Judge rejects GOP request to bar Pennsylvania counties from contacting voters about mistakes on their ballots

A Pennsylvania judge ruled Thursday that counties can continue to help voters correct mistakes on their ballots since the law does not prohibit the practice, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The ruling was a blow for Republicans looking to stop local election official from offering voters the option of fixing errors on their ballots that would get them thrown out.

Petitioners have not proven that there is a clear violation of the Election Code or the law interpreting the Election Code,” Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler wrote in her 58-page opinion.

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit from the Republican National Committee seeking to bar the practice known as "ballot curing" before the November election.

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Voters in Pittsburgh should have the same election rules as voters in Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania’s Constitution is clear that voting laws should be set by the legislature, not unelected bureaucrats,” RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “Allowing some counties to operate differently than others undermines the rule of law. Republicans will continue fighting to ensure that Pennsylvania’s voters are treated equally regardless of where they live.”

Judge Ceisler, who is a Democrat, said counties‘ notice and cure procedures “have generally been accepted in order to fulfill the long-standing and overriding policy in this Commonwealth to protect the elective franchise.”

State law “does not specifically prohibit [elections officials] from implementing notice and cure procedures.” Instead, they “enjoy broad authority … to implement such procedures at their discretion to ensure that the electoral franchise is protected," she wrote.