Oh look, more great news from the highest court in the nation.
The Supreme Court dealt a devastating blow to Wisconsin voters on Monday night, ruling that any ballots that come in after Election Day won’t be counted—even if they’re postmarked before November 3, according to the New York Times. Ballots that arrive even just a couple days late, when votes are usually still being tabulated, will be tossed out.
Justices were split 5-3, with Brett Kavanaugh joining fellow Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch on a concurring opinion opposing a lower court’s decision to allow ballots to be counted for up to six days after the election.
The decision is an obvious win for Republicans, who have opposed any attempts to expand access to voting, up to and including initiatives as simple as putting prepaid postage on mail-in ballots. And based on what we know about the partisan make-up of mail-in voting so far, it’s likely that any restrictions on it will have the effect of giving Trump a boost. (It’s hard to say how big a boost, but in battleground states like Wisconsin, tens of thousands of votes can decide a presidential election: In 2016, Trump won Wisconsin by roughly 23,000 votes.)
A Times report from earlier this month showed that Democrats were much more enthusiastic about voting by mail than their Republican counterparts, particularly in battleground states like Wisconsin:
Of all the mini-battlegrounds within Wisconsin—perhaps the most pivotal state in November for both President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr.—the mother lode of absentee ballots is coming in Dane County, a Democratic stronghold that includes Madison. As of Friday, the number of submitted ballots there amounted to more than 36 percent of the county’s total 2016 election vote, a sign of significant enthusiasm; that figure is 10 percentage points higher than in any other county in the state.
In Wisconsin’s Republican heartland, the suburban counties that ring Milwaukee, the absentee turnout is only at about the state average so far. And in the dozens of rural counties where President Trump won huge victories four years ago, ballots are being returned at a far slower rate than in the state’s Democratic areas.
In light of Monday’s Supreme Court decision, Democrats in the state plan to ramp upon efforts to educate Wisconsin voters about how to make sure their votes get counted. Ben Wikler, the chairman of the Wisconsin Democrats, advised that those who have not yet requested an absentee ballot do so ASAP, get a witness to sign off on it (yes, a witness), and hand-deliver it before polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day.
There’s a lot going on! There’s a pandemic! There are only eight days left until the election! If you have waited for a package to come in the mail at any point her the last several months, you know the USPS has been neither efficient nor reliable! If I were a Supreme Court justice, I would simply let people vote!!