Thursday October 29, 2020
Many Americans want to cast their votes by letter. Due to austerity measures at the post office, it is unclear whether the ballot papers will arrive on time. In one state, letters are therefore still accepted nine days late. Trump is suing against it, for a reason.
The US Supreme Court has mailed ballots counted in two major states that arrive after the November 3rd election. In Pennsylvania, postal ballot papers should still be valid if they arrive up to three days later. It’s even nine days in North Carolina. President Donald Trump and the Republicans, on the other hand, want only ballots delivered by November 3 to be counted. However, the Supreme Court left the decision in effect. In this respect, the ruling is a success for the Democrats.
In view of the corona pandemic, significantly more Americans vote by letter than usual. At the same time, after austerity measures at the US Post, it is unclear how long the letters could take to get to their destination. There are already disputes in several states, further proceedings could follow. It is likely that the Supreme Court will have the final say.
In North Carolina the electoral authority had extended the deadline for the arrival of the ballot paper from three to nine days. An appeals court declared that to be admissible. The Supreme Court now voted for this decision with a majority of five to three votes. In the Pennsylvania case, the Supreme Court initially only rejected a motion from the Republicans to expedite their lawsuit against the three-day deadline. But that means it remains in force for the time being. However, three conservative judges expressly kept it open to take up the case again after the election.
Pennsylvania and North Carolina could make choices
Pennsylvania and North Carolina are among the contested states that could make the choice. In Pennsylvania, it’s about 20 electoral voters; in North Carolina, it’s 15. To win the presidential election, you need 270 electoral votes. The Supreme Court decisions on cases involve complex considerations of whether state authorities or local and federal courts can rule on election issues. According to polls, voters who support Trump’s Democratic challenger Joe Biden are more likely to vote absent than Republicans. At the same time, many states offer the opportunity to vote in a polling station before November 3rd or to throw their ballot papers in collection boxes.
The newly appointed judge Amy Coney Barrett stayed out of both decisions. You did not have enough time to familiarize yourself with the documents, said a spokeswoman for the Supreme Court of the New York Times. Barrett was only sworn in on Tuesday. The Democrats, who criticized their appeal so shortly before the election, are generally demanding that they not participate in decisions about the upcoming polls.
President Donald Trump had emphasized that he wanted to fill the vacant seat at the Supreme Court, especially with a view to possible proceedings around the vote count before the election date on November 3. The conservative majority in the Supreme Court grew with Barrett to six of the nine seats.