Republicans ask the Supreme Court to make sure votes aren't counted in swing states

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They're begging the court to block deadline extensions for mail-in voting during a pandemic.

Republicans are once again petitioning the Supreme Court to rule against mail-in voting.

The GOP has zeroed in on Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in efforts to effectively disenfranchise mail-in voters in two battleground states. Both states have recently been at the center of Supreme Court rulings involving extensions for mail-in ballots.

Now, Republicans are asking the Supreme Court to reconsider a Pennsylvania mail-in voting case — one that saw the court narrowly ruled against the GOP last week.

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In that case, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court's decision to allow a mail-in voting extension to stand with a 4-4 vote. Under this ruling, Pennsylvania mail-in ballots could be counted if received up to three days after Election Day.

But, emboldened by the addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the court this week, Pennsylvania Republicans filed documents Friday imploring that the case be reconsidered on the merits.

Other contentious battles between Republicans and Democrats about mail-in voting continue.

The Supreme Court declined on Monday to resurrect a lower court ruling that would have extended mail-in voting deadline extensions in Wisconsin.

In the majority decision on the Wisconsin case, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that "a single deadline supplies clear notice" and that "requiring ballots be in by Election Day puts all voters on the same footing."

Justice Elena Kagan noted in her dissenting opinion that many Wisconsin voters "would not even receive mail ballots by Election Day." If the deadline extension were not granted, she said, it would disenfranchise up to 100,000 voters who had properly requested their ballots in a timely fashion.

"In the court's view," Kagan wrote, "the discarding of so many properly cast ballots would severely burden the constitutional right to vote."

She added that when confronting "unprecedented administrative and delivery delays," the six-day "grace period" for mail-in ballots to arrive was entirely reasonable.

"The Court's decision will disenfranchise large numbers of responsible voters in the midst of hazardous pandemic conditions," Kagan added.

As a result of that decision, Democrats have begun to implement a "huge voter education campaign" in the state, according to Ben Wikler, Wisconsin's Democratic Party chair. The party is reminding voters that the U.S. Postal Service's official recommendation is that mail-in ballots be sent by Oct. 27.

The data shows that voting by mail has given Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden a significant lead, leaving Donald Trump to rely on in-person GOP voters on Election Day in order to close the gap.

And the GOP has an incentive to disenfranchise mail-in voters: This year, 65% of Democratic voters said they would vote by mail, while only 35% of Republicans will.

Moreover, the fate of the election rests heavily on swing states, like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

According to NBC, Trump won Wisconsin by only 23,000 votes in 2016, and the majority of the recent presidential elections have been a tight race in the state.

And Pennsylvania is always a wild card during election years, a state politically divided down the middle.

Its 20 electoral votes have been the deciding ones in 20 out of 25 presidential elections, according to USA Today.

It's apparent that Republicans need to win Pennsylvania by hook or by crook, since winner takes all.

As of last month, FiveThirtyEight's model gave Pennsylvania a 31% chance of deciding the election and Biden a 96% chance of winning the election if he takes Pennsylvania.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.