Despite the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Republican challenger in a local election in Pennsylvania, the Democratic winner will keep his seat, despite the fact that his victory may have come from hundreds of ballots the Supreme Court deemed illegal.
More than two hundred mail-in ballots cast in the race were challenged by David Ritter—who lost his election for the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas to Democrat Zachary Cohen by a margin of only five votes—on the grounds that the voter signatures did not include dates. In accordance with state law, absentee ballots in Pennsylvania must be signed and dated.
On Tuesday, a 7-2 majority of the Supreme Court ruled in favor of David Ritter. It should come as no surprise that Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Jackson Brown were the two dissents.
But despite the hundreds of ballots being thrown out, Ritter’s election loss will stand, and Cohen will keep the seat. Whether or not those illegal ballots would have changed the outcome of the race isn’t clear, but according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight, 76% of Pennsylvania absentee voters voted for Biden, while 65% of in-person voters supported Trump. So, it is highly likely that Democrat Zachary Cohen is not the legitimate victor of the election, but he gets to keep his seat nonetheless.