The United States Supreme Court on Monday upheld Wisconsin's voting laws requiring absentee ballots be in election officials' hands by the time polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The Supreme Court's decision was decided 5 to 3.
Democrats challenged the law, saying the Election Day deadline should be extended because of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. They unsuccessfully argued that ballots should be counted as long as they are postmarked on or before Election Day.
Republicans made the argument that election rules shouldn't change in the face of the pandemic.
The contentious decision comes after a federal court of appeals upheld a six-day extension for ballot counting.
Chief Justice John Roberts was the deciding factor in this vote, although he joined with the liberal justices to extend ballot counting in Pennsylvania. According to the chief justice, the two states are vastly different.
“Different bodies of law and different precedents govern these two situations and require, in these particular circumstances, that we allow the modification of election rules in Pennsylvania but not Wisconsin," Roberts wrote, ABC News reported.
Justice Neil Gorsuch acknowledged the challenge the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic has caused but said the Supreme Court was making the right decision.
“No one doubts that conducting a national election amid a pandemic poses serious challenges. But none of that means individual judges may improvise with their own election rules in place of those the people’s representatives have adopted,” Gorsuch wrote.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel took to Twitter to celebrate the victory in one of 2020's key battleground states.
The Supreme Court just handed us a huge win in WISCONSIN!— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) October 27, 2020
Democrats sued to count ballots that arrive nearly a week past the Election Day deadline, but the court ruled 5-3 in our favor! (1/2)
We have an Election DAY – not an Election Week – for a reason.— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) October 27, 2020
Regardless of your politics, we should all want confidence in the vote, and this ruling will help preserve election integrity.
We will not stop fighting to https://t.co/tidEkbV9KS! (2/2)