SCOTUS invalidates lower court ruling that undated election ballots must be counted

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The US Supreme Court on Tuesday invalidated a lower-court ruling in a Pennsylvania judicial election dispute which said mail-in ballots with no date on them still had to be counted as valid. The high court’s decision does not affect the outcome of the Pennsylvania judgeship race but may impact future races in the state.

The case was brought by David Ritter, a Republican candidate who lost a 2021 Lehigh County judicial race in Pennsylvania to Democrat Zachary Cohen.

Finding in favor of Ritter, the Supreme Court vacated a May 2022 ruling from the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals, which had ordered 257 undated ballots be counted in the Lehigh County race.

Ritter was found to have five votes less than Cohen once the undated ballots were counted. Although Ritter conceded the race on June 21, he petitioned the Supreme Court in July, asking for the 3rd Circuit’s ruling so that it does not bind courts in the future.

The Supreme Court delivered a one-paragraph decision vacating the 3rd Circuit’s ruling and sent the case back to the lower court with instructions to dismiss the case as moot. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson indicated they would have rejected Ritter’s request and left the 3rd Circuit’s ruling in place, Scotus Blog reported.

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