Summary List Placement
A group of Pennsylvania Republicans, led by US Representative Mike Kelly and 2020 congressional candidate Sean Parnell, are suing Gov. Tom Wolf, the GOP-controlled General Assembly, and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, seeking to toss out a major voting reform bill that passed last year and thus invalidate millions of mail-in ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election.
The lawsuit, filed in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, alleges that Act 77, which was signed into law in October 2019 and created no excuse mail-in voting and a 50-day period for voters to request and submit their ballots ballots, should be deemed “unconstitutional.” The law was passed with the support of Republican majorities in the General Assembly and signed into law by Wolf, a Democrat.
The lawsuit seeks to toss out mail-in ballots and halt the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results, which is set to take place on November 23. President Donald Trump’s campaign has aimed to set aside the state’s election results and appoint pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College to secure the state’s 20 electoral votes.
President-elect Joe Biden won the state by a 50%-49% margin, edging out Trump by over 82,000 votes.
The plaintiffs argue that the act overrides legal limitations on absentee voting and insist that such an act should have been subject to a constitutional amendment.
New: a group led by Republican congressman @MikeKellyPA has sued Pennsylvania in a state court, seeking to block certification of the election results on the grounds that the Oct. 2019 state law creating universal vote-by-mail was unconstitutional. pic.twitter.com/ailoVF868U
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) November 21, 2020
Meanwhile, some Pennsylvania Republicans led by Rep. @MikeKellyPA are asking a state court to declare that the state’s entire vote-by-mail system, violates the state constitution and that millions of votes cast this year must now be invalidated. pic.twitter.com/hxTAW0rP6X
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) November 21, 2020
“Act 77 is the most expansive and fundamental change to the Pennsylvania voting code, implemented illegally, to date,” the plaintiffs wrote. “[It] is another illegal attempt to override the limitations on absentee voting prescribed in the Pennsylvania Constitution, without first following the necessary procedure to amend the constitution to allow for the expansion.”
Voters cast nearly 2.6 million mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania in the 2020 election, with Biden winning 1,993,156 votes and Trump earning 594,117 votes, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Inquirer noted that a little over 80% of Trump’s votes in the state (2,730,751) were cast in-person, compared to 1,408,659 in-person votes for Biden.
Kelly easily won reelection in the conservative-leaning 16th Congressional district, while Parnell lost his race to Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb in the more politically competitive 17th Congressional district.
For weeks, debunked voter fraud conspiracy theories have been pushed by Trump and his allies, largely centered on the vote in Philadelphia, one of the most vote-rich cities for Democratic presidential nominees in the entire country. Biden won Philadelphia 81%-19%, with a roughly 471,000-vote margin.