Luzerne County residents weigh in on mail-in ballot controversy

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Should mail-in ballots be counted after Election Day?

Republicans in the Pennsylvania state senate are taking the issue to the Supreme Court, saying to let the ruling stand would be an open invitation to voters to cast their ballots after November 3rd.

Pennsylvania senate Republicans asked the Supreme Court not to allow mail-in ballots to be counted if they are received after Election Day. Eyewitness News got mixed responses from people we talked to in Wilkes-Barre.

Monday, Pennsylvania senate Republicans asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop an order from the state’s highest court allowing mail-in ballots received three days after Election Day to be counted if they are postmarked by November 3rd.

Democrats supported the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling to extend the mail-in ballot deadline earlier this month. The concern is delays in mail across the state ahead of an expected record number of mail-in ballots.

But Republicans argue the ruling violates federal law.

“I can’t go three days later and say ‘oh I was busy let me cast my vote now’,” Charlie Coleman said.

Local voters in Luzerne County had mixed reactions.

“It’s going to create confusion if it’s three days late or whatever, so I say no,” Sherry Powell said.

“It would definitely be a chance for more people to get their votes in,” Brian Stevens said.

One Wilkes-Barre resident says he thinks the three-day extension is reasonable given the pandemic and ongoing mail issues.

“There’s going to be a huge delay and depending on how the mail is going, when they receive them, when they’ve been able to send them out. So all votes should be counted obviously once but they should be counted regardless because it can affect the outcome of an election if it is after the fact,” a man who wished to be identified only as Travis said.

Lawyers for the top Pennsylvania senate Republicans state in Monday’s filing the ruling, “could destroy the American public’s confidence in the electoral system as a whole.” Some local voters are already weary after nine military ballots were found in a Luzerne County dumpster last week.

“I had doubts earlier but they weren’t that strong. They are stronger now seeing how votes were found discarded and not counted,” Coleman said.

In 2016, President Trump won Pennsylvania by about 44,000 votes. Pennsylvania is a key battleground state, and the Supreme Court’s response could decide whether a significant number of ballots are counted.

In Pennsylvania’s June primary, counties received more than 100,000 mail-in ballots after Election Day.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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