Court stops 10-day extension of Indiana absentee ballots

Absentee ballots cast in Indiana must arrive by noon on Election Day to be counted, a federal appeals court said Tuesday, spiking a 10-day extension ordered by a judge.

Posted: Oct 14, 2020 9:01 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Absentee ballots cast in Indiana must arrive by noon on Election Day to be counted, a federal appeals court said Tuesday, spiking a 10-day extension ordered by a judge.

A judge had cited slow mail delivery because of the coronavirus as a reason for extending the count if ballots were postmarked by Nov. 3. But the appeals court, in a 3-0 opinion, overturned the decision and said Indiana's noon rule still stands.

The “pandemic has caused great loss but is not a good reason for the federal judiciary to assume tasks that belong to politically responsible officials,” said Judge Frank Easterbrook of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“It is rational to require absentee votes to be received by Election Day, just as in-person voting ends on Election Day. ... Counting the votes, and announcing the results, as soon as possible after the polls close serves a civic interest," Easterbrook wrote.

The lawsuit was filed by Common Cause Indiana and the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP. They said about 1,500 ballots in Marion County, which includes Indianapolis, and 400 in Hamilton County were rejected in the primary election because they arrived after the noon deadline.

Indiana voters who want a mail-in ballot must apply by Oct. 22. They also must have a reason accepted by the state.

The 7th Circuit has stopped an effort to count late-arriving ballots in Wisconsin. Republicans in Michigan are in a different court appealing a decision to count absentee ballots that arrive 14 days after the election.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 162607

Reported Deaths: 4130
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion25871792
Lake14222358
St. Joseph9532166
Elkhart9156137
Allen8552230
Hamilton6335114
Vanderburgh609062
Tippecanoe391815
Porter341650
Hendricks3367134
Monroe333238
Johnson3239130
Delaware307675
Clark303163
Vigo272440
Madison248096
LaPorte236161
Cass228523
Warrick201565
Kosciusko198427
Floyd185868
Howard168466
Bartholomew146958
Dubois145526
Marshall145126
Wayne137931
Henry131330
Grant131039
Boone128050
Hancock123144
Noble121935
Jackson118517
Dearborn101728
Morgan98940
Lawrence94737
Gibson92812
Daviess91334
Clinton90316
Shelby89431
LaGrange82815
Knox81310
Harrison79924
Posey7667
Putnam76616
DeKalb75811
Fayette73918
Jasper6655
Miami6615
Steuben6578
Montgomery62022
White61016
Greene57338
Scott54513
Decatur52539
Adams5237
Whitley4796
Ripley4748
Clay4587
Sullivan45514
Wells44911
Wabash4389
Starke4378
Huntington4365
Orange42125
Spencer4126
Washington3863
Franklin38125
Randolph38110
Jennings37913
Fulton3764
Perry36114
Jefferson3525
Pike34318
Carroll33813
Jay3316
Fountain3193
Tipton28223
Vermillion2681
Parke2504
Newton23611
Blackford2344
Rush2304
Owen2111
Martin2040
Pulaski1753
Crawford1631
Brown1463
Ohio1337
Union1140
Benton1100
Switzerland970
Warren891
Unassigned0236

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