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Pandemic, partisan attacks exposed gaps in Pa.’s new mail-in voting law

This article is made possible through Votebeat, a nonpartisan reporting project covering local election integrity and voting access. This article is available for reprint under the terms of Votebeat’s republishing policy.



Republicans have called for the resignation of Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar, who say her election guidance was inappropriate. Boockvar’s office said in an email their guidance was uniform and necessary to update counties as courts resolved disputes regarding the new law.


© TIM TAI/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS
Republicans have called for the resignation of Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar, who say her election guidance was inappropriate. Boockvar’s office said in an email their guidance was uniform and necessary to update counties as courts resolved disputes regarding the new law.

HARRISBURG — Before any threat of a deadly, fast-spreading coronavirus disrupted daily life in every way across Pennsylvania, state lawmakers had approved a new way of voting that gave residents an alternative to going in person to the polls.

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Little did they know their legislation would be put to the test during a worldwide pandemic, and that, a year after its passage, parts of it would be challenged in

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Georgia Republicans Want to Pass Law Requiring Photo ID for Mail-In Ballots Following 2020 Election Results

Although there is no evidence to suggest fraudulent activity occurred in Georgia during November’s election, the state’s top Republican leaders have voiced their support for additional criteria necessary to cast ballots by mail in future races.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Despite an absence of evidence to suggest fraud or misconduct impacted Georgia's election results, the state's top Republican officials have publicly shown support for reforming absentee ballot requirements amid allegations from Donald Trump's campaign. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks at a press conference announcing expanded statewide COVID testing on August 10, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.


© Elijah Nouvelage/Getty
Despite an absence of evidence to suggest fraud or misconduct impacted Georgia’s election results, the state’s top Republican officials have publicly shown support for reforming absentee ballot requirements amid allegations from Donald Trump’s campaign. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks at a press conference announcing expanded statewide COVID testing on August 10, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both Republicans, separately vouched for new policies that would require absentee voters to submit photo identification alongside their mail ballots in remarks delivered last month, when the state certified its election results for Joe Biden.

Raffensperger, who has pushed back fiercely against Donald Trump’s unproven

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As runoff nears, here’s a look at the explosion of mail-in ballots in 2020: ‘The system works’ | Elections

Charlene Menard, the registrar of voters in Lafayette Parish, got an email during the presidential election from a woman who wanted to know if her grandmother’s vote had been counted.

After checking the records, Menard wrote back to inform the caller that no, the vote wasn’t tallied. Her grandmother had been dead since 2005. “I think it was just somebody trying to see if someone voted in her place,” Menard said. 

Across Louisiana, voters chose to cast their ballots by mail in the Nov. 3 election at unheard-of rates. In all, 167,416 people voted by mail in Louisiana. That shattered the previous record of just over 63,000, set in 2016, even though state officials did only a modest expansion of mail voting during the pandemic.

Early voting is underway for the Dec. 5 runoff election to choose between candidates who did not win outright on Nov. 3.

After two days

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Lawsuit challenges expansion of mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly is leading a suit filed Saturday in Pennsylvania challenging the use of mail-in ballots predominately cast by Democrats in lifting Joe Biden to victory in the presidential race in the state and seeking to block certification of the election results.The lawsuit was filed in the state Commonwealth Court, just two days before the deadline for counties to certify the results of the presidential election in Pennsylvania, and marks the latest attempt in court by Republicans, including President Donald Trump, to overturn Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania.The plaintiffs contend that the GOP-controlled Legislature never followed the proper constitutional procedures to expand exceptions to in-person voting to institute a system of universal mail-in voting and are asking the court to throw out non-absentee mail-in ballots.Attorney General Josh Shapiro said on Twitter that the elected officials and candidates who joined the suit “should be ashamed of themselves.”“They’re asking a … Read More

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Suit challenges expansion of mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly is leading a suit filed Saturday in Pennsylvania challenging the use of mail-in ballots predominately cast by Democrats in lifting Joe Biden to victory in the presidential race in the state and seeking to block certification of the election results.

The lawsuit was filed in the state Commonwealth Court, just two days before the deadline for counties to certify the results of the presidential election in Pennsylvania, and marks the latest attempt in court by Republicans, including President Donald Trump, to overturn Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania.

