Penn Voters Get their Mail-In Voting Extension

The Story:

The US Supreme Court, on Monday, decided not to intervene in a voting law case arising out of Pennsylvania. A majority would have been necessary for SCOTUS to act, and the now 8 member court deadlocked 4-4 vote left the decision of the court below, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in force. That is a victory for the Democratic Party in that state, and for the Presidential campaign of Joseph Biden.

Background:

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State, Kathy Boockvar (D), asked her state’s high court to extend the absentee ballot receipt deadline until the Friday after the election. Absentee ballots will have to be postmarked on or before election day to be counted, but under this rule they will not have to be in the hands of election officials until Friday. The state court approved this request, approved the use of drop-boxes to collect the ballots, and even approved a request that envelopes without postmarks be counted as timely unless “a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates” that they were mailed after November 3.

The Thing to Know:

Republicans appealed to the US Supreme Court to stay the state court’s order. The 4-4 split means the appeal has failed, which in turn seems to improve the Democratic ticket’s chance of securing that state’s block of 20 electoral votes.

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