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GOP wins ‘crucial’ voting lawsuit

"I voted" stickers at a voting place on Sept. 6, 2022, in Medfield, Massachusetts. (Nancy Lane/Boston Herald/TNS)
March 28, 2024

The United States 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals delivered the Republican National Committee a major election integrity victory Wednesday, ruling that Pennsylvania can enforce a law requiring mail-in ballots to be marked with a valid date for the ballot to count in elections.

According to a Republican National Committee press release, Wednesday’s 2-1 ruling came after the Republican National Committee appealed a decision by a federal district court that prevented Pennsylvania from enforcing the state’s “dated signature requirement.”

“This is a crucial victory for election integrity and voter confidence in the Keystone State and nationwide. Pennsylvanians deserve to feel confident in the security of their mail ballots, and this 3rd Circuit ruling roundly rejects unlawful left-wing attempts to count undated or incorrectly dated mail ballots,” Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Whatley stated after Wednesday’s ruling.

Whatley added that the Republican Party will continue fighting to preserve the integrity of U.S. elections “in courts across the country” as the November elections approach.

NPR reported that the Pennsylvania case revolved around the question of whether Pennsylvania should count mail-in ballots that were mailed in time but did not have a date or had an incorrect date marked.

READ MORE: State Democrat sued over voter registration

According to NPR, Democrats argued that the “Materiality Provision” included in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should prevent Pennsylvania from requiring a valid date in order to count mail-in ballots. The Materiality Provision prevents citizens from being denied the right to vote as a result of an “error or omission” on paperwork “related to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting” if the error is “not material in determining whether [an] individual is qualified” to vote.

According to The Daily Wire, the Republican National Committee argued that the enforcement of the state’s mail-in ballot date requirement “does not impinge on the right to vote” since the Materiality Provision “only prohibits immaterial requirements affecting the qualification and registration of a voter.”

In Wednesday’s ruling by three Democrat-appointed judges, Judge Thomas Ambro explained that the Materiality Provision “only applies when the State is determining who may vote.”

“In other words, its role stops at the door of the voting place,” Ambro stated. “The Provision does not apply to rules, like the date requirement, that govern how a qualified voter must cast his ballot for it to be counted.”