Ohio AG Yost asks U.S. Supreme Court to overturn decision over late arriving ballots in Pennsylvania

Ohio AG Yost asks U.S. Supreme Court to overturn decision over late arriving ballots in Pennsylvania
FILE PHOTO (Julie Carr Smyth/AP)

WASHINGTON D.C. — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost argues the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision requiring boards of elections to count ballots arriving after Election Day rewrote election law in the state and violates the U.S. Constitution.

“Ohio is interested in this case because reversal is crucial to protecting the Constitution’s division of authority over state election laws,” Yost wrote in a statement to the U.S. Supreme Court. “Instead of respecting that decision, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court rewrote state law, ordering election officials to count ballots - including ballots with no postmarks or illegible postmarks - received within three days after Election Day.”

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Yost argues that the U.S. Supreme Court getting involved in the case would not be a political issue, but instead would be holding Pennsylvania to the election laws its state legislature had passed for this year’s presidential election.

“Nowhere is it more important to adhere to the ‘fixed rules [that] govern the interpretation of laws’ than in the context of a presidential election,” Yost said.

On Friday, Justice Samuel Alito ordered that pending further order of the U.S. Supreme Court that all county boards of election were ordered that ballots received by mail in Pennsylvania after 8 p.m. on Election night to “be segregated and kept in a secure, safe and sealed container separate from other voted ballots.”

Alito also said that “all such ballots, if counted, be counted separately.”

In addition to Yost, the State of Missouri also said the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overstepped its authority in the decision, records show.

Pennsylvania law says “a completed mail-in ballot must be received in the office of the county board of elections no later than eight o’clock p.m. on the day of the primary or election.”