The plaintiffs contend that the GOP-controlled Legislature never followed the proper constitutional procedures to expand exceptions to in-person voting to institute a system of universal mail-in voting and are asking the court to throw out non-absentee mail-in ballots.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a Twitter posting that the elected officials and candidates who joined the suit “should be

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A group of Pennsylvania Republicans are suing to try to invalidate millions of mail-in ballots and stop the state from certifying the election results



Donald Trump standing in front of a crowd: President Donald Trump and Congressman Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania) embrace at an election rally in Erie. Noah Riffe/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


© Noah Riffe/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
President Donald Trump and Congressman Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania) embrace at an election rally in Erie. Noah Riffe/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

  • A group of Pennsylvania Republicans are seeking to toss out a GOP-backed voting reform bill that passed in October 2019.
  • Their lawsuit seeks to invalidate millions of mail-in ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election.
  • The lawsuit, filed in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, alleges that Act 77, which allowed for no excuse mail-in voting, should be deemed “unconstitutional.”
  • Some 2.6 million voters in Pennsylvania cast mail-in ballots in the 2020 election.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A group of Pennsylvania Republicans, led by US Representative Mike Kelly and 2020 congressional candidate Sean Parnell, are suing Gov. Tom Wolf, the GOP-controlled General Assembly, and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, seeking to toss out a major voting reform bill that passed

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F you for your service: Trump campaign claims military mail-in ballots were ‘improperly cast’

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is accusing voters who live on military bases of illegally casting their ballots in Nevada.

On Nov. 5, the Weir Law Group, which represents the Trump campaign, submitted a list to Attorney General William Barr of 3,062 people “who appear to have improperly cast mail ballots in the election,” according to a copy of the letter, which was posted on Twitter by Riley Snyder, a reporter with the Nevada Independent.

Snyder also tweeted a copy of the list, which shows addresses of voters who now live outside of Nevada.

However, the list of alleged fraudulent voters includes hundreds of overseas military post office boxes and more than 1,000 military bases or other locations where troops and their families live, according to Military.com reporter Patricia Kime.

A cursory examination of the list shows that it includes the addresses of voters who live at military installations

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10 Republican attorney generals file amicus brief with SC in Pennsylvania mail-in ballot case

Alleging that the order made by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was unconstitutional, the attorney generals said the state overstepped its constitutional authority in accepting late ballots

Ten Republican attorney generals have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in a case seeking reversal of a lower court order allowing mail-in ballots in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania to be received three days after the election day.

Alleging that the order made by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was unconstitutional, the attorney generals said the state overstepped its constitutional authority in accepting late ballots and violated the election clauses of the Constitution and that voting by mail creates voter fraud risks.

They also alleged that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision exacerbated risks of absentee ballot fraud. Republican Party of Pennsylvania filed a case in this regard before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Trump Campaign and the Republican Party believes

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Republican state AGs ask U.S. Supreme Court to hear mail-in ballot dispute

By Andrew Chung

(Reuters) – A group of Republican attorneys general on Monday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a case challenging a lower court ruling that extended Pennsylvania’s deadline to receive mail-in ballots.

In separate filings, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, joined by nine others including from Texas and Louisiana, and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said the justices should overturn the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that allowed mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day and delivered through Friday to be counted.

President Donald Trump and his Republican allies are waging a legal battle challenging the results of the election won by Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. Legal experts said the cases the Trump campaign is bringing are narrow in scope and unlikely to change the outcome.

“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision overstepped its constitutional authority and encroached on the authority granted to the Pennsylvania legislature,” Schmitt said in

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Republican state attorneys general ask Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania late mail-in ballot case

Republican attorneys general from nearly a dozen states called upon the Supreme Court to intervene in a GOP lawsuit opposing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to extend the counting of mail-in ballots to include those that arrived up to three days after Election Day as long as they were postmarked by the time polls closed.

The attorneys general claim the Pennsylvania Supreme Court improperly overrode the wishes of the Republican-led Pennsylvania legislature.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed the “friend of the court” brief on behalf of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas.

“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision overstepped its constitutional responsibility, encroached on the authority of the Pennsylvania legislature, and violated the plain language of the Election Clauses. Worse still, the decision exacerbated the risk of mail-in ballot fraud by permitting mail-in ballots that are not postmarked or have no legible postmark

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