By Alecia Reid

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania has become the center of multiple 2020 election lawsuits. At issue right now is the process of challenging signatures on mail-in ballots.

This is just the latest example of how both sides have been turning to the courts on election-related issues.

Pennsylvania will potentially be one of the make or break states in the upcoming presidential election and it has now become ground zero for election lawsuits.

“At this very critical moment, you’re seeing both sides deploying everything that they might be able to deploy because the stakes are exactly that high,” said Amy Wildermuth, Dean of the University of Pittsburgh Law School.

The latest is state officials want the state Supreme Court to rule on whether poll watchers could dispute signatures on mail-in-ballots. This, after a western Pennsylvania judge recently determined mail-in ballots can count even if signatures do not match. Keeping in mind, signatures may change over time due to health issues.

“The U.S. Supreme Court does not have to hear this case. It has sent some signals though that has made people believe that it is possible they will hear this case,” Wildermuth said.

In another case, a federal judge ruled against the President Trump administration’s plea to stop drop boxes, expand poll watchers and allow a review of signatures on mail-in ballots, saying there was no evidence of fraud.

But that may not be the end of it.

“They could certainly seek an appeal to the Third Circuit,” Wildermuth said of the Republican lawsuit, “ Wildermuth said.

This isn’t the first time the courts have stepped into election decisions.

Back in 2000, the Supreme Court settled the recount dispute in Florida. Five Republican justices halted the count making George W. Bush president.

“There were a lot of questions raised about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court entering into that particularly controversial area. So, the question is, has the Supreme Court learned that lesson?” said Wildermuth.

Legal experts say turning to the courts now is a precursor to even more involvement after the election.


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