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Judges allow mail-in ballots to be counted in Pennsylvania

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court allows election officials to count mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania that don’t have a handwritten date but were received in a timely manner.

Thursday’s unsigned order covers a Lehigh County court election beginning in 2021. But Judge Samuel Alito, in a dissenting opinion, cautioned that the matter could affect November’s election.

Last week, Alito temporarily suspended the ballot count to give judges more time to consider the matter. Back then, former hedge fund CEO David McCormick was in an uphill battle with famed heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz involved in the Republican nomination for the US Senate.

McCormick wanted ballots without handwritten dates to be counted in his race as well, but he has since conceded to Oz.

State law requires voters to write a date on the envelope in which they mail in their ballots. However, the handwritten date is not used to determine whether the ballot was cast in a timely manner, as the envelope is postmarked by the post office and timestamped by counties upon receipt.

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In each case, counties have acknowledged accepting ballots with incorrect dates.

The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia had ruled that the requirement of a date next to the voter’s signature on the outside of the return envelope was “irrelevant” in state election law and not a reason to discard such ballots.

Alito, along with Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, wrote that he believed the 3rd Circuit was “very likely wrong.”

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/06/09/justices-allow-counting-of-mail-in-ballots-in-pennsylvania/ Judges allow mail-in ballots to be counted in Pennsylvania

Sarah Y. Kim

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