PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One day after Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled that certain mail-in ballots in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties should be counted, at least one of the losing parties has asked the state Supreme Court to reconsider.
This comes as some local Republicans asked the Commonwealth Court to toss out all mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.
It took Republican state Senate candidate Nicole Ziccarelli less than one day to ask the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reconsider its 4 to 3 decision allowing just over 2,300 ballots in Allegheny County to be counted when voters neglected to date their mail-in ballot outer envelopes. The ballots arrived on time.
“We had one justice who said, ‘Well, I agree with you on the law, but I’m going to apply that law on the next election, not on this one,'” Ziccarelli’s attorney Matt Haverstick told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.
That justice was Justice David Wecht, who wrote that while the legislature did require voters to date their ballots, he would apply that rule going forward. Democrats said there was nothing fraudulent about the votes even if voters missed dating the outer envelope.
“What the Supreme Court said was they were not going to let hyper-technical deficiencies disenfranchise the voters,” said Cliff Levine, an attorney for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.
Of course, there is a political side.
Counting these votes could help Democratic incumbent Pa. Sen. Jim Brewster defeat Ziccarelli after those votes and some others from Westmoreland County are added in.
“By my count, roughly, Brewster would be ahead 70 or so votes in this very, very close race,” said Levine.
At the same time, multiple briefs were filed on Tuesday on U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, a Butler Republican, and Republican congressional candidate Sean Parnell’s request to the Commonwealth Court to strike all 2.6 million mail-in ballots.
Kelly and Parnell argue that the General Assembly did not have the constitutional power to enact no-excuse mail-in voting.
“The election was conducted illegally, an unconstitutional method of voting,” said Greg Teufel, attorney for Kelly and Parnell.
Attorneys for both the Republican legislature and the Democratic Party asked the Commonwealth Court to dismiss this lawsuit.
“It’s totally ridiculous,” says Levine.
A Commonwealth Court ruling on the Kelly-Parnell case is expected very soon.
As for the Ziccarelli case, it’s hard to get a Supreme Court justice to reverse positions. With a close election on the line, watch for Ziccarelli to pursue other legal remedies if this one falls through.