The Trump campaign has suffered a legal defeat in a key battleground state.
A Pennsylvania court has rejected five legal challenges brought by the Trump campaign alleging voting irregularities in the 2020 election, The Hill reported Friday.
The five cases corresponded to five different batches of mail-in ballots in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Altogether the Trump campaign was challenging around 8,300 votes.
The president and his lawyers argued that these votes ought to be discarded because they were flawed in various ways. On some ballots, for example, voters didn’t print their names under their signature. On others, voters didn’t put their address on the envelope.
The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, however, ruled against the Trump campaign in all five cases. The court recognized that the ballots had issues, but it ruled that there was no violation of local election rules. The court said that the county’s Board of Elections neither requires that voters print their names under their signatures nor that voters put their address on the envelope.
The court also emphasized that the Trump campaign was “not contending that there has been fraud, that there is evidence of fraud or that the ballots in question were not filled out by the elector in whose name the ballot was issued, and it further appearing that Petitioner does not allege fraud or irregularity in the canvass and counting of the ballots.”
The court also noted that ballots were received on time to be counted.
Another Pennsylvania case
Another big case in Pennsylvania involves the extension of the deadline to receive and count mail-in ballots. Local officials, rather than the constitutionally prescribed state legislature, extended that deadline by three days, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court allowed it.
The U.S. Supreme Court did reject, in a 4 to 4 decision, an initial attempt by Republicans to get the extension thrown out. This matter, however, is still be pursued by Pennsylvania Republicans and the Trump campaign in court. They are looking to get all votes submitted after the initial deadline thrown out, arguing that the deadline extension is unconstitutional.
There is some reason to think this case may be successful. First, Justice Samuel Alito recently ordered all Pennsylvania counties to segregate ballots received after the original deadline, which could mean the Supreme Court is planning on taking the case at some point in the near future.
Second, in a recent state court decision, a judge ruled that a deadline extension for first-time mail-in voters to confirm their identities was unconstitutional because it was made by state officials and not the constitutionally prescribed state legislature. Some believe that if the Supreme Court does hear the Republicans’ case, this ruling could be persuasive.
So, although the Trump campaign lost five cases on Friday, their fight in Pennsylvania is far from over.