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Tag: Date Errors

A statewide coalition of nonpartisan community organizations sued Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt and election officials in Philadelphia and Allegheny County on Tuesday, demanding an end to the disqualification of mail-in ballots for inconsequential date errors.

The groups, which include the Black Political Empowerment Project, POWER Interfaith, Make the Road Pennsylvania, OnePA Activists United, New PA Project Education Fund, Casa San José, Pittsburgh United, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and Common Cause Pennsylvania, say the practice violates the fundamental right to vote in free and equal elections guaranteed by the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The lawsuit was filed on the coalition’s behalf by attorneys from the Public Interest Law Center and the ACLU of Pennsylvania, joined by pro bono co-counsel from Arnold & Porter.

According to the plaintiffs, thousands of Pennsylvania voters have their mail-in ballots rejected each year solely because of a small mistake: writing an incorrect date, or no date at all, on their ballot envelope. Election officials do not use the date to determine whether the ballot was returned on time, as ballots must be received by county boards of election by 8 p.m. on Election Day, regardless of the date handwritten on the envelope. Also, the date is not used to determine voter eligibility, but the requirement caused the rejection of at least 10,000 ballots from voters who had submitted their mail-in ballots on time in the 2022 general election.

“Our state constitution is clear: every vote matters in Pennsylvania,” said Ben Geffen, senior attorney at the Public Interest Law Center. “Procedures that needlessly block even a single eligible voter from exercising that most fundamental right are suspect. This pointless handwritten date requirement – which every year causes thousands of eligible voters’ ballots to be rejected for harmless clerical errors – cannot continue in Pennsylvania.”

A disproportionate share of rejected ballots come from older voters: in the 2022 general election in Philadelphia, voters over age 50 cast 72 percent of mail-in ballots—and 81% of mail-in ballots that were rejected for clerical errors. An investigation from Votebeat found Black and Latino communities, along with communities with higher poverty rates, face higher rates of ballot rejection for mail-in ballot errors.

“Pennsylvania should be making it easier to vote, not more difficult,” said Mike Lee, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “This arbitrary handwritten date requirement has already disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters in the commonwealth. With such high stakes in the 2024 election, Pennsylvania counties must do everything they can to ensure that every vote is counted.”

This Pennsylvania state case is separate from a federal lawsuit challenging the date requirement filed by the NAACP, which claimed that the requirement violates federal civil rights law. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the date rules, but proceedings in that case are ongoing.

“Refusing to count a person’s vote because of a minor technicality undermines fair elections by disenfranchising voters who deserve to have their voices heard,” said Diana Robinson, co-deputy director for Make the Road Pennsylvania. “Who among us hasn’t miswritten the date? It’s a common error that hardly disqualifies an eligible voter. If your ballot is received on time, the date written on the paper is irrelevant.”

“Today marks a crucial step in protecting the right to vote for all Pennsylvanians,” said Maria Delgado-Santana, president of League of Women Voters of PA. “Rejecting thousands of mail-in ballots due to minor date errors is an unjust barrier that undermines our democracy. The League of Women Voters of PA and our partners are committed to ending this disenfranchisement and ensuring every eligible vote counts. Every Pennsylvanian deserves to have their voice heard in free and fair elections, without being silenced by bureaucratic technicalities.”

“Allegheny County is committed to ensuring voters have the information they need to properly complete their ballots and has consistently had a robust cure process so that voters can correct inadvertent errors such as having an incomplete date or signature on the ballot return envelope,” county spokesperson Abigail Gardner told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

 

A statewide coalition of nonpartisan community organizations sued Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt and election officials in Philadelphia and Allegheny County on Tuesday, demanding an end to the disqualification of mail-in ballots for inconsequential date errors.

The groups, which include the Black Political Empowerment Project, POWER Interfaith, Make the Road Pennsylvania, OnePA Activists United, New PA Project Education Fund, Casa San José, Pittsburgh United, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and Common Cause Pennsylvania, say the practice violates the fundamental right to vote in free and equal elections guaranteed by the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The lawsuit was filed on the coalition’s behalf by attorneys from the Public Interest Law Center and the ACLU of Pennsylvania, joined by pro bono co-counsel from Arnold & Porter.

According to the plaintiffs, thousands of Pennsylvania voters have their mail-in ballots rejected each year solely because of a small mistake: writing an incorrect date, or no date at all, on their ballot envelope. Election officials do not use the date to determine whether the ballot was returned on time, as ballots must be received by county boards of election by 8 p.m. on Election Day, regardless of the date handwritten on the envelope. Also, the date is not used to determine voter eligibility, but the requirement caused the rejection of at least 10,000 ballots from voters who had submitted their mail-in ballots on time in the 2022 general election.

