County elections officials can’t count mail-in ballots that weren’t verified by Nov. 9, no matter what Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told them, a state court judge ruled Thursday, handing an apparent win to President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
The decision by Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court President Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt voids a Nov. 1 directive that Boockvar issued to elections directors in all 67 counties, giving them until Nov. 12 to verify the identities of voters who cast mail-in ballots, PennLive reported.
PA Commonwealth Court has ruled Secy. of State Boockvar did not have authority to issue guidance changing deadline for "certain electors to verify proof of identification." Orders counties not to count certain segregated ballots (they had NOT been counted) pic.twitter.com/ECSZJrrimd
— Alex Silverman (@AlexSilverman) November 12, 2020
The Trump campaign challenged Boockvar’s guidance last week, arguing election laws ruled out counting ballots that weren’t verified by Nov. 9, PennLive reported. Leavitt agreed, finding that Boockvar lacked the authority to extend a deadline already set by law.
Ballots that weren’t verified by Nov. 9 have been segregated and not counted under a temporary injunction Leavitt’s court issued last week, PennLive reported.
The decision could be appealed to state Supreme Court, PennLive reported.