Major New Change Coming To Mail-In Ballots

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( – A federal appeals court in Pennsylvania has determined that any mail-in ballots that do not have the date handwritten accurately on the outside of the envelope would not be considered valid for the vote. This ruling is going to have an important impact on one of the key battleground states in the country.

On Wednesday the decision of the lower court was overturned after in a 2-1 vote the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit had overturned the ruling.

Previously the lower court had found that those ballots that did not have the proper dates would still be counted during the process, so long as the ballot arrived on time. The court had proceeded to argue that such trial errors were just part of the efforts to disenfranchise voters. It further noted that the Materiality Provision of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 clearly stated that such immaterial errors or omissions were not enough reason to block certain votes from being counted.

However, on Wednesday Judge Thomas Ambro wrote in the court’s opinion that currently, the law that was passed by the state legislature has called for all mail-in voters to also include the date on their envelopes. As he pointed out this was an attempt to make the vote more effective. 

 Ambro also pointed out that the ballot-casting rule is mandatory and that it had passed through the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Unanimously. This would mean that non-compliance could be punished.

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