• Wednesday, Dec 02, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:21 pm

US Supreme Court rejects Republican bid to limit mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

  • Published at 08:18 am October 20th, 2020
US supreme court
Light from the setting sun shines on the Supreme Court in Washington, US Reuters

Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 but is trailing Democratic opponent Joe Biden in opinion polls this year

The US Supreme Court on Monday allowed an extension of the deadline for mail-in absentee ballots in Pennsylvania for the November 3 elections, declining a Republican request to block a lower court’s ruling that gave voters more time.

The justices, divided 4-4, left in place a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in favor of state Democrats that had extended the deadline for state election officials to receive mail-in ballots postmarked by the evening of Election Day until three days later.

The brief court order noted that four of the court’s five conservative justices would have granted the request. There are currently only eight justices on the usually nine member court following the death last month of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which left the court with a 5-3 conservative majority.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the three liberal justices in denying the request, with five votes needed for it to be granted.

The decision highlights the impact that President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, could have as a potential deciding vote in election related cases if -as expected - she is confirmed by the Republican-led Senate next week. In her confirmation hearing last week, Barrett did not commit to stepping aside in any election cases involving Trump.

“With nearly a million votes already cast in Pennsylvania, we support the court’s decision not to meddle in our already-working system,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The state Republican Party and Republican officials in Pennsylvania separately had appealed the state Supreme Court ruling as they sought to tighten deadlines for mail-in ballots.

Pennsylvania is an election battleground state in the presidential election. Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 but is trailing Democratic opponent Joe Biden in opinion polls this year.

In a September 17 ruling, the state high court ruled in favor of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and various Democratic officials and candidates who had asked for the court to protect voting rights during the coronavirus pandemic, which has prompted an increase in requests for mail-in ballots.

The Democrats also raised concerns about whether the US Postal Service, led by a Trump ally, would be able to handle the surge of ballots in a timely manner.

Democrat Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, backed a three day extension.

Without court intervention, the previous mail-in ballot system, introduced last year, would “unquestionably fail under the strain of Covid-19 and the 2020 presidential election, resulting in the disenfranchisement of voters,” the state court concluded.

Trump has attacked the integrity of mail-in voting, a regular part of American elections that is being used even more this year because of the pandemic. Trump has made unsubstantiated claims that mail-in ballots are especially vulnerable to fraud and suggested without evidence that their widespread use would lead to a “rigged election.”

55
54
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail