U.S. Supreme Court allows counting of undated mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the counting of undated mail-in ballots in an undecided 2021 election for a Pennsylvania judgeship in a case that again revealed the tensions among the justices over voting rights.

The decision by the justices against David Ritter, a Republican candidate for a judgeship on the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas, means that Pennsylvania officials can count 250 mail-in ballots in that election that lacked a handwritten date. Ritter had sued the county board of elections over concerns he would lose the race if those votes were counted.

Three conservative justice – Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch – dissented, saying the court should have blocked the votes from being counted. The court has a 6-3 conservative majority. The nine justices have often split on voting issues, usually on ideological lines dividing the court’s conservatives from their liberal colleagues.

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