The Michigan Court of Appeals on Friday blocked a 14-day extension to accept and count voters who are no longer allowed by some other states, including neighboring Minnesota.
Unless the 2020 presidential election is a landslide for either President Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden, the results are unlikely to be clear until days – or even weeks – after November 3. .
“Although … the factors may complicate the plaintiff’s voting process, they do not automatically lose the right to vote without it,” the court said in its decision. Hundreds of special absentee-ballot voting boxes have been set up statewide.
Initially, Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled that the ballots posted on November 2 would still count if they were accepted two weeks after November 3, citing “unreliable evidence”; about mail delivery problems due to pandemic coronavirus. He said more than 6,400 ballots were late to be counted primarily in August.
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The appellate court, however, said the pandemic and any suffering “could not be attributed to the state.”
The coronavirus pandemic prompted records of requests for absentee ballots nationwide; some states sent absentee ballots to all registered voters.
Nearly 1.4 million Michiganders cast early ballots less than three weeks away from Election Day, or 28.7% of the state’s total voter turnout in 2016, according to data from the United States Elections Project.
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Some lawmakers fear that changes to the U.S. Postal Service put in place by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy months before the election could potentially delay service delivery and, therefore, ballot counting processes.
DeJoy assured voters in a statement on August 18 that the USPS “is ready today to handle what amount of mail mail is received this fall.” He postponed the changes.
“It is gratifying to see this unanimous decision to maintain the integrity of our election process and to deny judicial overreach,” Michigan Senate Chief Justice Mike Shirkey tweeted.
The Michigan Democratic Party failed.
“Voters should not be penalized for delays in the U.S. Postal Service or for unexpected emergencies that could be a challenge for them to get to the polls on Election Day,” the party said.
Courts in Wisconsin and Indiana have also blocked attempts to extend the number of days to receive and count ballots.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.