Justice Alito orders Pennsylvania to segregate ballots received after Nov. 3

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Justice Samuel Alito has ordered all county boards in Pennsylvania to segregate ballots received after Election Day and said that if the ballots are counted, they be counted separately. 

This order is in line with the guidance that secretary of state of Pennsylvania had already issued.

“Justice Alito’s order sort of preserves the status quo,” CNN contributor and election law expert Ben Ginsberg said.

Earlier today, Pennsylvania Republicans asked the court to issue the order, suggesting – without evidence — that some counties are not following state guidance.

In court papers, lawyers for the state GOP said that “given the results of the November 3, 2020 general election, the vote in Pennsylvania may well determine the next President of the United States—and it is currently unclear whether all 67 county boards of elections are segregating late-arriving ballots,” the GOP petition said.

Alito suggested some frustration that the secretary of state hadn’t kept the Supreme Court aware of changes in guidance.

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar has already ordered any ballots that arrive between Nov. 4 and Nov. 6 be segregated from those that arrived by Election Day, pending ongoing litigation, and Alito’s order puts more force to that order.

Boockvar said Thursday that there would not be enough ballots to sway the election. Critics of the President and other Republicans say he is continuing legal challenges to suggest that the courts could impact election results, even though the numbers so far suggest otherwise.

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