“Our state constitution is clear: every vote matters in Pennsylvania,” said Ben Geffen, senior attorney at the Public Interest Law Center. “Procedures that needlessly block even a single eligible voter from exercising that most fundamental right are suspect. This pointless handwritten date requirement – which every year causes thousands of eligible voters’ ballots to be rejected for harmless clerical errors – cannot continue in Pennsylvania.”

A disproportionate share of rejected ballots come from older voters: in the 2022 general election in Philadelphia, voters over age 50 cast 72 percent of mail-in ballots—and 81% of mail-in ballots that were rejected for clerical errors. An investigation from Votebeat found Black and Latino communities, along with communities with higher poverty rates, face higher rates of ballot rejection for mail-in ballot errors.

“Pennsylvania should be making it easier to vote, not more difficult,” said Mike Lee, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “This arbitrary handwritten date requirement has already disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters in the commonwealth. With such high stakes in the 2024 election, Pennsylvania counties must do everything they can to ensure that every vote is counted.”

This Pennsylvania state case is separate from a federal lawsuit challenging the date requirement filed by the NAACP, which claimed that the requirement violates federal civil rights law. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the date rules, but proceedings in that case are ongoing.

“Refusing to count a person’s vote because of a minor technicality undermines fair elections by disenfranchising voters who deserve to have their voices heard,” said Diana Robinson, co-deputy director for Make the Road Pennsylvania. “Who among us hasn’t miswritten the date? It’s a common error that hardly disqualifies an eligible voter. If your ballot is received on time, the date written on the paper is irrelevant.”

“Today marks a crucial step in protecting the right to vote for all Pennsylvanians,” said Maria Delgado-Santana, president of League of Women Voters of PA. “Rejecting thousands of mail-in ballots due to minor date errors is an unjust barrier that undermines our democracy. The League of Women Voters of PA and our partners are committed to ending this disenfranchisement and ensuring every eligible vote counts. Every Pennsylvanian deserves to have their voice heard in free and fair elections, without being silenced by bureaucratic technicalities.”

“Allegheny County is committed to ensuring voters have the information they need to properly complete their ballots and has consistently had a robust cure process so that voters can correct inadvertent errors such as having an incomplete date or signature on the ballot return envelope,” county spokesperson Abigail Gardner told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

 

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A statewide coalition of nonpartisan community organizations sued Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt and election officials in Philadelphia and Allegheny County on Tuesday, demanding an end to the disqualification of mail-in ballots for inconsequential date errors.

The groups, which include the Black Political Empowerment Project, POWER Interfaith, Make the Road Pennsylvania, OnePA Activists United, New PA Project Education Fund, Casa San José, Pittsburgh United, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and Common Cause Pennsylvania, say the practice violates the fundamental right to vote in free and equal elections guaranteed by the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The lawsuit was filed on the coalition’s behalf by attorneys from the Public Interest Law Center and the ACLU of Pennsylvania, joined by pro bono co-counsel from Arnold & Porter.

According to the plaintiffs, thousands of Pennsylvania voters have their mail-in ballots rejected each year solely because of a small mistake: writing an incorrect date, or no date at all, on their ballot envelope. Election officials do not use the date to determine whether the ballot was returned on time, as ballots must be received by county boards of election by 8 p.m. on Election Day, regardless of the date handwritten on the envelope. Also, the date is not used to determine voter eligibility, but the requirement caused the rejection of at least 10,000 ballots from voters who had submitted their mail-in ballots on time in the 2022 general election.

“Our state constitution is clear: every vote matters in Pennsylvania,” said Ben Geffen, senior attorney at the Public Interest Law Center. “Procedures that needlessly block even a single eligible voter from exercising that most fundamental right are suspect. This pointless handwritten date requirement – which every year causes thousands of eligible voters’ ballots to be rejected for harmless clerical errors – cannot continue in Pennsylvania.”

A disproportionate share of rejected ballots come from older voters: in the 2022 general election in Philadelphia, voters over age 50 cast 72 percent of mail-in ballots—and 81% of mail-in ballots that were rejected for clerical errors. An investigation from Votebeat found Black and Latino communities, along with communities with higher poverty rates, face higher rates of ballot rejection for mail-in ballot errors.

“Pennsylvania should be making it easier to vote, not more difficult,” said Mike Lee, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “This arbitrary handwritten date requirement has already disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters in the commonwealth. With such high stakes in the 2024 election, Pennsylvania counties must do everything they can to ensure that every vote is counted.”

This Pennsylvania state case is separate from a federal lawsuit challenging the date requirement filed by the NAACP, which claimed that the requirement violates federal civil rights law. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the date rules, but proceedings in that case are ongoing.

