SCOTUS Just Released a Decision About Counting Ballots Following Election Day

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Posted: Oct 19, 2020 8:31 PM
SCOTUS Just Released a Decision About Counting Ballots Following Election Day

Source: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday night ruled that election officials in Pennsylvania can count mail-in ballots up until three days after the election. The Republican National Committee brought about the lawsuit, asking for a Wuhan coronavirus-related order to be suspended. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had previously approved the order. 

“In a year where there is a very real possibility that the final presidential election result hinges on Pennsylvania, the new rules imposed by the decision of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (a body elected in partisan elections) could destroy the American public’s confidence in the electoral system as a whole,” the Republican's stay request stated.

According to the Washington Post, the Supreme Court was locked in a dead tie with the conservative justices – Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh – wanting to issue a stay. Chief Justice John Roberts, however, ruled with the liberal justices on the Court. In order for a stay to be issued there has to be five justices ruling that way. 

Ballots that are postmarked by Election Day can be counted until 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, the New York Post reported. This ruling means election results could be held up until Friday, Nov. 6 or Saturday, Nov. 7. Pennsylvania is a key battleground state that President Trump won by a narrow margin in 2016. 

The ruling is considered a win for Democrats because their voters are requesting ballots in a 3 to 1 margin over Republicans, the Associated Press reported.