Last week, vote-by-mail in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania received a stay of execution.
On Tuesday morning, the state Supreme Court will have oral arguments about its reinstatement or abolition.
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court had declared that mail-in ballots are unconstitutional, citing that Act 77 – the legislation that brought no-excuse voting to the masses – should have been placed on the ballot as a constitutional amendment question.
The administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf asked the Supreme Court last week to keep the law intact during the litigation, arguing that stopping mail-in voting ahead of the spring primary season “would, if anything, only exacerbate voter confusion and the danger of disenfranchisement.”
The state’s high court overturned the Commonwealth Court decision and will hear oral arguments today regarding the legal challenges to the current law.
“This Court has generally, but not always, sided with voters and against restrictions on their ability to cast an effective ballot,” said Adam Bonin, a Philadelphia attorney specializing in political law. “I certainly hope that they extinguish these last embers of Trump-inspired efforts to prevent Pennsylvanians from choosing to vote safely and securely from home.”
No-excuse mail-in voting has been more popular among Democrats than Republicans. Many GOP legislators in the General Assembly who voted to adopt the 2019 law now oppose it, including 11 of the plaintiffs in the present challenge.
Since mail-in ballots were first made available by historic bipartisan legislation, more than 4.7 million of these ballots have been cast by Pennsylvania voters, according to the Department of State.
You can watch the livestream of the oral arguments here.