poll showed President Joe Biden at 41% and Trump at 45%, giving Trump a 4-point lead. Another survey during the same period showed a closer race, with Biden at 51% and Trump at 49%, giving Trump a 2-point lead. The contest in Pennsylvania is evidently heating up as the election approaches.

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