(The Center Square) – The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it won’t review whether Pennsylvania’s extended mail-in ballot deadline used in the 2020 general election violates state law after all.
The decision comes after three justices alluded to considering the matter after the Nov. 3 election came and went – delivering yet another blow to state Republicans frustrated by the Department of State’s last-minute changes to voting procedures that they say resulted in disparate application of the rules across 67 counties.
GOP leaders in the House and Senate first filed the petition in late October after the state Supreme Court upheld then-Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar’s directive to counties to accept absentee ballots received up to three days after 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Republicans argued this violated Act 77, the 2019 law that expanded mail-in voting to most residents with no excuse necessary. About 10,000 ballots funneled into the counties during the extended 72-hour deadline and were not counted as part of the official tally.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito said at the time that despite an interest in considering the merits of the case, it was too close to the general election to proceed with an expedited hearing.
All three justices dissented on Monday’s decision. In doing so, Thomas said the case provides “an ideal opportunity to address just what authority non-legislative officials have to set election rules, and to do so well before the next election cycle.”
“The refusal to do so is inexplicable,” he said.
Gov. Tom Wolf applauded the decision via Twitter on Monday, saying, “Pennsylvania had a free and fair election – that’s a fact.”
“Thank you to the millions of voters who turned out to make their voices heard and to the election workers and volunteers who served admirably,” he said. “It’s time to move on.”