National, state Republicans sue over major ballot decision

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Republican Party is suing to try to overturn a decision that lets Michigan count certain absentee ballots up to 14 days after the Nov. 3 election.

The state and national GOP said existing law, which cuts off absentee ballots when polls close on Election Day, should be honored.

A judge, citing chronic mail delays because of the coronavirus, last week said ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 can be counted if received within 14 days of the election. The Republican-controlled Legislature is trying to intervene in the case and pursue an appeal.

The state and national Republican Party filed a lawsuit Thursday to try to undo Judge Cynthia Stephens’ decision. The lawsuit was assigned to a different judge but then given to Stephens.

“During these trying times of disruption caused by COVID-19, states have an even greater interest in avoiding judicial interference with the laws and processes which have long been in place to protect the integrity of elections,” attorney Kurtis Wilder wrote.

The Republican Party also is challenging another part of Stephens’ order, which allows someone to return another voter’s absentee ballot close to the election.