U.S. Supreme Court denies request to block Montana mail-in ballots

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Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday denied a request from Republicans in Montana to block the state from issuing mail-in ballots to all registered voters.

Justice Elena Kagan denied the challenge of a directive by Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock suspending the state's ban on mail-in ballots and allowing counties to choose whether to use mail-in ballots in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kagan denied the request without calling for a response from Bullock or choosing to refer the request to the full court.

President Donald Trump's re-election campaign and various Republican groups filed a lawsuit alleging Bullock's order was unconstitutional.

The challenge stated that the Constitution's elections clause allows state legislatures to determine the "manner" by which an election is carried out.

They also argued Bullock's order infringed on voters' rights by creating risk that votes will be diluted by illegal ballots or that votes may not be counted as election officials deal with a surge of mail ballots.

A federal district court in Montana rejected the challengers' lawsuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied a request to temporarily block the order amid the appeals process.

A study by Stanford University's Democracy and Polarization Lab in April found that mail-in voting doesn't favor one political party over another, nor does it invite more frequent incidents of fraud.

A Gallup poll released in April indicated that 70% of Americans favor allowing all registered voters to vote by mail.

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