© Reuters. Early voting begins in Pennsylvania
By Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court docket on Monday allowed an extension of the deadline for mail-in absentee ballots in Pennsylvania for the Nov. Three election, declining a Republican request to dam a decrease courtroom’s ruling that gave voters extra time.
The justices, divided 4-4, left in place a Pennsylvania Supreme Court docket ruling in favor of state Democrats that had prolonged the deadline for state election officers to obtain mail-in ballots postmarked by the night of Election Day till three days afterward.
The transient courtroom order famous that 4 of the courtroom’s 5 conservative justices would have granted the request. There are presently solely eight justices on the normally nine-member courtroom due to the dying final month of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which left the courtroom with a 5-Three conservative majority.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the three liberal justices in denying the request, with 5 votes wanted for it to be granted.
The state Republican Social gathering and Republican officers in Pennsylvania individually appealed the state Supreme Court docket ruling as they sought to tighten deadlines for mail-in ballots.
Pennsylvania is an election battleground state as President Donald Trump seeks a second time period in workplace. Trump gained Pennsylvania in 2016 however is trailing Democratic opponent Joe Biden in opinion polls this yr.
In a Sept. 17 ruling, the state excessive courtroom dominated in favor of the Pennsylvania Democratic Social gathering and varied Democratic officers and candidates who had requested for the courtroom to guard voting rights through the coronavirus pandemic, which has prompted a rise in requests for mail-in ballots.
The Democrats additionally raised issues about whether or not the U.S. Postal Service, led by a Trump ally, would have the ability to deal with the surge of ballots in a well timed method.
Democrat Kathy Boockvar, the Pennsylvania secretary of state, backed a three-day extension.
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