Republicans suffered setbacks in court challenges over the presidential election in three battleground states on Friday.
A federal appeals court rejected an effort to block about 9,300 mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day in Pennsylvania.
The judges cited the “vast disruption” and “unprecedented challenges” of the coronavirus pandemic as they upheld the three-day extension.
U.S. Circuit Judge D. Brooks Smith said “the lawfully cast vote of every citizen must count.”
The ruling involves a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision to accept mail-in ballots through Friday, Nov. 6, due to the pandemic and concerns about postal service delays.
Republicans have also asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the issue. However, there are not enough late-arriving ballots to change the results in Pennsylvania.
Joe Biden won the state by about 60,000 votes out of 6.8 million cast.
The Trump campaign or Republican surrogates have filed more than 15 legal challenges in Pennsylvania as they seek to reclaim the state’s 20 electoral votes.
In Michigan, a judge on Friday refused to stop the certification of Detroit-area election results, rejecting claims the city had committed fraud and tainted the count with its handling of absentee ballots.
It’s the third time a judge has declined to intervene in a statewide count that shows Biden up by more than 140,000 votes.
And in Arizona, a judge dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit seeking the inspection of ballots in metro Phoenix after the campaign’s lawyers acknowledged the small number of ballots at issue wouldn’t change the outcome of the state’s election.
The campaign had sought a postponement of Maricopa County’s certification of election results until ballots containing overvotes — instances in which people voted for more candidates than permitted — were inspected.
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