US Supreme Court on Monday has allowed the extension of deadline for mail-in absentee ballots in Pennsylvania for the upcoming Nov 3 elections. With that decision, the court has rejected the Republican bid to block the lower court’s order under which voters were given more time.
The court has declined to stay the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s order which allowed some postal ballots received for up to three days after the election date to be scrutinized provided they are postmarked by November 3.
The ruling is considered as the win for democrats who were seeking extension of the deadline for mail-in ballots and a loss for the Republicans who had sought a stay on the Pennsylvania SC order to allow the extension.
Pennsylvania earlier wanted the mail-in ballots to be reached and counted which are postmarked on the election date. But with assessing the problems and delays encountered due to COVID-19 pandemic, the court extended the deadline by three days. The mail-in ballots which are postmarked with the election day date will be counted.
As per the sources, almost 1% of mail-in ballots are rejected during the election and that percentage is expected to increase this year. Due to pandemic situation, more rejections are expected due to delay in reaching mail-in ballots. Therefore, the court decided to extend the deadline.
The justices, left 4-4 left in place in Pennsylvania court gave the ruling in favour of Democrats. Currently, there are eight judges left in the nine-member court following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With that, the court was left with 5-3 conservative majority.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the three liberal justices to support in denying the request.