Breaking: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Extends Absentee Ballot Receipt Deadlines, Allows Drop Boxes, Limits Poll Watchers from Other PA Counties. What’s Next?

Jonathan Lai for the Philly Inquirer:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended the state’s mail ballot deadlines on Thursday, a move that could allow tens of thousands of additional votes to be counted — and will likely draw criticism from Republicans who have argued that all votes should be received by Election Day.

State law says mail ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, but the high court said Thursday that ballots will be counted if they are received by 5 p.m. the Friday after the Nov. 3 election. To count, ballots arriving after Election Day must either be postmarked by Nov. 3 or have no proof they were sent afterward. Ballots that arrive by the new deadline with missing or illegible postmarks would still be counted.

In addition, the court held that state election law allows counties to use drop boxes for hand delivery of mail ballots; denied requests from President Donald Trump’s campaign and others to allow poll watchers to work in counties other than the ones where they are registered; and denied a request that other people be allowed to deliver voters’ ballots.

Majority opinion

Concurring opinion

Concurring and dissenting opinion

Concurring and dissenting opinion

This is litigation I’ve been following for a while, as it is among the most significant in battleground states.

This could lead to a Trump appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, or, more likely, an attempt to revive federal constitutional issues in the case where the federal judge had initially abstained from deciding issues pending the state resolution of related issues.

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