Recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court have allowed Pennsylvania and North Carolina to extend the deadlines for receiving ballots by election officials.
Both measures reached the Supreme Court amid protests from Republicans. Under the current rulings, officials in Pennsylvania will be able to count the ballots received for up to three days after the election. In North Carolina, the deadline has been extended by nine days until November 12.
The two states are battlegrounds where turnout could be a major factor in whether President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden wins state election votes.
In the Pennsylvania GOP’s petition to the Supreme Court requesting a reconsideration, the party said when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled to change the way the state would handle its election, it posed a risk of confusion for the electors. This argument is known as the Purcell principle, because it comes from Purcell v. Gonzalez in 2006.
THE SUPREME COURT’S DECISION TO REFUSE THE EXAMINATION OF THE PENNSYLVANIA ELECTORAL CASE MAY IMPACT LEGAL STRATEGY
Judge Brett Kavanaugh used Purcell in a concurring opinion when the Supreme Court ruled to restore a witness requirement in South Carolina for postal votes. Kavanaugh cited precedent that federal courts “should generally not change state electoral rules as an election approaches.”
GOP lawmakers in North Carolina have reportedly accused the Elections Council of trying to usurp their authority with the extension.
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Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said they would have granted the injunctive relief request against the ruling, which was made by the state Election Council. Newly confirmed judge Amy Coney Barrett was not part of the decision.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.