A federal appellate court in Philadelphia has rejected an effort by a Republican congressional candidate to keep the state from counting 9,300 mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day, according to a published report.
A 3-judge panel, led by Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Brooks Smith noted the “unprecedented challenges” facing voters this election season, notably, the “vast disruption” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Associated Press reported Friday.
The appellate panel’s ruling stems from a state Supreme Court case, filed by former GOP 8th Congressional District candidate Jim Bognet. The state’s high court ruled that counties could accept mail-in ballots that arrived by Friday, Nov. 6 — three days after Election Day.
Bognet, a former Trump White House aide, brought the case to U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, before the case landed before the Philadelphia-based 3rd Circuit appeals court. Bognet lost on Election Day to veteran U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-8th District.
In the panel’s opinion, Smith wrote that the panel ruled with “with commitment to a proposition indisputable in our democratic process: that the lawfully cast vote of every citizen must count,” the Associated Press reported.
Pennsylvania Republicans are separately pursuing the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court.