Supreme Court Allows Undated Ballots in Pennsylvania Election – The New York Times

The Supreme Court said on Thursday that election officials in Pennsylvania may count mailed ballots accompanied by voters’ declarations that were signed but not dated. The court’s order came in a tight race for a seat on a state court, but it is likely to affect other contests in the state as well.

The court’s brief order gave no reasons, which is typical when the justices act on emergency applications.

The court’s three most conservative members — Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch — dissented, saying that the court should address the issue presented in the case in time for the November elections.

The case concerned a state law enacted in 2019 that permitted all registered voters to vote by mail. The law required voters using mailed ballots to “fill out, date and sign” a declaration printed on the outside of the return envelope that said they were qualified to vote.

The Supreme Court’s order let stand a ruling from a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, which said the part of the state law requiring the declarations to be dated ran afoul of a provision of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The provision prohibits government officials from denying the right to vote “because of an error or omission” if it “is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under state law to vote.”