Supreme Court allows mail-in extensions in PA, NC

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt blows to Republicans Wednesday, allowing mail-in ballot extensions in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Both states are pivotal to President Donald Trump's re-election chances, particularly Pennsylvania where Trump won in 2016 but is now trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden in several opinion polls.

The conservative-majority court rejected the Pennsylvania Republican Party's request to block the state's deadline extension for receiving mail-in ballots.

The action leaves in place a lower court's ruling, which will allow mail-in ballots there to be counted as long as they are received up to three days after the November 3 election.

The Supreme Court also rejected the Trump campaign's request to block North Carolina's mail-in ballot extension, which allows votes to be counted up to nine days after Nov. 3.

Trump's latest Supreme Court appointee Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in either case. According to a court spokeswoman, she did not have enough time to review the case filings.

The Pennsylvania and North Carolina disputes are among a number of election-related lawsuits across the country.

Trump has made unfounded claims that voting by mail leads to fraud, something experts say is exceptionally rare, but many states have expanded mail-in voting this year due to the health crisis, with voters wary of crowded polling places.