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The Supreme Court Agrees to Allow Pennsylvania to Count the Assembled Provisional Ballots

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The Supreme Court agreed Monday to allow Pennsylvania to count some of the provisional ballots cast by voters whose registrations were initially rejected because of errors.

A number of Republicans in Pennsylvania sued the state after the court decided last week that voters’ names and addresses must be given to the state when they sign a provisional ballot at the polls, after it was initially rejected.

By Monday, 13 county officials had mailed to the court approximately 7,000 ballots for which officials first judged the signature insufficient, the court said.

“Because Commonwealth officials identified 7,000 ballots in that single day, it is impossible to ascertain exactly how many people, if any, are unduly disenfranchised,” the court said.

“The court’s concern is broader than the capacity of the Secretary of State’s Office to count these disputed ballots,” it added. “Rather, the concern is for the security of this election, for the faith in the fairness of the election process that is supposed to be built upon electoral process that may be partially but not completely unduly compromised.”

The tie is not expected to produce a definitive result, as the court chose not to issue a ruling on the merits. Instead, it ordered the parties to be back in court on Oct. 29 for a hearing on who should get the first crack at validating the ballots.

The court gave the parties a week to file legal briefs laying out their position on who should first review the ballots.

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