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Court Ruling in Pennsylvania Is Good News for Biden

Green Party candidate won't be on the ballot, and those ballots can now be printed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 17, 2020 2:13 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Green Party's candidate for president did not strictly follow procedures for getting on Pennsylvania's ballot in the November election and cannot appear on it, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday, delivering a win for Democrats as Joe Biden tries to capture the battleground state's electoral votes, per the AP. Democrats have long gone to court to keep Green Party candidates off the ballot, worried that they will siphon otherwise liberal voters in close contests against Republicans in the politically polarized state. The resolution of the case is the last thing holding up counties from getting ballots printed and mailed to registered voters who have applied for one. It could take a couple weeks for counties to get ballots printed by vendors and to start mailing them out, said Lisa Schaefer, executive director of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.

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The court, with a 5-2 Democratic majority, reversed the ruling by a Republican judge in a lower court on the candidacy of Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins. All five Democrats on the court joined the majority opinion. The court’s two Republicans agreed the Green Party did not meet the law's requirements, but, in a dissenting opinion, said it might be possible to allow the Green Party to fix it retroactively. Polls show a tight race between President Trump and Biden in Pennsylvania, which is tied with Illinois for the sixth most electoral votes. Losing Pennsylvania could prove fatal to Biden’s chances of defeating Trump. No Democrat has won the presidency without winning Pennsylvania since Harry S. Truman in 1948.

(Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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