Appeals court: Ballots arriving after Nov. 3 won’t be counted

    Absentee ballot | Susan J. Demas

    In a reversal of a lower court decision, a Michigan Court of Appeals panel ruled Friday that absentee ballots must arrive by Election Day, Nov. 3, to be counted.

    In September, a Democratic-appointed Court of Claims judge issued a 14-day extension for counting ballots amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s been widespread reports of mail delays in recent months and many voting rights groups have urged voters to return their ballots early.

    However, the appeals courts decision from three GOP appointees blocked the extension and said a remedy is up to the Legislature, which also is controlled by Republicans. Any action is unlikely, as Republican lawmakers intervened to appeal the decision, as part of a larger pushback on expanding voting rights.

    Both Wisconsin and Indiana have seen similar rulings.

    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.