The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Election Monitoring

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

From the Philadelphia Inquirer (Jeremy Roebuck):

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Republican monitors observing vote counting in Philadelphia were given sufficient access under state law to view the proceedings…. [T]he court overturned a lower court decision that ordered monitors with President Donald Trump's campaign be allowed within six feet of tables where ballots were being tallied.

In its opinion, the Supreme Court found that the Philadelphia Board of Elections complied with requirements for observer access from the moment the first votes were counted.

"We conclude the board did not act contrary to the law in fashioning its regulations governing the positioning of candidate representatives," Justice Debra Todd wrote for the majority. "Critically, we find the board's regulations … were reasonable."

The majority opinion seems to be a pretty technical discussion of Pennsylvania state election law; one short dissenting opinion would have rejected the appeal on the grounds that it was moot, and another short dissent also argued that the trial courts order requiring closer access was valid. In any case, I thought I'd pass these along in case readers are interested. Thanks to Howard Bashman (How Appealing) for the pointer.