COVID-Related Election Litigation Tracker

Case Details

This database consolidates and tracks litigation concerning the effect of the pandemic on election law. The purpose of this tool is to provide an interactive list of relevant cases that can be searched by issue, court, status, and jurisdiction.

Case Details

 

In Re: Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election I

Active

In Re: Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 20110894 (Penn. Ct. Common Pleas, Philadelphia Cnty.)

  Case Summary Petitioner, the Trump campaign, seeks to overturn the decision of the Philadelphia County Board of Elections to count 1,211 ballots where the voter affixed their signature to the Declaration Envelope, but no other information was provided, preventing signature verification.
Filed 11/10/2020
State Pennsylvania
Type of Court State
Status Active
Last Updated 11/16/2020
Issue Tag(s) Vote-by-Mail (Signature Verification Standards)
Complaint(s) 11/10/2020: Complaint filed.
Dispositive Ruling(s) 11/13/2020: Order/Ruling, The court held that petitioner is not alleging fraud but conducting an eligibility challenge. The Election Code does not require that the outer envelope have a date, the elector’s printed name, and address. In fact, the preprinted ballots already contain the elector’s name and address. The Philadelphia County Board of Elections decision to count the 1,211 ballots is affirmed.

In Re: Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 31 EAP 2020

  Case Summary After the court of common pleas issued its five decisions over the Board of Election's decisions to count batches of ballots, the Board moved to transfer the appeals directly to the Supreme Court. The court considered whether the Election Code requires a county board of elections to disqualify mail-in or absentee ballots submitted by qualified electors who signed the declaration on their ballot’s outer envelope but did not handwrite their name, their address, and/or a date, where no fraud or irregularity has been alleged.
Filed 11/18/2020
State Pennsylvania
Type of Court State
Status Active
Last Updated 12/02/2020
Issue Tag(s) Vote-by-Mail (Signature Verification Standards)
Dispositive Ruling(s) 11/15/2020: Appellant Brief
11/23/2020: Order/Ruling, The Pennsylvania Supreme Court consolidated all five cases and issued a single opinion on them. The Supreme Court held that the Election Code does not require boards of elections to disqualify mail-in or absentee ballots submitted by qualified electors who signed the declaration on their ballot’s outer envelope but did not handwrite their name, their address, and/or date, where no fraud or irregularity has been alleged. The court affirmed the lower courts' decisions to count the ballots, on the basis that the Code's directives in question are not mandatory and Pennsylvania jurisprudence has long held that courts must construe the law to save, not void, ballots.

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Degraffenreid, Nos. 31 EAP 2020, 32 EAP 2020, 33 EAP 2020, 34 EAP 2020, 35 EAP 2020, 29 WAP 2020 (Sup. Ct.)

  Case Summary Petitioner, President Trump, consolidates and seeks review of three Pennsylvania Supreme Court decisions: In re Canvass of Absentee & Mail-In Ballots of Nov. 3, 2020 Gen. Election (date and signature), In re Canvassing Observation (poll observation), and In re November 3, 2020 Gen. Election (signature verification standards). The Petitioner alleges that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court impermissibly altered the manner of elections in violation of the Electors Clause. Petitioner requests that the Court remand the matter to the Pennsylvania state legislature, which can select its own slate of electors in place of those selected by popular vote.
Filed 12/20/2020
State Pennsylvania
Type of Court Federal
Circuit US Supreme Court
Status Active
Last Updated 02/22/2021
Issue Tag(s) Vote-by-Mail (Poll Observer Access, Signature Verification Standards, Notice/Cure for Mismatches Missing Signature or Mistakes)
Authority To Act (Electors Clause)
Dispositive Ruling(s) 12/20/2020: Appellant Brief
02/22/2021: Other, Cert denied.
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