The Supreme Court refused to consider a case aimed at reducing the time window available to voters in North Carolina to submit postal ballots for absentee voting from nine days to three days.
The court’s decision represents a loss to the re-election campaign of Republican President Donald Trump, who has been largely opposed to postal voting due to the unconfirmed fear of widespread voter fraud.
Although the court did not publish a breakdown of votes, judges Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito disagreed. After Gorsuch’s dissent, Judge Clarence Thomas would have joined. The newly appointed judge Amy Coney Barrett did not interfere with the decision.
Last summer this year, the state’s general assembly stuck to the existing rules, which stipulated that the ballots could be sent by mail no later than three days after the election day. However, the State Election Committee extended the deadline by six days and moved back the deadline for receiving the ballots in absentia to November 12.
The Republican plaintiffs argued that the Committee had defied the authority of the General Assembly and “caused confusion and chaos among voters. However, Democratic Board advocates said that the laws passed by the assembly gave the board the power to adjust election rules based on unique circumstances, such as a pandemic.
In a statement, the Attorney General of Democratic North Carolina, Josh Stein, called the court ruling a “great victory” and added: “The court upheld the efforts of the State Election Commission to ensure that every vote counts, even during a pandemic.
Tekk.tv contacted the Republican Party of North Carolina for comment.
Although North Carolina has elected a Republican president in every election for over 60 years, a Gravis marketing survey released on Wednesday showed that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden Trump beat Trump 49 percent to Trump’s 46 percent. Biden’s lead, however, fell within the 4 percent margin of error of the poll.
On October 19, the court ruled in a similar manner in a case in which Republicans tried to overturn part of a decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that allowed ballots stamped by November 3 to be counted three days after election day.
Trump has repeatedly attacked that postal voting may allow widespread electoral fraud, although he has voted by mail in previous Florida elections. Studies have repeatedly found little to no evidence of widespread voter fraud in postal voting.
Many states have expanded the options for postal voting to allow citizens to vote in national elections without risking exposure to possible COVID-19 exposure during the ongoing pandemic.
In a March 30 episode of Fox & Friends, Trump said of the postal vote: “If you ever agreed to this, you would never again let a Republican vote in this country. On April 8, Trump twittered that the postal vote “does not work well for Republicans,” although studies show that the postal vote does not favor either party.