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Mail-in ballots postmarked by November 2 must be counted up to two weeks after the presidential election, a Michigan judge ruled this week. The ruling also authorizes the temporary use of ballot harvesting.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens essentially extended the deadline for mail-in ballots to be counted, even if they arrive after the polls close on Election Day, which stood as the previous deadline. Stephens attributed her ruling to the impact of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic:

“The unrefuted affidavits and documents compel the conclusion that, in light of delays attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, mail delivery has become significantly compromised, and the risk for disenfranchisement when a voter returns an absent voter ballot by mail is very real,” Stephens stated in the lawsuit the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans lodged.

The ruling also authorizes the use of ballot harvesting — allowing a third party to deliver the ballots, although it is confined to a specific timeframe.
The ruling states:

As it concerns the voter assistance ban, MCL 168.932(f) is unconstitutional as applied to only a narrow timeframe: the time between 5:01 p.m. on the Friday before the election and Election Day, i.e., when the clerk or an assistant is not required to assist a voter who wishes to cast an absent voter ballot. During this timeframe, and only during this timeframe, a voter may select any third party of his or her choosing to render assistance in returning an absent voter ballot. Any penalties and prohibitions that would otherwise apply to the mere act of helping a voter return an absent voter ballot, 3 including those found in MCL 168.932 and MCL 168.935, will be enjoined from applying during this specified timeframe only.

“Normally, it is a misdemeanor to hire drivers to take voters to polling places unless they physically cannot walk,” the outlet reported:

Stephens said she heard evidence about one case in which a ballot mailed to the clerk’s office in Wyandotte was routed out of state, to Illinois, before arriving late at its intended address.

That was just one of “the over 6.400 otherwise valid ballots that were rejected for having been received after the election day receipt deadline,” she said.

Similarly, on Thursday, a Pennsylvania judge ruled that ballots received three days after the election must be counted, regardless of evidence of a timely postmark.

As Breitbart News reported:

Democrats scored two judicial victories in Pennsylvania on Thursday, when the court kicked the Green Party presidential candidate off the ballot, and ruled that mailed-in ballots could still be counted util 5:00 p.m. ET on the third day after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by 8:00 p.m ET that day.

The court added: that “ballots received within this period” — i.e. between November 3 and 6 –“that lack a postmark or other proof of mailing, or for which the postmark or other proof of mailing is illegible, will be presumed to have been mailed by Election Day unless a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that it was mailed after Election Day.”

In a footnote, the court explains its reasoning, saying that disqualifying a ballot without a postmark would “disenfranchise a voter based upon the absence or illegibility of a USPS postmark that is beyond the control of the voter once she places her ballot in the USPS delivery system.”

Michigan and Pennsylvania are both crucial battleground states President Trump hopes to secure again this year after defeating Hillary Clinton in both states in 2016 by less than a single percentage point.

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7 Comments
  • Gerald D Cline Jr says:

    So, how does vote-by-mail REALLY work? Washington State votes by mail. No polls.

    In 2004 Dino Rossi, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, WON the election by a comfortable margin. The Seattle Democrats went ballistic and DEMANDED a recount. What do you know…those Settle Democrats “found” a bunch of “misplaced/overlooked” votes for Christine Gregoire, the Democratic candidate that closed the gap. So, the Democrats DEMANDED another recount. And—surprise, surprise—the Seattle Democrats found even more “misplaced/overlooked” votes for Gregoire. Now Rossi and Gregoire were running neck to neck. You guessed it…the Democrats DEMANDED a third recount, and—surprise, surprise—found JUST ENOUGH VOTES TO OVERTURN THE ELECTION. WHAT A SURPRISE…?!?!?

    Of course, once they had overturned the election by a few votes the recounts STOPPED. What was remarkable about all those “misplaced/overlooked” votes is that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM WAS FOR CHRISTINE GREGOIRE AND NOT A SINGLE VOTE WAS FOR DINO ROSSI…. What are the odds of THAT…?

    The Democrats used the mail-in system to manipulate the outcome of that election and STOLE it from the Republicans. The Seattle Democrats now control the Washington State election system. It is unlikely Washington will EVER have another Republican governor…. That is what the DNC wants to do with the national vote. Keep recounting until they win.

    I do not trust mail-in systems that the Democrats can manipulate. They tend to “find” votes “lost” in the system to their advantage, and steal elections.

  • Rocco says:

    This need to go to the Supreme Court. This is a Federal election not a State only election. For a State only election they can choose to do what ever wacky rules they decide. We need standard and normal rules for a Federal election.

  • Evangeline says:

    Despicable! That’s so they can see how many more votes are needed to beat Trump and they can fabricate them!

  • Nathan M. says:

    Well, hell, why even have an election day at that point? Why not just call November “election month” and be done with it? Of course Michigan is infested by blacks, who can’t show up on time anywhere ever to save their lives.

  • J Surhoff says:

    That’s a MI activist judge then. That is unconstitutional. The constitution is 100% clear on when the election is idiot.

  • CF
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