Mail-in ballots postmarked by November 2 must be counted up to two weeks after the presidential election, a Michigan judge ruled this week.
Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens essentially extended the deadline for mail-in ballots to be counted, even if they arrive after the polls close on Election Day, which stood as the previous deadline. Stephens attributed her ruling to the impact of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic:
“The unrefuted affidavits and documents compel the conclusion that, in light of delays attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, mail delivery has become significantly compromised, and the risk for disenfranchisement when a voter returns an absent voter ballot by mail is very real,” Stephens stated in the lawsuit the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans lodged.
The Detroit Free Press reported that Stephens also ruled that “voters casting an absentee ballot can get transportation help from anyone they want in returning their ballots to local clerks, from the Friday before Election Day to the close of polls.”