Supreme Court Invalidates Mail-In Ballot Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday invalidated a ruling by a lower court on a Pennsylvania case that involved the counting of undated mail-in ballots, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The Supreme Court ruled on a decision that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made in May in a case involving the 2021 election of Judge Zachary Cohen, ordering the state to count 257 mail-in ballots that lacked a necessary date on the return envelope.

The lower court ruled that the date requirement was “immaterial” and said there was no reason to exclude the ballots that had previously been set aside due to the lack of dates. However, the Supreme Court vacated that decision and ruled that the lower court must “dismiss the case as moot.” This decision is not expected to affect the election results in this case.

“The Department of State certainly should update their guidance,” Joshua Voss, the attorney in the case that lost in the lower court’s ruling, told WHYY. “But at the end of the day, elections are administered by counties and counties will need to assess what the state of the law was.”

Leigh Chapman, Pennsylvania’s acting secretary of state, said that her department is “reviewing that decision and we’ll provide guidance to counties accordingly.”

She added: “On our website right now, the current guidance is for counties to count ballots that are missing a date or have the wrong date. As far as the impact on what happened with the Supreme Court, I’m not able to comment further. But what I can say is that we will evaluate and update guidance as necessary.”

The decision means that Republicans will likely file new lawsuits to bar the counting of undated mail-in ballots in future elections.


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