Close this search box.

BREAKING: Commonwealth Court Rules Act 77 Unconstitutional

(updated 10:48 a.m.)

According to a Commonwealth Court filing released Friday, the court ruled that Act 77, allowing residents to vote by mail in Pennsylvania, violates Article VII, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania constitution.

The decision was three to two, with three Republican judges striking the law over the dissent of two Democratic ones.

“No-excuse mail-in voting makes the exercise of the franchise more convenient and has been used four times in the history of Pennsylvania,”  the court wrote in its opinion. “Approximately 1.38 million voters have expressed their interest in voting by mail permanently. If presented to the people, a constitutional amendment… is likely to be adopted. But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people” before legislation like Act 77 can take effect.

Democrats had feared for months that the state’s Commonwealth Court, with its Republican majority, would strike down the 2019 law.

The court notably did not rule against the merits of mail voting and its expansion. It focused instead on how that expansion occurred, saying that change must take place through Constitutional amendment, not legislation.

“The Commonwealth Court’s decision is wrong, and I expect it to be overturned on appeal,” said Adam Bonin, an election law specialist. “Nothing in the Pennsylvania Constitution prevents the General Assembly from enabling voters to vote safely and securely from their homes.”

“Big news out of Pennsylvania, great patriotic spirit is developing at a level that nobody thought possible,” former President Donald Trump said in a statement celebrating the Pennsylvania ruling. “Make America Great Again!”

Over 2.6 million Pennsylvanians voted via the mail in the 2020 general election, according to the state’s elections department. That number includes both no-excuse mail voting and absentee voting. Absentee voting in Pennsylvania is similar to mail voting and has existed for years, but voters need a valid excuse — like an illness or being out of the area on Election Day — to use it. Absentee voting is unaffected by Friday’s court ruling.

One election director told PoliticsPA, “I’ve seen this play out too many times. The Commonwealth Court will never be the final word. How dare they take a case in August and wait until January to make a decision with a primary coming up. They don’t realize the trouble they are causing elections and how much time is being wasted.”

More to come.

11 Responses

  1. Act 77 was never presented to the people, and that makes it unconstitutional. It does not matter how many times both PA parties try to revise, manipulate, amend, delay the issue. It was the Governor, and the Courts that mostly made decisions that took the power from the people in a blatant power grab. All you need to do is read the Pennsylvania Constitution as admissible evidence and you will realize that Act 77 was never presented to the people.

    1. Exactly, the People of PA were denied their right to a free and fair election ???? process. It was Unconstitutional and rigged by Democrats.

      1. Justin, you sound just like myself, uneducated and stupid but there is more of us than there is of them.
        Who cares if there is a pandemic and the republicans passed it in the Pa congress? We Retrumplicans got to blame someone or something for our beloved Donald losing the election. I am still of the opinion the ghost of Hugo Chavez had something to do with this election fraud. My fortune teller told me so.

  2. In the words of SyFy channel’s Resident Alien.. “This is some serious bullshit”

    PA supreme court will fix this

    1. PA Supreme court should see that the Governor circumvented the people. It’s plain as day in the documents, that ACT 77 was never presented to the people. Also is that there always needs to be equal protection of the law, but the walk-in voting was handled differently than mail-in or absentee in PA. When they dropped the signature verification, the people lost the equal protection.

    1. Common sense is taking a stance. Knucklehead decision. I have lost half of lung capacity due a rare lung disorder but thankfully can lead a normal life. Voting by mail has made it possible to participate in voting during the pandemic but this poorly thought out ruling makes it harder for people like me to vote and I have voted for Republicans. This is an anti democratic (small d) ruling.

      1. Your were more than able to vote by mail with or without an illness, you just had to get informed and be proactive enough to ask for a ballot. Yet people still will not understand that it was the way in which the laws were changed not with the laws themselves.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen