Pennsylvania election officials announced Tuesday only about 10,000 mail-in ballots arrived during the three days after Election Day, a number that is too little to make up for President Trump’s roughly 47,000 vote deficit currently in the keystone state.
The conflict over the late-arriving ballots was at the center of a case pending before the Supreme Court, where Republicans — and the Trump campaign — hope the justices take up the dispute.
It’s unclear if the high court would agree to hear the case when the number of late-arriving ballots would not change the state’s election results.
The Supreme Court had ordered Pennsylvania officials on Friday to segregate mail-in ballots that arrived after 8 p.m. on Election Day.
The order issued by Justice Samuel Alito Jr. late Friday evening came after Pennsylvania Republicans filed an emergency petition.
The GOP state legislature had required mail-in ballots to be in by 8 p.m. on Election Day, but the state Supreme Court permitted a three-day extension through Nov. 6 at 5 pm. Additionally, the case concerns a postmark that may be smeared, with the state court saying it should be presumed to have been sent before Nov. 3.
Mr. Trump has moved to intervene in the challenge after the Pennsylvania GOP argued the state’s Democratic leaders and Secretary of State violated the law by extending the time.
The legal battle is returning to the Supreme Court after the justices refused to get involved in the matter last week, saying there wasn’t enough time to do so with just days before the election.
Newly minted Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the high court’s denial of the Republican Party’s request last week.
The justices had split 4-4 on the issue earlier this month, leaving the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in place.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., a Bush-appointee, sided with the three Democratic-appointed justices to leave the extension intact.