The Trump campaign notched a court victory in Pennsylvania Thursday when a judge ruled the state could not count early ballots from voters who had not provided proof of identification by the state’s own deadline.
The decision by itself won’t be enough for Trump to catch Democrat Joe Biden, who leads by more than 58,000 votes. Still, the Trump campaign hopes the decision – combined with other possible rulings – can help the president gain momentum in court and force a recount.
In Pennsylvania, a recount is triggered if a candidate wins by half a percentage point. Biden currently leads Trump by nine-tenths of a percent.
The votes in question were segregated and not yet part of the official tally. In Philadelphia, there were about 2,100 ballots in danger of being disqualified, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
At issue is a state law requiring citizens who vote by mail to confirm their identification by Nov. 9. The requirement often is met with a driver’s license. Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar moved the deadline back to Nov. 12.
On Thursday, a state judge, Mary Hannah Leavitt, ruled that Boockvar “lacked statutory authority” to move the deadline.
Trump would need come-from-behind wins in not only Pennsylvania but also Georgia and Arizona to notch the necessary 270 electoral votes.
The campaign applauded the ruling.
“This supports our assertion that the secretary of state has continued to play fast and loose with deadlines and dates in this election,” Trump legal counsel Matt Morgan said.
Attorneys representing several counties, though, asserted in a separate case that the Trump campaign was trying to “disenfranchise all Pennsylvania voters who legally cast a ballot.”
“This court should see this lawsuit for what it is,” the attorneys wrote in a brief. “A transparent and premeditated attack on our electoral system. … There should be no mistake, this case … is a candidate’s audacious attempt to overturn the result of a free and fair election.”
Photo courtesy: Pexels Cottonbro
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.