Republican State Representative Tom Smith vs. Democratic-controlled Pennsylvania House

Suit seeks to have mail-in votes lacking dates counted in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s lower house of the state General Assembly is set to vote on a lawsuit that seeks to have mail-in ballot requests that lack dates counted in the state House of Representatives.

The lawsuit by Republican State Representative Tom Smith is the latest attempt to undermine the Democratic-controlled Pennsylvania House, which voted in 2016 to extend in-person voting hours and eliminate an earlier requirement allowing voters to apply to be placed on the ballot.

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Val DiGiorgio said the lawsuit shows that Democrats “are desperate to maintain power in the state.”

The lawsuit focuses on Pennsylvania’s recently passed Voter ID law, which makes it more difficult to participate in elections in the state.

The voter ID law requires voters whose names do not match the records of identification cards, driver’s licenses, passports, military ID cards, and certain other government-issued IDs to present a photo identification when they cast a ballot.

The lawsuit says the law is meant to prevent voter fraud, while the voter ID law maintains access to an effective statewide election.

“We can either get rid of what we need to get rid of or we can do two things,” Smith told WNEP on Wednesday, “we either need to get Democrats to step up and say we need this, or we need to get Republicans to come and make it a reality, or we need to vote no.”

Smith was joined by Republican State Representative Rick Saccone of the Pittsburgh area, the only congressman in the state House to vote against it. They argued that Pennsylvania’s law is an “unprecedented intrusion by our government” into the process of making elections.

“It’s just a mess of a piece of legislation,” Saccone said. “It’s not clear whether it has the intent or whether it has the ability to accomplish what we intend or whether it will accomplish what it intends to accomplish.”

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