Undated mail-in ballots will be counted in Pennsylvania, SCOTUS rules

Legal controversy erupted after a 2021 judicial election in Pennsylvania concerning whether or not undated mail-in ballots should be counted for a candidate. State law says that the ballots should have a handwritten date.

However, according to ABC News, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6–3 decision, just ruled that such state laws apparently do not matter, and upheld a lower court’s decision to count the undated mail-in ballots, as long as they were received by the cut-off date.

While the case had risen to the high court from a Republican candidate in a 2021 Pennsylvania election, the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision will likely have an impact on all future elections in the state, including the critically important November midterms.

ABC News noted: “Over the objection of three justices, the Court restored a federal appeals court ruling that said disqualifying ballots received on time but lacking a handwritten date on the return envelope would violate federal voting rights.”

Justice Samuel Alito, who was joined by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, wrote a stinging dissent over the high court’s decision on the matter.

“When a mail-in ballot is not counted because it was not filled out correctly, the voter is not denied ‘the right to vote.’ Rather, that individual’s vote is not counted because he or she did not follow the rules for casting a ballot,” Alito wrote.

He added that the lower court’s ruling that allowed the undated ballots to be counted is “very likely wrong.”

The decision was widely criticized across social media, with a number of concerned voters curious as to why the Supreme Court so easily and flagrantly went against a state law that says the dates must be included.