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 IV

Closed

In Re: Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 20110897 (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 860 ballots missing only a street address.
Filed 11/10/2020
State Pennsylvania
Type of Court State
Status Closed ()
Last Updated 11/16/2020
Issue Tag(s) Vote-by-Mail (Other Vote-by-Mail Issue)
Missing ballot information
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 860 ballots is affirmed.

In Re: Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 34 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 Closed ()
Last Updated 12/02/2020
Issue Tag(s) Vote-by-Mail (Other Vote-by-Mail Issue)
Missing ballot information
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.
Creative Commons License  Covid-Related Election Litigation Tracker by the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project – Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.