Late-arriving ballots are expected to be at the centre of the legal battles
Lawyers are gearing up for voting disputes across the US as the country awaits the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The New York Times said that “armies of lawyers” were being readied not just by the campaigns of Donald Trump and Joe Biden, but also voting rights organisations and conservative groups. The deployment of “hundreds of lawyers on both sides” has exceeded what has been the norm following 2000’s disputed result.
Late-arriving ballots are expected to be at the centre of the legal battles, according to Republican National Committee chief counsel Justin Riemer. Moreover, ballots with unclear postmarks are anticipated to be a significant cause of dispute.
“I see that being the main area where there could be some disputes between the two sides. There is some ambiguity particularly in Pennsylvania in regard to how you treat a ballot that arrives after Election Day but does not have an indication that it is postmarked by Election Day,” Riemer told the Times.
In a decision maintained by the US Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that absentee ballots could be counted if they are received within three days of Election Day, unless evidence indicated that the ballot was mailed after Election Day. The Texas Supreme Court also upheld a ruling by a federal judge against an attempt to discontinue the counting of around 127,000 votes cast via drive-thru voting in Harris County.
Thus, Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro has issued guidance for election officials to separate ballots arriving after 8pm on Tuesday, and his team has been getting ready for various possible challenges by lawyers and groups on Trump’s side.
“We made a careful decision to segregate those ballots in part to stave off possible future legal challenges from Donald Trump and his enablers,” he said in a statement published by the Times.
Renowned US elections lawyer Benjamin L. Ginsberg, who acted as counsel to several Republican presidential candidates, weighed in on the issue.
“If a jurisdiction doesn’t get done counting its ballots on election night because of the volume, broken machines or any other reason, there’s zero grounds for stopping it under any state’s laws,” Ginsberg said in a statement published by the Times.