The Public Interest Legal Foundation filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court of North Dakota claiming North Dakota’s laws that accept and count ballots up to 13 days after Election Day violate federal law. Alaska has a similar law that allows ballots to arrive 13 days later, so long as they were postmarked by midnight on Election Day.
Federal law requires a single national Election Day to be held on “the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every even-numbered year.” In fact, every mention of Election Day in federal law is singular, not plural, the legal group says.
North Dakota and Alaska are not alone in accepting mail ballots that arrive after Election Day.
In total, 18 states and the District of Columbia accept ballots that arrive after Election Day. Besides North Dakota and Alaska, they include California, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.
“Election Day has ceased to be a day,” said PILF President, J. Christian Adams. “Instead, we have election month because states accept ballots that arrive days and even weeks after Election Day. Not only does this lead to distrust and chaos in the system, but it also violates federal law. PILF is fighting to end this lawlessness and restore the day in Election Day.”
Read PILF’s complaint in Mark Splonskowski v. Erika White here.