How undated ballots could affect Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate race and voters’ rights

The razor-thin Pennsylvania recount between GOP Senate hopefuls Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick has been further complicated by an ongoing legal dispute that began with the 2020 election: whether mail-in ballots can be counted if a voter has neglected to enter the date of their signature. Currently, Dr. Mehmet Oz leads his opponent for the Republican Senate nomination by less than 1,000 votes, and the legitimacy of approximately 860 mail-in ballots remains in dispute because they lack a hand-written date. In a conflict headed for state court, Dave McCormick’s campaign is asking that the ballots without dates be counted, while Dr. Oz’s campaign maintains that the undated ballots are invalid. A related but separate case over the validity of undated mail-in ballots cast in a 2021 election in Lehigh County, PA recently led federal appellate judges to rule that such ballots may be counted. Their decision may ultimately be appealed in the U.S. Supreme Court, carrying major implications for the future of mail-in voting across the nation.

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Image Credit: Chris Phan