A Pennsylvania court ruled on Friday that the state's two-year-old mail-in voting law is unconstitutional, siding with Republicans who challenged the law following the 2020 election.
According to the ruling released today, Act 77, which allows PA residents to vote by mail, violates Article VII of the state constitution - and denied the Department of State acting secretary's application for summary relief.
"If presented to the people, a constitutional amendment to end Article VII, Section 1 requirement of in-person voting is likely to be adopted. But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people and adopted into our fundamental law before legislation allowing no-excuse mail-in voting can be 'placed upon our statute books'," wrote Commonwealth Court President Mary Hannah Leavitt.
Not so fast?
The Friday decision by a five-judge Commonwealth Court Panel could be put on hold if Gov. Tom Wolf's administration appeals to the state Supreme Court.
Act 77, the Pennsylvania law which legalized no-excuse mail-in voting in 2019, was originally born out of a compromise between legislative Republicans and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf. Republicans wanted to eliminate straight-ticket voting, and to do so, gave mail-in voting to Democrats. Prior to this, only people who qualified for absentee voting were allowed to vote by mail.
Republicans voted in near unanimity for Act 77; 27-0 in the Senate, and 105-2 in the House. Democrats offered no support in the Senate, and were split in the lower chamber, 59 against, 33 for. -Fox43
Following the 2020 US election, Republicans demanded that Pennsylvania repeal Act 77 - claiming that 'no-excuse' mail-in voting violations the constitution, and that only voters who qualify for absentee voting should be allowed to do so.
The PA Department of State has yet to comment on the ruling, however it's a safe bet that they'll appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court - which holds a 5-2 Democratic majority according to the report.