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SCOTUS Orders Pennsylvania to Separate Ballots Arriving After Election Day

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

A few hours after the Trump campaign filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court over late-arriving ballots in Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court ordered Pennsylvania election officials to separate ballots arriving after 8 p.m. on Election Day and to count the late ballots separately. 

The Trump campaign filed an emergency appeal on Friday asking the court to make sure Pennsylvania's 67 county boards are separating late-arriving ballots as ordered by Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State.

In October, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted a three-day extension for mail-in ballot counting. The decision was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 4-4 ruling, a vote shy of the five votes needed to grant a stay. The split ruling came just days before Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the bench. 

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in October allows ballots to be counted as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3 or in cases where the postmark isn't legible. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has also ruled that mail-in ballots cannot be thrown out when the signature on the ballot clearly doesn't match the signature on the voter's application.

Late arriving ballots for Joe Biden have continued to pour in, helping Biden close a 600,000 vote deficit to the president's Election Day lead in Pennsylvania.

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