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‘No excuse’ mail-in ballots are unconstitutional

 

September 25, 2021 Letters to the Editor

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On Oct. 31, 2019, Gov. Wolf signed into law Act 77 which allowed for the use of no-excuse mail-in ballots by the voter. This act was passed prior to my election to office.

After extensive research, I believe that Act 77 permitting the use of “no-excuse” mail-in ballots is unconstitutional and I have filed a lawsuit in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court seeking to strike it down. In my opinion, the expansion of the use of mail-in ballots beyond the four reasons set forth in Article VII of the Pennsylvania Constitution could only have occurred with the approval of the citizens of Pennsylvania. Citizen approval is a mandate before the Constitution can be amended and this did not occur as part of the passage of Act 77 by the General Assembly.

Interestingly, the General Assembly initially passed legislation requiring that Act 77 be submitted to the people for their approval as a constitutional amendment to Article VII but then abandoned this process and simply passed it as a statute which does not require citizen approval.

If any of us believe that the power to make this change rests solely in the people of the Commonwealth, then we have taken an oath to pursue this constitutional challenge and to restore the power to the people to make this decision as required by our constitution.

The constitutionality of Act 77, then, must be resolved if we are to move on from the 2020 election and restore faith and credibility in our election process. I would appreciate your understanding and your support of this undertaking.

State Rep. Tim Bonner, R-8th

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