Report: Pa. elections chief Boockvar lacked authority to extend ballot deadline, state court rules

By: - November 12, 2020 3:20 pm

(Image via Pittsburgh City Paper)

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.

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.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.