VICTORY: Michigan Court Denies Absentee Ballot Deadline Extension

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Handing the Michigan Democrat Party and the state’s governor a significant defeat, the Michigan Court of Appeals has reinstated the legislated deadline for absentee ballots. All absentee ballots are due by 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020.

Democrats, led by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, had sought to allow and extra two weeks for election officials to count absentee and mail-in ballots. They cited the public’s engagement with remote voting because of the coronavirus.

Michiganders have had some of the most oppressive COVID-19 restrictions in the country imposed upon them by Whitmer. The Governor is a Democrat.

In the original ruling, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens, a Democrat, ordered the extension “for the avoidance of doubt.”

“The evidence in this case stands uncontroverted and establishes that the mail system is currently fraught with delays and uncertainty in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stephens wrote.

But the Michigan Court of Appeals judges overturned Stephens’ order in a 3-0 opinion saying the pandemic and issues with mail delivery “are not attributable to the state,” adding that absentee voters have other options to deliver their ballots, including hundreds of special boxes that have been set up across Michigan.

The appeals court also struck part of Stephens’ decision allowing a non-family member to deliver a completed ballot if a voter consented.

“The constitution is not suspended or transformed even in times of a pandemic, and judges do not somehow become authorized in a pandemic to rewrite statutes or to displace the decisions made by the policymaking branches of government,” the court said in a separate 10-page concurring opinion.

Absentee ballot extensions sought by activists and Democrats have also been overturned in Wisconsin and Indiana.