Republicans Continue Attacks on Mail-in Voting in New Pennsylvania Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. In a new lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania, Republicans have mounted yet another attack on mail in voting, ahead of the 2024 elections. 

Today, in a new lawsuit — led by Samuel DeMarco III, a Republican member of the Allegheny County Board, several Republican voters and “supported” by the right wing legal group, Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE) — Republicans challenge the use of ballot drop off locations in the county. 

In February 2024, Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato (D) issued a press release announcing that the county would use five ballot drop off locations for the state’s presidential primary in April. According to the release, the locations will be open the two weekends before Election Day: Saturday, April 13 and April 20, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; and Sunday, April 14 and April 21, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. Importantly, as stated in Innamorato’s press release, the five locations are distributed geographically across the county to give all voters easier access to a secure ballot drop off location.

The new lawsuit alleges that this decision to open five drop off locations was made “behind closed doors” in violation of Pennsylvania law. The plaintiffs allege that Innamorato took unilateral action and did not allow for public comment in violation of Pennsylvania law. Because of this, they ask that the court block the county’s use of dropoff locations. 

But ultimately, this lawsuit is not really about transparency, it is about continuing Republicans’ relentless attacks on all efforts that make it easier for voters to cast their ballots. One key tenet of this philosophy is attacking the use of vote by mail, which is why the plaintiffs in this case ask the court to prevent the use of the five geographically diverse locations in the 2024 primary and general elections. 

As Republicans and other anti-voting organizations ramp up their efforts to make it more difficult for voters to cast their ballot in 2024 and mail-in voting remains a key target for anti-voting groups. This effort includes limiting where voters can return their mail in ballots, attempting to restrict who can vote by mail and more. Democracy Docket is currently tracking four anti-voting lawsuits across two key swing states, Arizona and Pennsylvania, that attack the use of safe and secure drop boxes alone. In Pennsylvania alone Democracy Docket is tracking eight anti-voting lawsuits, three of which target mail-in voting in the state. 

Read the complaint here.

Learn more about the case here.