GOP files emergency request at Supreme Court as Biden overtakes Trump's lead in Pennsylvania

Republicans ramp up litigation to contest results in crucial swing state as remaining mail-in votes are processed

Philadelphia mayor tells Trump to put his 'big boy pants on' and admit defeat
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Republicans in Pennsylvania have filed an emergency request at the US Supreme Court to separate mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day but before a deadline of 6 November, which officials have already been ordered to do, as vote counters continued to process ballots that could determine the fate of the presidency.

In a separate case, a federal court judge has denied a GOP request to toss out Pennsylvania ballots that had been “cured”, or contained errors that were corrected, after the motion was withdrawn.

Read more: Follow the 2020 US election results live

The filing before the US Supreme Court argues that elections officials have not segregated late-arriving ballots postmarked by Election Day, though Pennsylvania’s secretary of state had agreed to the policy and issued two memos to election officials to do so.

Republicans acknowledged in the filing that they are not aware of any county that has not adhered to that policy.

The filing followed Joe Biden’s lead in the state, overtaking Donald Trump, as the presidency hangs in the balance with election workers processing thousands of remaining mail-in ballots in critical swing states where the margin of victory could be within only a few thousand votes or less.

According to the Supreme Court filing, party representatives contacted election officials in 67 counties and received confirmation from 42 that segregated late-arriving ballots, and argued that it’s possible the remaining counties did not do so.

It did not present any evidence that those counties are not complying.

“In the fast-paced and chaotic pace of post-election events in Pennsylvania, it is unclear whether all 67 county boards of elections are currently segregating late-arriving ballots,” GOP officials claimed, according to filing documents.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said that late-arriving ballots represent only a small portion of mail-in ballots. She told CNN on Thursday that they will likely not create a “tremendous impact” in the race.

After Election Day, Pennsylvania only collected roughly 500 late-arriving ballots.

“I don’t expect it to be a significant amount” of outstanding mail-in ballots, she told reporters on Thursday.

The federal court ruling denying a GOP request to examine “cured” ballots – amounting to only roughly 100 votes in one county – followed the plaintiffs’ withdrawal of the motion, pending broader statewide litigation. 

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