WASHINGTON — Republicans in the presidential battleground state of North Carolina asked the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday to block lower court rulings that allowed six extra days for accepting ballots sent by mail.
The Trump campaign, the state and national Republican parties, and Republican leaders of the state legislature said decisions by North Carolina's Board of Elections, upheld by federal courts, "pose an immediate threat to the integrity of the federal elections process."
The board changed the mail ballot deadline from Nov. 6, which was set by the state legislature in June, to Nov. 12. A federal district court judge refused to block the change, and so did the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
"All ballots must still be mailed on or before Election Day," said Judge James A. Wynn, Jr. of the appeals court. "The change is simply an extension from three to nine days after Election Day for a timely ballot to be received and counted. That is all."
The GOP challengers said the board usurped the power given to state legislatures by the Constitution to set the rules for conducting elections.
"The public interest favors adhering to the rules for the election established by the General Assembly and in place when voting began," they said in an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who handles appeals from the Fourth Circuit, called for a response from the election board by Saturday afternoon.