Pennsylvania Supreme Court backs zombie ballots

A Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling Monday seems to affirm the new Democratic mantra that every ballot must count, even those from the undead.

Several recent rulings from swamp judges in cities controlled by Democrats fall in line with the doctrine “all votes matter” — even fraudulent ones.

The judges rejected five lawsuits filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign requesting the invalidation of 8,329 ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election, affirming a lower court decision.

Trump’s legal team argued that the voters failed to handwrite their names, addresses, dates, or in some cases all three, on the outer envelopes.

The lawyers pointed to the General Assembly requirements in the Election Code describing how a qualified elector can cast a mail-in or absentee ballot. The voter must “fill out, date, and sign” the declaration on the outside envelope.

The Philadelphia County Board of Elections  argued that “timely-filed ballots” would not be rejected for “merely missing handwritten names, street addresses, and/or dates on the signed voter declaration.”

Three justices wrote opinions for the majority concluding that “no allegations of fraud or illegality” came up in examination of the ballots.

“Failures to include a handwritten name, address or date in the voter declaration on the back of the outer envelope, while constituting technical violations of the Election Code, do not warrant the wholesale disenfranchisement of thousands of Pennsylvania voters,” Justice Christine L. Donohue wrote for the majority.

Two other justices joined Donohue, while other members of the court issued separate opinions. Justice David N. Wecht wrote that while he agrees technically deficient ballots should be counted this year, he does not believe the absence of a date on the declaration “should be overlooked as a ‘minor irregularity.'”

He noted that “in future elections, I would treat the date and sign requirement as mandatory … with the omission of either item sufficient without more to invalidate the ballot in question.” He expressed “hope that the General Assembly sees fit to refine and clarify the Election Code” in the future.

Justice Kevin M. Dougherty, joined by Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor and Justice Sallie Updyke Mundy, wrote that the justices agreed the deficient ballots should be counted this year and that ballots missing “fill out” information, such as printed name or address, should not be voided due to technical faults.

Justice Dougherty asserted that “the terms “date” and “sign” — which were included by the legislature — are self-evident,” and that they “do not view the absence of a date as a mere technical insufficiency we may overlook.”

The court also overturned a lower court decision in the Trump campaign’s favor that rejected 2,349 ballots that were signed but had undated declarations, reinstating an earlier ruling that permitted those ballots to be counted. The judges found no fraud or illegality in the defects warranting invalidation of the ballots.

The court also denied a similar request in a separate challenge by a Republican candidate for state senate in Allegheny County contesting 2,349 ballots.

All of the 10,678 disputed ballots in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties will be counted.