A Michigan court overturned an extension that allowed absentee ballots to be received two weeks after Election Day and ruled that the votes should instead be received at 6 p.m. 20:00 on 3 November.
The ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals marks a reversal of a lower court ruling and gives the Republicans victory in a crucial swing state, undermining Democrats’ efforts to ease restrictions on voting in a cycle in which the coronavirus pandemic is expected to cause an increase in mail-in polls.
The lower court had last month ruled that ballot papers could be counted within two weeks of election day if they were postmarked on Nov. 2, dismissing arguments from the state̵
However, the Court of Appeal made a different decision, arguing that the virus’ spread and mail delivery problems “cannot be attributed to the state” and noted that “further vote is delivered[y] options [are] available to absent voters ”, including nearly 1,000 drop-boxes and satellite voting sites.
“To be sure, the pandemic has caused significant changes in our lives, but election officials have taken significant steps to mitigate the potential effects by making it unreasonably absent to vote for the 2020 election,” wrote Judge Thomas Cameron, Mark Boonstra and Michael Gadola.
“While these factors may complicate the plaintiffs’ voting process, they do not automatically amount to a loss of the right of absence,” they added in the pandemic and the delay in the email.
The ruling repeats similar decisions that prevented the extension of absentee voting in Indiana and Wisconsin.
Michigan, like many states across the country, is expected to see a flood of absentee ballots when votes are cast during the pandemic. The Great Lakes State is a top battlefield this year after President TrumpDonald John Trump Fed investigates whether alleged Hunter Biden emails linked to foreign intelligence operation: report Six takeaways from Trump and Biden’s dueling town halls Biden draws sharp contrast with Trump in low-key town hall MORE won it by less than 11,000 votes in 2016.
Democrats have fought hard to extend the rules for absentee ballots, as polls show the party’s base is more willing than Republicans to vote. Mail.
The GOP on Friday night hailed the decision by Republican party chairman Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDaniel Minnesota health officials link COVID-19 cases to Trump, Biden campaign events Democrats’ preview of Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings this week shows Sunday – Coronavirus stimulus, Barrett hearings share spotlight MORE calls it “Great News for Electoral Integrity!”
“This is a great day for the rule of law. It is important that the rules do not change during an election in order to benefit one party over another. I applaud the Michigan Court of Appeals for standing up for the rule of law and the laws passed by the House of Representatives, ”tweeted Laura Cox, chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party.
This is a great day for the rule of law. It is important that the rules do not change during an election in order to benefit one party over another. I applaud the Michigan Court of Appeals for standing up for the rule of law and the laws passed by the people’s representatives.
– Laura Cox (@MIGOPChair) October 17, 2020
The Michigan Democratic Party said it was disappointed with the decision, but did not clarify whether it intends to appeal the decision.
“Voters should not be punished for delays in the US Postal Service or for unexpected emergencies that could make it a challenge for them to get to the ballot box 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 Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Lavora Barnes.
“The Democratic Party of Michigan continues to urge voters to immediately request an absentee ballot, complete it when it arrives, and return it to their local clerk as soon as possible.”