U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly celebrates court's unconstitutional ruling on PA mail voting law

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U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly celebrated on Friday the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court's decision to overturn a 2019 law that, among other things, allowed all registered voters in the state to vote by mail.

The law, known as Act 77 of 2019, was initially challenged by Kelly and others on Nov. 21, 2020, just weeks after Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in the presidential election.

From Spotlight PA: State court finds Pennsylvania’s mail voting law unconstitutional, with appeal likely

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of Butler, R-16th Dist., shown in this Decmeber photo, is pleased that the state Commonwealth Court found that Pennsylvania's mail-in voter ballot law is unconstitutional and "deserves further review," he said in a statement Friday. "Any changes to Pennsylvania's voting laws are required to take place through a constitutional amendment, not legislation."

Seeking to have the law ruled unconstitutional and to void millions of ballots cast by mail in the presidential election, Kelly and the other plaintiffs won a temporary victory in Commonwealth Court when it prohibited the state from certifying the election results.

However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated the lower court's preliminary injunction. The U.S. Supreme Court also declined to grant injunctive relief.

The case was eventually refiled by a group of state Republicans, leading to Friday's ruling, which is also likely headed to the state Supreme Court on appeal.

Kelly, though, said the law "deserves further review."

"The ruling by the Commonwealth Court is exactly why I led the challenge of Act 77 over a year ago," Kelly said in a statement Friday. "Act 77 is unconstitutional and deserves further review. Any changes to Pennsylvania's voting laws are required to take place through a constitutional amendment, not legislation. That is why I filed my lawsuit after the 2020 election. I'm pleased to see the court advance this case that will create stronger, more secure mail-in voting laws in our great commonwealth."

Kelly, a Republican whose district includes Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Lawrence counties and a portion of Butler County, filed the lawsuit with, among others, former Republican congressional candidate Sean Parnell. Both Parnell and Kelly are strong backers of Trump.

Kelly on Jan. 6, 2021, voted against certifying Pennsylvania's election results in a GOP effort to overturn the election.

Contact Matthew Rink at mrink@timesnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ETNrink.

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly celebrates court's ruling on PA voting law