On Friday afternoon, a three-judge panel for the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals issued a judgment saying election officials should count several hundred mail ballots that were submitted without a date written on their mailing envelopes in a November 2021 county judgeship election, as long as they were otherwise received on time.
It was not immediately clear how sweeping the reach of the circuit court’s ruling will be because a formal opinion from the panel is still forthcoming. But it could have a serious impact on the Senate race. Oz and McCormick were separated by about 1,100 votes as of Friday afternoon, and the ruling could introduce into the pool an as-yet-unknown number of similarly-situated ballots that would not have initially been counted.
A spokesperson for the Department of State told POLITICO that it was not immediately clear how many ballots that were otherwise received in a timely fashion by county election officials were rejected because of a missing date. Ellen Lyon, a spokesperson for the agency, said that it would be “surveying counties to get that figure and issuing guidance to support them,” and anticipated having that information early next week.
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