State of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Mail-in Voting Challenge

McLinko v. Degraffenreid

Lawsuit filed by a member of Bradford County Board of Elections challenging a provision of Act 77 that created no-excuse mail-in voting. The law was passed in 2019 to expand voter access, particularly for mail-in voting. This lawsuit alleges that the Pennsylvania Constitution does not allow for no-excuse mail-in voting because it requires voters to cast a ballot in person at a polling place unless they fall into a specific category of absentee voters. The case was consolidated with Bonner v. Degraffenreid, a lawsuit filed by Republican state representatives challenging the same provision of Act 77.

After the consolidated case was heard before the full Commonwealth Court, the judges ruled 3-2 that the no-excuse mail-in voting provision violates the Pennsylvania Constitution and Act 77 is therefore invalid in its entirety. The state respondents immediately appealed the decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Oral argument was held on Tuesday, March 8. On Aug. 2, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision, ruling that Act 77 does not violate the Pennsylvania Constitution. Therefore, no-excuse mail-in voting is permissible in Pennsylvania.

Case Documents (Commonwealth court)

Case Documents (pa supreme court)

Last updated: