The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday ruled that mail-in ballots can’t be rejected simply because voters’ signatures don’t match those held on file.
The ruling comes less than two weeks before the state’s first general election since allowing no-excuse voting by mail.
“County boards of elections are prohibited from rejecting absentee or mail-in-ballots based on signature comparison conducted by county election officials or employees, or as the result of third-party challenges based on signature analysis and comparisons,” the court said in an opinion written by Justice Debra Todd.
The Pennsylvania Department of State have told elections officials not to toss ballots in which signatures don’t match, but the Trump campaign challenged the guidance and lost in federal court. It then asked the state’s high court to rule on the issue.
The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, meanwhile, said that signature analysis can be inconsistent and unfair to voters.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro applauded the ruling on Twitter.
“We are protecting every eligible vote and ensuring each is counted,” he wrote. “Make your plan to vote and we will keep doing our work to make sure your voice is heard.”
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