Trump-Appointed Federal Judge Rejects Claim That Pennsylvania Supreme Court ‘Changed the Rules’ for Counting Ballots – By Jerry Lambe (Lax and Crime) / January 12 2021
A federal judge appointed by President Donald Trump has rejected the widely-repeated claim that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court changed the voting rules to give Democrats an unfair advantage in the 2020 election, handing Republicans yet another post-election legal loss on Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan of the Western District of Pennsylvania upheld the 69-vote victory of State Senator Jim Brewster (D), who represents the Pittsburgh-adjacent City of McKeesport in Allegheny County. The decision came exactly one week after Republicans in the chamber refused to seat Brewster, citing Republican challenger Nicole Ziccarelli’s pending lawsuit which claimed that 311 mail-in ballots were erroneously counted by Allegheny election officials.
Ziccarelli’s lawsuit hinged on the fact that while Allegheny County counted ballots cast by voters who did not write the date next to their signatures, officials in nearby Westmoreland County discarded such ballots.
Though the decision to count undated ballots aligned with Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent, Ziccarelli argued that the decision violated Pennsylvania’s election code, and the disparate treatment violated her equal-protection and due process rights.