WASHINGTON (TNZT) — The Supreme Court temporarily blocked the counting of some mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, an order that could affect the tight Republican Senate primary between former hedge fund CEO David McCormick and the famed heart surgeon. Dr Mehmed Oz.
An order from Judge Samuel Alito stayed a lower court ruling in a lawsuit over a disputed 2021 local court election that would have allowed absentee ballots to be counted without a handwritten date.
The 3rd United States Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia had ruled that the state election law requirement of a date next to the voter’s signature on the outside of return envelopes was “unimportant”.
Based on that ruling, the state had advised counties to count those ballots in the race between McCormick and Oz.
As McCormick seeks ballots to close the gap with Oz, Alito’s order could also freeze a separate federal lawsuit in Pennsylvania in which McCormick is fighting to force counties to count ballots.
The high court action, called an administrative stay, freezes the case until the court can consider it further.
State law requires voters to write a date on the envelope in which they send their ballots. However, the envelope is stamped by the post office and timestamped by the counties when they receive it.