Court Rules State Policy Accepting Late Ballots Without Postmarks Is Illegal

A Virginia circuit court ruled the state’s late mail-in ballot law was illegal and banned the law from future state elections, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) announced Monday.

Virginia Circuit Court Judge William Eldridge ruled the state’s late mail-in ballot law violated state statute, and in the future Virginia could not accept and count late absentee ballots missing postmarks.

“This is a big win for the Rule of Law,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said in a statement.

“This consent decree gives Mr. Reed everything he requested – a permanent ban on accepting ballots without postmarks after Election Day and is a loss for the Virginia bureaucrats who said ballots could come in without these protections.”

Existing Virginia statute (24.2-709) says: “any absentee ballot returned to the general registrar after the closing of the polls on election day but before noon on the third day after the election and postmarked on or before the date of the election shall be counted…”

PILF sued the state’s board of elections in October on behalf of Thomas Reed, a Frederick County, Virginia election official, after the board of elections proposed the late mail-in ballot rule in August.

While the PILF lawsuit was ongoing, Judge Eldridge blocked the Democrats’ proposed law one week before the presidential election.

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