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

(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.

John L. Micek
A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press