The Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County has dismissed a lawsuit from the county’s Republican Committee seeking an injunction against the County Board of Elections, aimed at prohibiting the board from disclosing the identifying information on ballots that were deemed invalid.
On Friday, President Judge Michael Koury concluded that the request be dismissed because the Committee’s appeal “lacked merit” because it failed to show that the denial of the injunction would cause “immediate and irreparable harm and that the injunction will not harm other parties.”
The Republican Committee argued that such a disclosure is prohibited by state statute, which reads:
The county board of elections shall meet no earlier than seven o’clock A.M. on election day to pre-canvass all ballots received prior to the meeting. A county board of elections shall provide at least forty-eight hours’ notice of a pre-canvass meeting by publicly posting a notice of a pre-canvass meeting on its publicly accessible Internet website. One authorized representative of each candidate in an election and one representative from each political party shall be permitted to remain in the room in which the absentee ballots and mail-in ballots are pre-canvassed. No person observing, attending or participating in a pre-canvass meeting may disclose the results of any portion of any pre-canvass meeting prior to the close of the polls.
The County’s Board of Elections and Democratic Party rebuked the claim, saying that the guidance issued by the Department of State in late October to issue a provisional ballot to voters whose absentee or mail-in ballots were rejected does not constitute the disclosure of “results” as stated in the statute.