INDIANAPOLIS — U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a district judge’s order on Tuesday for Indiana to count mail-in ballots through November 13, reinstating the Election Day deadline.
On September 29, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana extended the state’s absentee ballot deadline. According to the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, the ruling said mail-in ballots postmarked by November 3 and received up to 10 days after Election Day can be counted.
Absentee ballots must now be returned by noon on November 3.
“As long as it is possible to vote in person, the rules for absentee ballots are constitutionally valid if they are supported by a rational basis and do not discriminate based on a forbidden characteristic such as race or sex,” the court ruled.
Attorney General Curtis Hill praised the ruling. For weeks he has argued that changes to Indiana’s election system this close to Election Day would do more harm than good.
“Our system provides adequate opportunity for all Hoosiers to cast a ballot by Election Day, and the absentee ballot-receipt deadline as written by the Indiana General Assembly helps most races to be called on Election Day, and not days or weeks after,” Attorney General Hill said in a release. “The U.S. Supreme Court has said repeatedly that courts should not issue election-related injunctions at the eleventh hour, and we are pleased that the court of appeals has implemented that directive.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals’ full decision can be read below: