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Pennsylvania court extends mail-in ballot deadline

Pennsylvania court extends mail-in ballot deadline
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Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ruled Thursday to extend the state's mail-in ballot deadline for the general election by three days, pushing back the window for total results to be reported.

Under the new ruling, ballots arriving after Election Day will still be counted as long as they are either postmarked by Nov. 3 or it is proven they were not sent afterward, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Ballots must now be received by Nov. 6. Previously, ballots had to be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

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"We conclude that a ballot received on or before 5:00 p.m. on November 6, 2020, will be presumed to have been mailed by Election Day unless a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that it was mailed after Election Day," a statement from the court's majority opinion ruling stated.

 

The state supreme court also held Thursday that state election law permits counties to utilize drop boxes for hand delivery of mail ballots, though it denied permission for people to deliver others' ballots.

The court also denied requests from President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' MORE’s campaign and other proponents to permit poll watchers to work in counties aside from the ones where they are registered.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom WolfTom WolfFor real attacks on democracy, look to Pennsylvania Pennsylvania lifting COVID-19 restrictions, but not mask mandate, on Memorial Day West Virginia governor signs bill restricting transgender athletes MORE (D) and state Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) hailed the decision, calling it a "victory" for voters.

“Today’s ruling confirms that counties will be able to provide convenient secure options such as additional county election offices and drop boxes to increase accessibility for those who are voting by mail. It also means that ballots postmarked by election day and received by the Friday after the election will be counted," they said in a statement.

The pair emphasized that Pennsylvania's government and election officials "will continue our efforts to administer an election that is secure, fair and accessible in every way.”