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U.S. Supreme Court orders separate count of late-arriving Pennsylvania ballots

USA – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued an order Friday instructing the Pennsylvania election boards to segregate any mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day but rejected Republicans’ request to stop the state from counting the late-arriving ballots.

The order reads, “All county boards of election are hereby ordered, pending further order of the Court, to comply with the following guidance provided by the Secretary of the Commonwealth on October 28 and November 1, namely, (1) that all ballots received by mail after 8:00 p.m. on November 3 be segregated and kept “in a secure, safe and sealed container separate from other voted ballots,” and (2) that all such ballots, if counted, be counted separately. left open the possibility that the justices could exclude the late-arriving ballots in a subsequent ruling.”

It’s unclear whether this decision will affect the election struggle between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading in Pennsylvania. 

The order marks the first time the United States highest court has intervened in a post-election state count. Justice Alito urged Pennsylvania’s Democratic Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, the respondent in the case, to file any response as soon as possible and no later than Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 2 p.m.   

Pennsylvania’s mail-in ballot deadline was previously extended by a state court decision to three days after Election Day.

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