Judge orders Michigan to accept mail-in ballots for 2 weeks after Election Day

USAF Graphic: Public Domain

Sept. 19 (UPI) — A Michigan judge on Friday ordered elections officials to accept mail-in ballots for two weeks after the 2020 election as long as they’re postmarked before Election Day.

The ruling substantially increases the amount of time ballots can be accepted in the state. Under existing law, officials count only mail-in ballots received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

The preliminary injunction applies only to the Nov. 3, 2020, election.

The ruling in the Court of Claims was the result of a lawsuit brought by the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans.

“Judge Cynthia Stephens agreed with the Michigan Alliance that the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges facing the U.S. Postal Service warrant a change in the state’s voting procedures,” the organization said.

Last month, some voting rights groups became concerned after the USPS began removing some mail collection boxes from streets and sorting machines from some branches. The USPS sent letters to dozens of states warning them that some mail-in ballots might not be counted in time for the November election because state deadlines are “incongruous” with delivery standards.

After an uproar over the charges, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy ordered that operational changes he’s overseeing will be halted “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”

In addition to extending the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots, Stephens also said a third party can submit a mail-in or absentee ballot for a voter — a practice described by critics as ballot harvesting.

Trump has repeatedly denounced voting by mail, claiming that it would invite voter fraud. A study by Stanford University’s Democracy and Polarization Lab in April, though, found that mail-in voting doesn’t favor one political party over another, nor does it invite more frequent incidents of fraud.

Trump himself regularly votes by mail in Florida.

A Gallup poll released in April indicated that 70% of Americans favor allowing all registered voters to vote by mail.


  1. See also Judge Stanley Bastian in Eastern Washington’s US District Court imposing a national injunction on USPS: “Although not necessarily apparent on the surface, at the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement. This is evident in President Trump’s highly partisan words and tweets, the actual impact of the changes on primary elections that resulted in uncounted ballots, and recent attempts and lawsuits by the Republican National Committee and President Trump’s campaign to stop the States’ efforts to bypass the Postal Service by utilizing ballot drop boxes, as well as the timing of the changes.

    “It is easy to conclude that the recent Postal Services’ changes are an intentional effort on the part of the current Administration to disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of upcoming local, state, and federal elections, especially given that 72% of the decommissioned high speed mail sorting machines that were decommissioned were located in counties where Hillary Clinton received the most votes in 2016.”


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