A Michigan court overturned an extension that allowed postal ballot papers to be received two weeks after election day and ruled that votes must be received on November 3 at 8 p.m. instead.
The Michigan Court of Appeal ruling reverses a lower court decision and gives Republicans a victory in a crucial swing state. This is undermining Democrats’ efforts to relax voting restrictions on a cycle where the coronavirus pandemic is expected to cause a surge in postal ballot papers.
The lower court ruled last month that ballots could be counted within two weeks of election day if stamped by November 2nd, and the arguments of the Republican-controlled state legislature that the pandemic and slowdown in the US -The postal service was inappropriate, the reasons for the extension of the deadline were dejected.
However, the appeals court ruled differently, arguing that the problems with the spread and mail delivery of the virus “are not attributable to the state”
“While the pandemic has changed our lives significantly, election officials have taken significant steps to mitigate the potential impact by facilitating the no-reason voting for the 2020 election for no reason,” wrote Appellate Judges Thomas Cameron, Mark Boonstra and Michael Gadola.
“While these factors can make the plaintiffs’ voting process difficult, they do not automatically mean a loss of the right to vote,” they added of the pandemic and the Post’s slowdown.
The ruling reflects similar decisions that blocked the extension of postal votes in Indiana and Wisconsin.
As in many states in the country, a deluge of postal ballot papers is expected in Michigan as votes are cast during the pandemic. The Great Lakes State is a top battlefield this year President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeds investigates whether alleged emails from Hunter Biden are related to operations by foreign intelligence agencies: Report Six takeaways from Trump and Biden dueling town halls Biden draws sharp contrast to Trump in the reluctant town hall MORE won it with less than 11,000 votes in 2016.
Democrats have fought fiercely to expand postal voting rules as polls show the party’s grassroots community is more willing than Republicans to vote by mail.
The GOP welcomed the Friday evening ruling with the leader of the Republican Party Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDanielMinnesota Health Officials Link COVID-19 Cases To Trump, Biden Campaign Events Democrats Preview Strategy At Barrett’s Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings This Week On Sunday – Coronavirus Stimulus, Barrett Hearings Are In The Spotlight MORE Let’s call it “Good News for Election Integrity!”
“This is a great day for the rule of law. It is important that the rules not be changed during an election to promote one party over another. I applaud the Michigan Court of Appeals for advocating the rule of law and electoral law, ”tweeted Laura Cox, chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party.
This is a great rule of law day. It is important that the rules not be changed during an election to promote one party over another. I applaud the Michigan Court of Appeals for advocating the rule of law and electoral law.
– Laura Cox (@MIGOPChair) October 17, 2020
The Michigan Democratic Party said it was disappointed with the decision but has not clarified whether it intends to appeal the ruling.
“Voters should not be penalized for delays in US postal services or for unexpected emergencies that could make it a challenge for them to vote on election day. Our courts should follow the example of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and step up efforts to remove obstacles to voting, ”said Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.
“The Michigan Democratic Party continues to encourage voters to request a postal vote immediately, complete it on arrival and return it to their local employee’s office as soon as possible.”