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Tue Jan 12, 2021, 01:13 PM

[PA Democrat] Brewster win validated as federal judge denies GOP candidate's challenge

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

JAN 12, 2021 11:50 AM
In a ruling issued Tuesday, a federal judge in Pittsburgh upheld the counting of a few hundred ballots in Pennsylvania’s 45th Senatorial District that had defects on their outer envelopes, again validating Democratic Sen. Jim Brewster’s victory and handing the GOP another post-election loss in the courts.

Mr. Brewster’s Republican opponent, Nicole Ziccarelli, had asked U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan to void the ballots, arguing that Allegheny County’s tallying of them violated due process and equal protection provisions of the federal constitution because similar ballots weren’t counted in Westmoreland County.

The judge denied her complaint.

“Contrary to Ms. Ziccarelli’s reading, the Court finds that the Supreme Court expressly held that the undated ballots at issue remain valid ballots that are properly counted under state law,” Judge Ranjan wrote in his opinion. “Thus, because Ms. Ziccarelli’s federal constitutional claims all depend on the invalidity of the ballots under state law, those claims necessarily fail on the merits.”



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