Philadelphia elections department says counting of up to 30,000 ballots to be delayed after lawsuit
Conservative group had sued to ensure oversight of possible "double counting" mistakes.
The department that oversees elections in Philadelphia said that it will delay counting of up to 30,000 ballots due to a lawsuit from a conservative group that sought oversight for possible "double counting" mistakes in the 2022 midterm elections.
The Philadelphia City Commissioners "said it will delay counting thousands of paper ballots after the polls close Tuesday night because of a lawsuit that accused it of being open to double counting," the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The decision comes after a late October lawsuit by the group Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections, which had sought to challenge the city's decision to forego poll book reconciliation, a procedure used to ensure that residents do not illegally vote twice, once by mail and once in-person. City officials had argued that the process was redundant given other safety measures in the city's election playbook.
On Monday, a Pennsylvania Common Pleas Court said the city did not have to re-instate that process. But Judge Anne Marie Coyle chastised the commissioners for what she said was a "fail[ure] to consider the harm to public perception of our electoral process” regarding the reconciliation decision.
“While we technically won the court case,” Commissioner Seth Bluestein said at a Tuesday meeting of the board, “the opinion was written in a way that we have no other choice but to go forward and reinstate reconciliation.”
The board's decision means "an estimated 15,000 to 30,000 paper ballots will not be counted on election night," the Times reports, citing Bluestein.