Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rejects Suit Delaying Mail-in-Ballot Deadline

In this Aug. 7, 2018 file photo, King County Election official Joseph Emanuel loads ballots into a van after collecting them from a drop box in Seattle. If control of the U.S. House comes down to any of the competitive congressional races in Washington state and California, the American public …
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The Pennsylvania state Supreme Court on Friday rejected a lawsuit that would force election officials to accept mail-in-ballots as long as they are received within a week after the primary or general elections while the coronavirus pandemic is in place.

The Senior Law Center, Disability Rights Pennsylvania, and other organizations filed the suit in late April, arguing that postal delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic could cause ballots not to be received at their destinations in time to count, the Associated Press reported.

However, Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration argued against it, saying the plan would be unconstitutional because it would give voters different deadlines.

According to a 2019 law, the deadline for county elections offices to receive mail-in-ballots is 8:00 p.m. when the polls close on election day.

Pennsylvania’s primary was postponed from April 28 until June 2 because of the coronavirus, and officials say many votes will be cast by mail.

Meanwhile, counties are planning on limiting the number of polling locations due to the coronavirus.

The state legalized mail-in-ballots last fall, and they will be implemented for the first time this year. If voters wish to request a mail-in-ballot, they must do so by May 26, NBC 10 Philadelphia reported.

Recent data has not shown a compelling public health justification for mail-in-ballots.

Wisconsin is one of the only U.S. states that held its primary election with in-person voting after the nation’s coronavirus lockdowns began.

The election drew 413,000 participants, and only a few dozen out of that group were confirmed to have contracted the virus by either voting or serving as a poll worker. None of those cases was fatal, and the data on the current infection rate equals a rate below two-hundredths of one percent.

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