With Election Day almost here, all eyes are on states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — and the United States Supreme Court.
As controversy lingers over mail-in voting, Pennsylvania Republicans again decided to ask the nation’s highest court to reverse an extended deadline that they say could allow voting after Election Day.
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has ruled that ballots postmarked on or before Election Day can be returned until November 6, citing the coronavirus. However, ballots without a clear postmark can also be counted.
Will Barrett’s vote protect from potential voter fraud?
The state’s Republicans petitioned the court Friday to consider their challenge to the state’s decision on the merits, after a previous attempt that asked the SCOTUS to freeze it failed. This time, there is a chance that Justice Amy Coney Barrett will weigh in if the case is brought. The court was divided 4-4 in the previous decision. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberals.
This could be the Republican party’s last chance to ensure that ballots sent after Election Day in Pennsylvania are not counted. They asked for a quick decision, with November 3 fast approaching.
Democrats are more likely to vote by mail, but Republicans and President Donald Trump have consistently argued that loosening voting methods can undermine the integrity of the election.
The Republicans in this case complained that the state’s rules could allow people to vote after Election Day, violating federal election law and the Constitution.
SCOTUS weighs in on swing state
The controversy is another example of how the Supreme Court has been asked to settle disputes that could prove critical in the upcoming election, in which an unprecedented number of people have already voted by mail.
Separately, the Supreme Court ruled Monday against extending a deadline for mail-in ballots in Wisconsin, another critical swing state.
“No one doubts that conducting a national election amid a pandemic poses serious challenges. But none of that means individual judges may improvise with their own election rules in place of those the people’s representatives have adopted,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote.
Biden is leading Trump in both states, according to RealClearPolitics averages. While Trump has to win Florida, winning Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes could put him well on the path to re-election.
Election Day is November 3. The Supreme Court should make a decision as quickly as possible.