On Thursday (June 9), an order by the Supreme Court enables election officials in Pennsylvania to count mail-in ballots with the envelope missing a handwritten date, which is a requirement of state law.
Although the disputed ballots are regarding a contested 2021 judicial election, there could be broader ramifications affecting the ongoing legal fight over mailed ballot requirements which could affect the future of Pennsylvania’s future elections, including November’s midterm elections.
In its ruling, the court did not provide a rationale; however, it showed that three of the court’s most conservative justices wrote in dissent.
Thursday’s order also comes after the Supreme Court temporarily blocked a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit instructing election officials in Pennsylvania to count mail-in ballots arriving on time, but that lacked the handwritten date.
Justice Samuel Alito, in charge of emergency matters arising from Pennsylvania, issued a stay on the 3rd Circuit ruling last week, but following the justice’s consideration, the decision — which effectively reinstates the 3rd Circuits decision — was made, despite Justice Alito, Justice Clarence Thomas, and Justice Neil Gorsuch dissenting.