York, PA — Just hours after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court drops a ruling on a case involving undated mail ballots, more questions than answers remain. Undated ballots is just one of a slew of potential legal issues heading into the midterm election. With over 1.4 million mail ballots in the mix for this midterm election, court rulings are coming fast and furious.
“We never want it to be the case that a court is ultimately deciding an election based on whether certain ballots should be counted,” said Quinn Yeargain, Professor of Widener Law Commonwealth.
Late yesterday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously ruled that counties should segregate undated or wrongly dated mail ballots. But, the court was split evenly on whether to count the ballots.
“It leaves the door open a significant amount. I think it has the potential to cause some confusion,” said Yeargain.
“That remains an open issue so we will see what will happen with that,” said Honorable Tom Vanaskie, former 3rd Circuit Judge.
Today, a panel of three retired federal judges convened to examine ongoing and possible litigation surrounding the upcoming election. With several cases at both the state and federal level hanging in the balance, the judges are preaching patience.
“We can expect a multiplicity of lawsuits. We can expect delays. We can expect further polarization and contentiousness,” said Honorable Bob Cindrich, former Western District Court Judge.
“There is potentially more federal litigation to come,” said Honorable John Jones, former Middle District Court Judge.
With continuing litigation comes a delay in the final count, especially in tight statewide races. In state house and senate races, the difference of a few votes could be critical. Still, experts say the process will work.
“We do know that there is a system and a process that we need to trust and respect,” said Ari Mittleman from Keep Our Republic.
“Do we ever get back to a place where elections and the way they are counted is not contentious?” asked Gorsegner.
“Elections in the United States are conducted honestly and with integrity. As long as we have one of the two major political parties in this country telling lies about the election, we are going to continue to have voters believe those lies. And that is so harmful for democracy,” Yeargain said.
If voting by mail, one way to make sure the vote is validly counted is to follow the directions closely. An instruction sheet is inside. Make sure you place the ballot into the secrecy envelope and then the outer envelope and then sign and date before mailing or dropping it off. that will ensure your ballot is valid.