A Pennsylvania judge has ordered the state not to certify its election results pending a hearing on the constitutionality of a mail-in ballot expansion law questioned by members of the GOP.
The order, issued Wednesday by Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia A. McCullough, will postpone certification until Friday when a court can hear arguments regarding whether the bill should have required constitutional ratification.
“To the extent that there remains any further action to perfect the certification of the results of the 2020 general election … for the offices of president and vice president of the United States of America, respondents are preliminarily enjoined from doing so, pending an evidentiary hearing to be held on Friday, November 27, 2020,” the order states. “Inasmuch as respondents, based on their press release and briefs, have not undertaken certification of any of the other results of the election, respondents are preliminarily enjoined from certifying the remaining results of the election, pending the evidentiary hearing.”
Law360.com reports the order, which halts the process after Tuesday’s certification, stems from a lawsuit brought by U.S. Rep Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) and other Republicans which questioned the constitutionality of a 2019 expansion on mail-in and absentee ballots.
Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia A. McCullough entered a preliminary order Wednesday granting an evidentiary hearing on a lawsuit brought by Republican Congress member Mike Kelly, candidates Sean Parnell and Wanda Logan and five additional voters, who say Pennsylvania’s October 2019 expansion of “no-excuse” mail-in voting violated the state constitution’s limits on who can cast an absentee ballot. Judge McCullough’s order said the state, which certified its election results for President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday, should halt any further steps toward finalizing the results or revising its vote count.
Kelly’s lawsuit argues the bill, Act 77 expanding mail-in voting, requires an amendment to the state’s constitution rather than mere legislative proceedings.
According to Law360.com: “The lawsuit seeks to declare the expansion of mail-in voting unconstitutional and to void those ballots cast in the 2020 election, or to have the state’s legislature choose who won Pennsylvania.”
While he led the state on Election Night, President Donald Trump’s margin of victory cratered after mail-in ballots counted after Nov. 3 put Joe Biden in the lead.
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