After Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups tried to extend the mail in ballot deadline, a federal district court sided with them and ordered that mail-in ballots will be allowed to be received up to 6 days after the election. That was taken to an appellate court that ruled against the order, requiring all ballots to be in on Election Day. That decision was then taken to the Supreme Court where they decided, in a 5-3 ruling, to uphold the appellate court ruling; all ballots must be in by 8 pm on November 3, Election Day.
Wisconsin is a critical swing state in the election and the justices thought that it would be far too dangerous to allow late ballots to be cast and counted. While many are crying with concern that the safety and rights of voters is being impeded, conservatives are countering that the validity of the election is under threat as well. In the majority opinion Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote, “No one doubts that conducting a national election amid a pandemic poses serious challenges. But none of that means individual judges may improvise with their own election rules in place of those the people’s representatives have adopted.”
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Justice Brett Kavanaugh agreed that states should have a firm deadline when it comes to election ballots. Writing a concurring opinion released Monday night he said, “Those States want to avoid the chaos and suspicions of impropriety that can ensue if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after election day and potentially flip the results of an election. And those States also want to be able to definitively announce the results of the election on election night, or as soon as possible thereafter.”
But others worry that voters not being allowed to get an extension to submit their ballots poses a significant risk. They say that voters will either have to vote in person and will be putting themselves and others at risk of contracting covid-19, or they may choose not to vote thus forfeiting their right to vote. Justice Elena Kegan wrote a dissent and she said, “without the district court’s order, they [voters] must opt between braving the polls, with all the risk that entails, and losing their right to vote.”
With all the instances of voter fraud, ballots harvesting, loss of ballots, and incorrectly printed ballots that America has seen all over the country the last few months, this was a good decision from the court. It’s incredibly dangerous to allow extra time for votes to be cast and counted after Election Day as already ended. What if their is a presumptive winner on Tuesday night and the other side submits more fraudulent ballots to try and sway the election back in their favor? That is dangerous and diminishes the possibility of a fair, true, and balanced election.
Sources: Conservative Brief, CNN, Photo – UChicago News-University of Chicago