Two judges in Pennsylvania on Friday tossed a half dozen court cases the Trump campaign had brought to invalidate thousands of votes around Philadelphia, where voters carried President-elect Joe Biden to a clear win in the battleground state.
The Trump campaign had sought to throw out almost 9,000 absentee ballots because their outer envelopes lack names or addresses or some combination of the two that voters could have filled out.
However, the judges found that state law didn’t require voters to fill out their names or address sections on the envelopes, and the instructions on the ballots didn’t tell voters they must fill them out.
In five related cases, Judge James Crumlish of Philadelphia County’s Court of Common Pleas said the Trump campaign couldn’t invalidate 8,329 ballots it alleged were improper. The judge ruled those ballots should be processed and counted.
In another case, the President’s campaign sought for the Montgomery County Board of Elections to throw out 592 mail-in ballots where voters hadn’t filled out their addresses on the outside envelopes. Those ballots will be counted, the second judge, Richard Haaz of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, ruled on Friday.
“Voters should not be disenfranchised by reasonably relying upon voting instructions provided by election officials,” Haaz wrote.
The Trump campaign had said in court that it wasn’t alleging voting fraud in the cases — just attempting to enforce the rules.
Invalidating the ballots would not be enough for Trump to overcome Biden’s win in Pennsylvania, even if all were Biden votes.