'My voice will not be silenced': Pennsylvanians scramble to vote again after GOP lawsuit tossed their ballots
Mail-in Ballots

On Monday, The Washington Post reported that following a Republican-backed lawsuit that forced the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to toss out thousands of ballots, voters are scrambling to cast another, correct ballot — with long lines to do so in Philadelphia in particular.

"Multiple judges have ruled over the past two years that mail ballots returned on time by eligible Pennsylvania voters should be counted even if they lack a date on the outer envelope. Republicans sued in October to reverse that policy, arguing that it violated state law. Last Tuesday, they won a favorable ruling from the state Supreme Court, which directed counties not to count ballots with missing or inaccurate dates," reported Emma Brown and Amy Gardner. "That decision triggered a sprawling volunteer-run effort to make sure voters who had already returned their ballots knew that their votes would not count if they didn’t take action."

"Nowhere has that effort been more intense than in Philadelphia. On Saturday, city officials published the names of more than 2,000 voters who had returned defective ballots and urged them to come to City Hall to cast a new ballot in the few days remaining before Election Day. Community activists and volunteers for the Democratic Party and the Working Families Party began calling, texting and knocking on people’s doors to get the word out," the report continued. "On Monday, the line to cast a replacement vote at City Hall snaked outside and into the building’s courtyard as volunteers supplied snacks and bottled water, according to voters and activists."

According to the report, many voters are determined and angry, and view the whole thing as a plot to strip them of their franchise. “Oh I’m going to vote. It’s not a question,” said Kirby Smith, who stood in line at City Hall for most of the work day. “I’m going to fight back.” Penina Bernstein, who had travel back to Philadelphia from Colorado at personal expense after learning on social media her undated ballot wouldn't count, said, “I am flying home tonight and I will be there to fix it tomorrow, because my voice will not be silenced by voter suppression.”

"City officials had announced that voters could cast a replacement at City Hall until 5 p.m. Monday. But about 3:45, officials told some people in line that they would not reach the office before closing time and could not vote," said the report. "The decision upset some people, and sheriff’s deputies arrived to enforce the decision. City Commissioner Seth Bluestein, a Republican, wrote on Twitter that it was a 'disgrace' that voters were being put in the position of trying to cure their ballots at the last minute. City officials are 'doing the best they can to help as many voters as possible with very little time and resources,' he wrote."

This comes amid a number of other attempts by Republicans to set aside ballots around the country. Today in Wisconsin, a state judge in Waukesha County rejected a Republican-backed lawsuit to sequester ballots cast by members of the military.