A Bucks County judge on Monday dismissed a legal challenge filed in a contested state Senate race that claimed Pennsylvania’s deadline for excluding absentee ballots is unconstitutional. State Rep. Tina Davis filed the lawsuit Nov. 19 after losing the race in the state’s Sixth District to incumbent state Sen. Richard “Tommy” Tomlinson by just 74 votes. However, at least 216 absentee ballots went uncounted because they were received after the deadline but before Election Day, according to the filing. Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Davis did not provide an explanation for his ruling Monday, which came hours after a hearing on the issue in Doylestown. Under his order, the absentee ballots in the race will remained sealed, despite attempts by Davis’ campaign to view a list of the voters who had submitted them.
“Obviously it’s disappointing, especially when you’re not sure why you’ve lost,” said Adam C. Bonin, the lawyer who filed the suit on behalf of Davis. “But we still want to know who these people are who cast these 216 ballots. We want to know how many of them were affected by unfair deadlines and delays.”
Davis’ campaign had argued that budget cuts and scheduling changes at the U.S. Postal Service, as well as the closure of Croydon’s post office due to a fire, made it impossible for some people to submit their absentee ballots within the deadline, therefore depriving them of their rights under the Pennsylvania and U.S. Constitutions.
Bonin said during Monday’s hearing in front of Finley that seeing the names would clearly demonstrate the flaws in the current ballot policy.