Supreme Court Gives Pennsylvania More Time to Tally Some Votes
WASHINGTON – The absence of a tiebreaker on the Supreme Court will allow election officials in Pennsylvania to count some mailed ballots received up to three days after Election Day.
A 4-4 deadlock among the justices let stand a ruling by Pennsylvania’s highest court that allowed for the extended counting time.
It is the first case since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that the court deadlocked without a ninth member. Judge Amy Coney Barrett is expected to be confirmed by Sunday.
Pennsylvania is considered a key battleground state in the 2020 presidential election and the results there will be closely watched until all ballots are counted.
Four justices — Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito Jr., Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — voted in favor of staying the lower court’s ruling, while four — Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — voted to uphold it.
Neither side explained the rationale behind their positions.
As for the underlying case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the three-day extension was necessary because of the coronavirus pandemic and delays in mail service.
It ordered the counting of all ballots clearly mailed on or before Election Day, and those with missing or illegible postmarks, unless “a preponderance of the evidence” showed the ballot was mailed after Election Day.
The ruling appears to be a victory for Democrats in Pennsylvania, who tend to vote by absentee ballots far more often than Republicans.
As of last Friday, Democrats in Pennsylvania had requested 1,755,940 ballots, and Republicans had requested 672,381, according to the Pennsylvania secretary of state’s office.
In The News
Eighteen members of Congress on Wednesday announced the formation of a new Congressional Caucus whose intent is to ensure that the priorities and concerns of cities and counties across America are heard on Capitol Hill. The bipartisan Congressional Caucus of Former Local Elected Officials was formed... Read More
Thirty-five states are at extreme or high risk of partisan gerrymandering, according to an in-depth report by the nonpartisan RepresentUs organization. The Gerrymandering Threat Index rates all 50 states, and its authors argue their findings underscore the urgent need to pass the redistricting reforms within the... Read More
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31 is gaining support in the House and the Senate and will likely be voted on before lawmakers head back to their districts at the end of the month. The proposal to extend... Read More
WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the peak bloom for the cherry blossoms ringing the Tidal Basin in Washington is currently expected to occur April 2-5. That means the most vivid of blooms... Read More
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, can trace the arc of the state's Republican Party clearly."This was the state where to be Republican was defined by Gerald Ford and George... Read More
NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trump's tax records.Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for... Read More