Michigan Court Rules That Late Arriving Ballots Can Be Counted


A Michigan court ruled on Friday that mailed ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 must be counted in the state as long as they are received by a clerk’s office within two weeks after the Nov. 3 election.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Diane Stephens made the ruling in a case brought by the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans, and argued for by Marc Elias, an elections lawyer working with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign.

The ruling said the ballots must be received “by the clerk’s office no later than 14 days after the election has occurred,” and would apply to this year’s election as special provisions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Elias, in a tweet, called the ruling a “major victory for voting rights” in the state, though it is likely to be appealed.

Democrats and Republicans have clashed over the rules for voting by mail ahead of the November election, when there is expected to be a surge in mail voting because of the virus.

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That expected surge has led to controversy over whether the U.S. Postal Service will be able to handle the mail rush in time to ensure that voters who mailed their ballots would not be disenfranchised.

President Donald Trump, who will face Biden in November’s contest, has argued without evidence that voting by mail will lead to widespread voter fraud.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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