“Refusing to count a person’s vote because of a minor technicality undermines fair elections by disenfranchising voters who deserve to have their voices heard,” said Diana Robinson, co-deputy director for Make the Road Pennsylvania. “Who among us hasn’t miswritten the date? It’s a common error that hardly disqualifies an eligible voter. If your ballot is received on time, the date written on the paper is irrelevant.”

“Today marks a crucial step in protecting the right to vote for all Pennsylvanians,” said Maria Delgado-Santana, president of League of Women Voters of PA. “Rejecting thousands of mail-in ballots due to minor date errors is an unjust barrier that undermines our democracy. The League of Women Voters of PA and our partners are committed to ending this disenfranchisement and ensuring every eligible vote counts. Every Pennsylvanian deserves to have their voice heard in free and fair elections, without being silenced by bureaucratic technicalities.”

“Allegheny County is committed to ensuring voters have the information they need to properly complete their ballots and has consistently had a robust cure process so that voters can correct inadvertent errors such as having an incomplete date or signature on the ballot return envelope,” county spokesperson Abigail Gardner told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

 

A statewide coalition of nonpartisan community organizations sued Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt and election officials in Philadelphia and Allegheny County on Tuesday, demanding an end to the disqualification of mail-in ballots for inconsequential date errors.

The groups, which include the Black Political Empowerment Project, POWER Interfaith, Make the Road Pennsylvania, OnePA Activists United, New PA Project Education Fund, Casa San José, Pittsburgh United, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and Common Cause Pennsylvania, say the practice violates the fundamental right to vote in free and equal elections guaranteed by the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The lawsuit was filed on the coalition’s behalf by attorneys from the Public Interest Law Center and the ACLU of Pennsylvania, joined by pro bono co-counsel from Arnold & Porter.

According to the plaintiffs, thousands of Pennsylvania voters have their mail-in ballots rejected each year solely because of a small mistake: writing an incorrect date, or no date at all, on their ballot envelope. Election officials do not use the date to determine whether the ballot was returned on time, as ballots must be received by county boards of election by 8 p.m. on Election Day, regardless of the date handwritten on the envelope. Also, the date is not used to determine voter eligibility, but the requirement caused the rejection of at least 10,000 ballots from voters who had submitted their mail-in ballots on time in the 2022 general election.

“Our state constitution is clear: every vote matters in Pennsylvania,” said Ben Geffen, senior attorney at the Public Interest Law Center. “Procedures that needlessly block even a single eligible voter from exercising that most fundamental right are suspect. This pointless handwritten date requirement – which every year causes thousands of eligible voters’ ballots to be rejected for harmless clerical errors – cannot continue in Pennsylvania.”

A disproportionate share of rejected ballots come from older voters: in the 2022 general election in Philadelphia, voters over age 50 cast 72 percent of mail-in ballots—and 81% of mail-in ballots that were rejected for clerical errors. An investigation from Votebeat found Black and Latino communities, along with communities with higher poverty rates, face higher rates of ballot rejection for mail-in ballot errors.

“Pennsylvania should be making it easier to vote, not more difficult,” said Mike Lee, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “This arbitrary handwritten date requirement has already disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters in the commonwealth. With such high stakes in the 2024 election, Pennsylvania counties must do everything they can to ensure that every vote is counted.”

This Pennsylvania state case is separate from a federal lawsuit challenging the date requirement filed by the NAACP, which claimed that the requirement violates federal civil rights law. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the date rules, but proceedings in that case are ongoing.

“Refusing to count a person’s vote because of a minor technicality undermines fair elections by disenfranchising voters who deserve to have their voices heard,” said Diana Robinson, co-deputy director for Make the Road Pennsylvania. “Who among us hasn’t miswritten the date? It’s a common error that hardly disqualifies an eligible voter. If your ballot is received on time, the date written on the paper is irrelevant.”

“Today marks a crucial step in protecting the right to vote for all Pennsylvanians,” said Maria Delgado-Santana, president of League of Women Voters of PA. “Rejecting thousands of mail-in ballots due to minor date errors is an unjust barrier that undermines our democracy. The League of Women Voters of PA and our partners are committed to ending this disenfranchisement and ensuring every eligible vote counts. Every Pennsylvanian deserves to have their voice heard in free and fair elections, without being silenced by bureaucratic technicalities.”

“Allegheny County is committed to ensuring voters have the information they need to properly complete their ballots and has consistently had a robust cure process so that voters can correct inadvertent errors such as having an incomplete date or signature on the ballot return envelope,” county spokesperson Abigail Gardner told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

 

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?


    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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