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Legal challenges play out as voters cast ballots in midterms – Metro Philadelphia


Election law challenges played out Tuesday as voters across the country cast ballots in the midterm elections. And more bruising court battles are expected in the coming days that could determine how long it takes for votes to be counted in some races.

More than 100 lawsuits have been filed ahead of Tuesday’s election, targeting rules for things like mail-in voting, voting machines and access for partisan pollsters.

And observers are bracing for a barrage of challenges after polls close, as some Republican candidates have already said they will not accept a loss or cast doubt on the election process despite no evidence of fraud.

The flood of election cases follows Republican Donald Trump’s failed attempt to get courts to overturn his 2020 loss to Democrat Joe Biden. Trump and his Republican allies filed about 60 lawsuits challenging the election that were roundly rejected by judges appointed by presidents of the bench. both political parties.

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman’s campaign went to court late Monday in an effort to have ballots that do not have accurate handwritten dates on the outer envelopes counted. Fetterman’s legal action followed a state Supreme Court ruling that said the ballots could not be counted and another over the weekend that clarified what constitutes an incorrect date.

Fetterman’s campaign — in partnership with national congressional and senatorial Democratic campaign organizations and two constituents — sued county boards of elections across the state, arguing that throwing out ballots that did not have proper envelope dates would violate a provision in the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Act that says that people cannot be prevented from voting based on what the lawsuit calls “unnecessary technical requirements.”

In Philadelphia, voters who had missing or incorrect dates on their mail-in ballots were allowed to submit replacement ballots at City Hall or provisionally vote at their regular precincts on Tuesday.

It’s unclear how many statewide ballots will be affected by the decision, but thousands have been marked by election officials in Philadelphia and Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh. race, like the U.S. Senate race between Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz.

The Philadelphia City Commissioners also voted in an emergency meeting early Tuesday to reinstate a process to reconcile the poll books while the count is taking place, rather than waiting until after the count. The procedure has been used in the past to eliminate possible duplicate votes, but has not encountered any problems during the past three elections and is slower than reconciling after the count. The final ballots are likely to be counted on Friday.

The vote came after a judge issued an order denying Republicans’ request for an injunction that would have forced the city to restore the process. But the judge’s opinion, which admonished the city’s decision to remove the process, raised concerns for commissioners.

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