Pennsylvania voters file lawsuit seeking to overturn state's absentee ballot deadline

Pennsylvania voters file lawsuit seeking to overturn state's absentee ballot deadline
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A group of Pennsylvania voters has filed a lawsuit against the state challenging its absentee voting laws.

The Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union, which is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, announced the legal challenge in a release Tuesday.

The lawsuit argues that a Pennsylvania law requiring that absentee ballots be received by county officials on the Friday before Election Day disenfranchises absentee voters.

The suit asks a court to overturn the deadline, which is the earliest in the US, according to the ACLU.

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The nine residents filing the lawsuit, who include professionals who travel for work, others with employment obligations and out-of-state college students, claimed that they applied for their ballots on time, but did not receive them until it was too late to send them by the deadline.

Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, called the deadline “unnecessary” in the release.

“Thousands of Pennsylvanians have been denied their fundamental right to vote because of this early deadline for returning an absentee ballot,” Shuford said. “The Friday deadline is completely unnecessary, and people miss their chance to have their votes counted because of it.”

The ACLU noted in the release that the state rejected at least 1,700 absentee ballots due to missed deadlines in the 2014 elections.