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Early Voting: Supreme Court Takes Action in Pennsylvania, North Carolina Creates Potential Struggle After Ballot Court Elections

The court refused to challenge Republicans in Pennsylvania for the mail voting deadline, leaving in place – for now – a state Supreme Court ruling that ballots can be received up to three days after the election, even if there is an illegible postage stamp. . The court later allowed the counting of ballots in North Carolina received within nine days of the election, as long as they were postage-stamped by election day.

But that may not be the end of the battle for mail courts.

The decisions of the Supreme Court in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, two important states in the presidential election, came a day after the court rejected an appeal by Democrats to allow mailboxes in Wisconsin three days after election day, as long as they were stamped until November 3.

Electoral law experts warn on the eve of the election that courts are unlikely to play a key role in the outcome of the election. And the ballots sent by post received after election day will be a small percentage of the total number of ballots.

But if the election is close ̵

1; and if Pennsylvania, for example, is the deciding factor and ballots received after Nov. 3 can make a difference – legal issues surrounding post-election ballots may suddenly eject into the foreground. at the presidential contest, where Republicans seek to cast ballots received after Nov. 3, and Democrats argue for their inclusion.

“If (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania isn’t the turning point, or it is, but it’s not very close, it won’t matter, at least for this election,” wrote Steve Vladek, CNN’s legal analyst and law teacher at the University of Texas professor.

Pennsylvania officials told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the state had issued guidelines to county councils to “safely divide” ballots received after election day, allowing them to be identified in the event of future lawsuits.

Cavanaugh changed his mind during the vote after a Vermont official asked for a correction

And in Minnesota, Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit against the secretary of state on Wednesday over the distribution of delayed mail ballots as Republicans appealed a federal court ruling that allowed seven days for ballots to arrive late, as long as they were postmarked. day.

Deadlines for receiving newsletters by mail vary by country. In 28 states, ballots must be received on election day, but in 22 states and the District of Columbia, they must be stamped by election day, but may arrive later.

President Donald Trump falsely claimed that the election results should be known on November 3, when several key states, including Pennsylvania, said it would take them more than a night to count a large influx of absentee ballots. The results announced on election night are always unofficial and are validated later by the states.

But in a decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court that upheld a federal appeals court’s decision to require ballots to be received by election day, Judge Brett Cavanaugh appears to be in line with Trump’s thinking.

Cavanaugh writes that the states have set deadlines for mailing on election day, “to avoid the chaos and suspicions of inadequacy that can arise if thousands of absent ballots flow in after election day and potentially reverse the election results.” .

“And these countries also want to be able to finally announce the election results on election night or as soon as possible thereafter,” he added.

Rick Hassen, an electoral law expert at the University of California, Irvine and a CNN analyst, wrote in the Washington Post this week that Cavanaugh’s opinion is unlikely to matter – but that if the problem goes back to court, “there’s a big reason to worry about the protection of the court of suffrage and the integrity of the vote. “

In Wednesday’s Pennsylvania ruling, in which the court refused to expedite and hear the case so close to the election, some conservative court judges hinted at skepticism about the Pennsylvania state’s decision extending the deadline for submission. In a statement accompanying the order, Judge Samuel Alito, joined by Judges Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuh, wrote that the court could not interfere in the vicinity of the election, but added that there was “a high probability that the decision of the Supreme Court will violate the federal constitution. ”

No other justice has commented, although the order suggests that more opinions may come. The court’s newest justice, Amy Connie Barrett, did not vote in cases in Pennsylvania or North Carolina because of the need for a speedy resolution, the court said.

The threat of interference in foreign elections

Senator Marco Rubio, acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, received a sharp warning Wednesday: Now is the time to be most careful about interfering in foreign elections.

“Most of the disinformation attacks prepared by our opponents were aimed at the days before and immediately after election day,” the Florida Republican tweeted. “They can come faster than they can be noticed and summoned, so a word about the wise, the more unusual the statement, the more likely it is that someone else’s influence.”

Rubio’s warning comes a week after National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said in a statement that Iran and Russia had received information about voter registration and that Iran was responsible for threatening emails sent to voters who were allegedly from the far right group.

The emails were sent to voters in Florida, and members of the Florida congressional delegation received a briefing this week from the office of the director of National Intelligence about the intervention efforts.

CNN’s Ariane de Vogue, Paul P. Murphy, Curt Devine and Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.

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