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Pennsylvania court strikes down sweeping mail-in voting law

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Pennsylvania court strikes down sweeping mail-in voting law

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — A statewide court ruled Friday that Pennsylvania’s sweeping two-year-old mail-in ballot law is unconstitutional, accepting challenges from Republicans who soured on mail-in voting after then-President Donald Trump began baselessly attacking him as rife with fraud in the 2020 campaign.

The decision, made by a five-judge Commonwealth Court panel of three Republicans and two Democrats, could be immediately suspended by an appeal by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration to the state Supreme Court.

Still, the ruling casts doubt on the state’s election laws as voters prepare to elect a new governor and U.S. senator in 2022.

The three Republican justices agreed with the Republican challengers, saying that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state constitution and that the constitution must be amended to allow it.

The two Democrats on the panel dissented. The state Supreme Court has a 5-2 Democratic majority.

In 2019, the Republican-controlled Legislature allowed no-excuse mail-in voting for all voters, expanding a provision of the state constitution that required the state to provide the opportunity for people to vote if they are not able to vote in person for specific reasons. the reasons.

Just over 2.5 million people cast ballots under the law in the 2020 presidential election, mostly Democrats, out of a total of 6.9 million voters.

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Pennsylvania court strikes down sweeping mail-in voting law

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