By a 3-2 ruling, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court agreed to this reasoning Friday.
"If it is presented to the people, a constitutional amendment to end Article VII, the Section 1 requirement for a personal vote is likely to be passed," Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt wrote to the majority Friday. "But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people and enacted into our Basic Law before legislation that allows no apology by postal vote can be 'placed in our bylaws.'
The Commonwealth Court panel of five judges split along party lines, with the three Republican judges agreeing with the GOP petitioners and two Democrats disagreeing.
Wanda Murren, communications director for the Pennsylvania Department of State, told CNN in an email statement that the state is working on an appeal to the state Supreme Court and "disagrees with today's decision."
She also said in a follow-up statement that the decision would have "no immediate effect" on the state's primary election in May, urging voters to request a postal vote.
The department "informs all county election boards that they must continue with all primary election preparations as they were before today's Commonwealth Court ruling. There should be no change in their procedures," Murren said.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat running for governor this fall, criticized the decision, saying it was "based on distorted logic and erroneous reasoning and is wrong on the law."
"It will be appealed immediately and will therefore have no immediate impact on Pennsylvania's upcoming elections. The issue will now go to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and we are confident that Act 77 will ultimately be ratified as constitutional," Shapiro said in a announcement.
The state Supreme Court, where Democrats have a majority, has supported the state's expanded use of no apology absent voting in previous decisions.
Trump praised Friday's decision, saying in a statement that "a great patriotic spirit is developing at a level that no one thought was possible."
He said in a statement that he plans to introduce legislation that will include components such as "voter ID, elimination of equal party votes, an end to drop-boxes, a ban on outside money and a provision for independent review of third-party elections. parties. "
"My plan will expand access, increase integrity and prevent fraud, and give Pennsylvania residents an electoral system they can believe in," he added.