Supreme Court rules against counting undated mail-in ballots

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Pennsylvania Republican that opposed counting undated mail-in ballots.

The ruling was released on Tuesday, just weeks ahead of the nation’s midterm elections.

The ruling

“The justices vacated the ruling by the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as requested by David Ritter, who lost his 2021 bid for a spot on the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas to a Democratic rival by five votes after 257 absentee ballots without date notations were counted,” Reuters reported.

“The high court’s action means that the 3rd Circuit ruling cannot be used as a precedent in the three states covered by this regional federal appellate court – Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware – to allow the counting of ballots with minor flaws such as the voter failing to fill in the date,” it continued.

“Vacating the ruling does not change Ritter’s loss in his race,” it added.

The impact

“On Friday afternoon, a three-judge panel for the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals issued a judgment saying election officials should count several hundred mail ballots that were submitted without a date written on their mailing envelopes in a Nov. 2021 county judgeship election, as long as they were otherwise received on time,” Politico said regarding the previous decision in May.

“It was not immediately clear how sweeping the reach of the circuit court’s ruling will be because a formal opinion from the panel is still forthcoming. But it could have a serious impact on the Senate race,” it added.

The ruling could come into play if the state experiences a close finish in any of its races.

The nation may soon see the case come into the spotlight as Democrat John Fetterman battles against Republican Dr. Oz for the state’s Senate spot.