John Fetterman And Democrats Sue To Stop Republicans From Invalidating PA Mail In Ballots

John Fetterman, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC),  and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) have filed a lawsuit to stop Republicans from invalidating mail-in ballots that are missing a date on an envelope.

The DCCC announced the lawsuit in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:

Today the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the Fetterman for PA campaign, and affected voters have filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Erie Division seeking to overturn the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling invalidating mail ballots that are incorrectly dated. 

The lawsuit details that: 

  • The federal Civil Rights Act prohibits election officials from denying any voter the right to vote because they made an error or omission that is not material in determining whether they are qualified to vote in that election.

Pennsylvania’s requirement that voters date the declarations accompanying their mail-in ballots has no relevance to determining whether an individual is qualified to vote, in violation of the Civil Rights Act, and serves no purpose other than to erect barriers to qualified voters exercising their fundamental constitutional right. 

The ballot dating requirement is a leftover legislative artifact from when Pennsylvania used to accept mail-in ballots as long as they were dated before election day. The state changed the law so that all ballots must arrive on or before election day. Thus, the ballot dating requirement is irrelevant to whether or not a vote is valid.

The ballot dating requirement has been a source of legal conflict for years. Republicans are trying to use it in the midterm election to potentially throw out thousands of likely Democratic votes in Pennsylvania.

Federal courts have previously ruled that requirements like PA’s ballot dating did violate the Civil Rights Act. Democrats have been working to notify voters so that they can cure their ballots and fix dating issues before the polls close on Tuesday night, but if the US Senate race is close, expect the undated ballots to become a source of extreme

contention because the ruling may term which party controls the US Senate.