Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf speaking to the press outside York Grace Brethren Church in York, on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Wolf was urging immediate legislative action on voting rules ahead of the presidential election Nov. 3.
Emily is a reporter who’s been covering election security and voting procedure in Pennsylvania for more than a year for WITF and, previously, statehouse accountability news organization PA Post. She was the senior reporter for statewide public media collaboration Keystone Crossroads, covered city hall for PennLive/The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) and The Press of Atlantic City, and reported for the Northwest Herald. Her work has been recognized by PMJA, RTDNA’s Edward R. Murrow Awards, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, New Jersey Press Association and Illinois Press Association. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
State House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre) slammed the Democratic-majority court’s decision as “openly partisan” in a joint statement issued Tuesday.
“[The ruling] jeopardizes the security and integrity of our elections and will potentially put Pennsylvania in the middle of a disastrous national crisis as the world awaits for our Commonwealth to tally election results days or weeks following Election Day,” the statement read.
Republicans say they’re working to file the SCOTUS petition as quickly as possible, but Benninghoff’s spokesman Jason Gottesman declined to confirm whether that’s expected to happen this week.
In an email Tuesday, Pennsylvania Senate Democratic caucus spokeswoman Brittany Crampsie wrote:
“During the appeal process, we encourage every eligible voter to register before Oct. 19 and request & return a mail in ballot ASAP if they intend to vote that way.”
Republicans aren’t taking issue, at this point, with other parts of the vote-by-mail order that let counties collect ballots using drop boxes and require them to reject ballots that arrive without a second internal secrecy envelope. The ruling also upheld the state’s rules limiting campaign poll watchers to working in their home counties.
Meanwhile, a related federal lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign resumed progress last week after the resolution of state court matters that prompted U.S District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan to pause the case earlier this summer.
Ranjan won’t consider claims in the federal case over secrecy envelopes or poll watcher residency because last week’s rulings addressed those issues, according to his order filed Wednesday morning.
But he will consider questions raised by Trump campaign about drop boxes, provisional ballots, signature verification and ballot return deadlines that vary among counties (as happened during the primary) — so, those rules still could change before the election.