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Judge Temporarily Halts Effect Of Indiana Ballot Deadline Ruling

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Government, Law, Politics
Federal judge Sarah Evans Barker previously ruled Indiana's mail-in ballot deadline unconstitutionally threatens people's right to vote. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Federal judge Sarah Evans Barker previously ruled Indiana's mail-in ballot deadline unconstitutionally threatens people's right to vote. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

A federal judge Tuesday temporarily halted a ruling that would have forced Indiana to count mail-in ballots that were postmarked by Election Day.

The temporary halt will give time for a federal appeals court to consider the case.

Indiana law says a ballot must physically arrive at the county election administrator’s office by noon on Election Day. Judge Sarah Evans Barker ruled last week that deadline unconstitutionally threatened people’s right to vote.

Instead, Barker ordered the state to count ballots that were postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3, and physically arrived no later than Nov. 13.

The state appealed to the 7th Circuit. In a new order, Barker said she doesn’t want Hoosier voters to have a “false sense of security” about getting their ballot in on time.

The judge halted her ruling for seven days to give the appeals court time to consider the case. And she urged voters to get their ballots in well ahead of time.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.