Yet another liberal change to voting laws was ruled unconstitutional Friday, and former President Donald Trump is elated.
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has struck down Act 77, which allowed Pennsylvania voters to cast absentee ballots without providing an excuse for not voting in person, up to 50 days before an election.
While the legislation received bipartisan support when it was passed in 2019, the legislators never bothered to give their people a say in the matter and that, according to Commonwealth Court President Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt, is a violation of the commonwealth’s constitution.
“If presented to the people, a constitutional amendment to end Article VII, Section 1 requirement of in-person voting is likely to be adopted. But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people and adopted into our fundamental law before legislation allowing no-excuse mail-in voting can be ‘placed upon our statute books,'” Leavitt wrote.
The news had 45 positively giddy.
In a statement issued after the ruling, former President Trump said:
“BIG news out of Pennsylvania! The practice of no-excuse mail-in ballots, put in place by Democrats right before the stolen 2020 Election, has been ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.”
President Donald J. Trump:
“BIG news out of Pennsylvania!
The practice of no-excuse mail-in ballots, put in place by Democrats right before the stolen 2020 Election, has been ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
Here is the key question… pic.twitter.com/KejRFlCab8
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) January 28, 2022
He then posed a valid question that once again throws the results of the highly contested 2020 elections up in the air.
“Here is the key question: If widespread mail-in balloting have been constitutional in Pennsylvania now, how could mail-in balloting have been constitutional in the RIGGED 2020 Presidential Election then?” he asked.
For President Trump, it’s a rhetorical question
“We all know the answer — it wasn’t!” he wrote, echoing the sentiments of millions of citizens.
The former president then thanked the court for setting a serious wrong right.
“All American Patriots are thanking the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania for having the courage to do the right thing!” he wrote.
“Act 77” was signed into law by PA Gov. Tom Wolf on Halloween, 2019.
At the time, Wolf promised Pennsylvanians that this was a good thing, hailing it as “the most significant improvement to Pennsylvania’s elections in more than 80 years.”
“This bill makes voting more convenient and more secure for millions of Pennsylvanians and continues my commitment to modernizing our elections,” said Wolf in a press release issued on the day. “This is the biggest change to our elections in generations and will strengthen our democracy by removing barriers to the voting booth and encouraging more people to vote.”
As long as they aren’t voting on changing the voting laws, apparently.
What Act 77 actually did, in addition to allowing anyone to cast an absentee ballot for any reason, was to allow voters to be put on a list that would guarantee they received absentee ballots for every primary, general, and special election.
Voters were given an extra 15 days to register and mail-in and absentee submission deadlines were extended by 3 hours, to 8:00 p.m. on election days.
While the changes didn’t impact the November 2019 election in PA, it was enacted in plenty of time for the April 2020 primary election.
And while this court may have deemed Act 77 unconstitutional, fears are the former president may be celebrating too soon.
According to a new report in The Philadelphia Inquirer: “That almost certainly won’t be the final word on the matter, as the state quickly appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, triggering an automatic stay of the decision and leaving Act 77 in place while the high court considers the case. And Democrats believe the Supreme Court, which has a Democratic majority, will uphold the law.”
Hang on, Mr. President. It’s not over yet.
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