Breitbart reports that a judge in the battleground state of Michigan has handed down a decision that is sure to have a big impact come November.
Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens has ruled that mail-in ballots postmarked by November 2 must be counted within two weeks of the presidential election. Stephens’ ruling will also allow limited ballot harvesting.
Before Stephens’ ruling, election day itself was the deadline for mail-in ballots in Michigan. But, Stephens has, in effect, extended that deadline.
Now, mailed-in ballots will be accepted for up to two weeks after election day, so long as they are postmarked November 2nd.
Stephens based her opinion on “delays” caused by the coronavirus.
“The unrefuted affidavits and documents compel the conclusion that, in light of delays attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, mail delivery has become significantly compromised, and the risk for disenfranchisement when a voter returns an absent voter ballot by mail is very real,” Stephens wrote in her opinion.
Harvesting allowed, somewhat
In addition, Stephens has authorized ballot harvesting, with some restrictions. Ballot harvesting is the allowance of a third party, i.e. not the voter, to deliver the ballots to be counted.
Stephens restricted the ballot harvesting to the “narrow timeframe” of “between 5:01 p.m. on the Friday before the election and Election Day, i.e., when the clerk or an assistant is not required to assist a voter who wishes to cast an absent voter ballot.”
“During this timeframe, and only during this timeframe, a voter may select any third party of his or her choosing to render assistance in returning an absent voter ballot,” Stephens added.
Not the only one
This is the second decision of its kind to come from an important battleground state ahead of the general election. The other came from Pennsylvania where a judge ruled that ballots received three days after the election must be counted, regardless of when the ballot was postmarked.
With such rulings, it will probably be weeks after election day before a winner is announced, and when that announcement is made, who is going to accept the results? Chaos is coming.