Posted on Friday November 6th, 2020 at 4:59 pm by Amy Howe
Claiming it was “currently unclear whether all 67 Pennsylvania county electoral boards” are following instructions to segregate post-election postal ballots, the Supreme Court asked the Supreme Court on Friday to instruct election committees to keep these ballots separate from counting Don’t do them while the Republicans have pending legal challenge to these ballots. The request was the latest development in the Pennsylvanian electoral college’s battle for 20 votes, but it came after Democrat Joe Biden moved the state vote forward. And news reports suggested that the number of ballots received after election day may not be enough to affect the Pennsylvania result.
The 11-page filing has been challenged by Republicans and Pennsylvania lawmakers against a ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court requiring the state to count all ballots received by Friday, November 6, unless postmarked or after election day there is other strong evidence that they were sent out after election day. Pennsylvania Republicans and lawmakers had asked the judges to put that decision on hold and later expedite their consideration of a motion to review the state’s Supreme Court decision.
The judges denied both applications. In a statement denying the judges’ request to expedite the review request, Judge Samuel Alito stressed that the court could continue to review the petition “on a reduced schedule” after the election. He also noted that the state had instructed the county electoral boards to keep ballots received after polling day and before November 6th separate so that a “targeted remedy” would be available if the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Would “ultimately be canceled”. ”
In their filing on Friday, the challengers admitted that Pennsylvania electoral officials had “pretended to instruct the county electoral boards” to separate ballots that came in later. However, the challengers went on to say that the instructions government officials gave to the bodies were insufficient to uphold the challengers’ right to the “targeted agent” described by Alito. The electoral boards are not required to follow the instructions of the electoral officials, stressed the challengers, and neither the challenger’s lawyers nor electoral officials have been able to confirm that all committees would actually follow these instructions.
“In short,” the challengers concluded, “a court order is urgently needed.” However, since the mere separation of the ballot papers arriving later would not necessarily be sufficient, the court should instruct the election committees “to log and separate postal ballot papers received after the election day and to otherwise take no further action”.
Update (Friday, November 6th, 8:30 p.m.): In a quick order on Friday evening, Alito, who has primary responsibility for the geographic area including Pennsylvania, ordered the county electoral boards to keep postal ballot papers received after election day separately and when counted be counted separately.
Until Friday’s filing, Alito emphasized, the Supreme Court was not aware that the instructions from state officials – which “had an important bearing on whether to order special treatment for the ballots in question” – had been changed in November 1, so that the ballot papers can be counted. In addition, Alito continued, “Friday’s filing also informs the court that neither the challengers nor the state election officials were able to” verify that all bodies are complying with instructions. “
Alito said he would share the challenger’s request with his colleagues “immediately”. In the meantime, he ordered election officials and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party to respond to the challengers’ request by 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 7th
This post was originally published on Howe on the Court.
Amy Howe, Republican from Pennsylvania, has requested the Supreme Court to keep late ballots separate and uncounted (updated).
SCOTUSblog (November 6, 2020, 4:59 pm), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/11/pennsylvania-republicans-seek-supreme-court-order-to-keep-later-arriving-ballots-separate – and-uncounted /