WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, Nov. 7, a Pennsylvania court denied a request from two voters — brought in a lawsuit sponsored by Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections, a right-wing legal group founded by Bill Barr and others — to temporarily block the Philadelphia election commissioners from conducting their plans for managing poll books. Poll books are electronic and/or paper records containing information on registered voters. The lawsuit, filed on Oct. 27, argued that Philadelphia election officials were planning to scale back or eliminate poll book reconciliation (the process by which a poll book is amended to denote if a voter has already voted by mail) and, in doing so, were “invit[ing] double-votes by mail-in/absentee electors.” On Nov. 2, the plaintiffs asked the court to prevent Philadelphia from changing or scaling back its procedures in the upcoming Nov. 8 midterm elections.
Today, a Pennsylvania judge denied the motion for a preliminary injunction, criticizing the “erroneous” moves by the Philadelphia commissioners to alter the poll book procedures but citing the late date of the plaintiffs’ request for emergency relief. The judge wrote that implementing their request “is not remotely feasible at this late date” and the requested relief would “cause harm and hardship to the administration of electoral processes that are being employed within the City and County of Philadelphia.”