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A sign directing voters to the absentee ballot drop-box at one of the Satellite Voting Center inside Northwest Activity Center in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Absentee ballots in Michigan must be in by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted, a Court of Appeals ruled Friday, reversing a lower court's decision that extended the deadline by 14 days, AP reports.

Why it matters: The decision comes less than three weeks before the election, and some fear that recent disruptions to the U.S. Postal Service may delay the delivery of absentee ballots.

  • More than 6,400 ballots arrived too late to be counted in the state's August primary, per AP.
  • Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens last month ordered that ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 could be counted if they arrived within 14 days of the Nov. 3 election. She specifically said there was "unrefuted evidence" of mail delivery problems due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The state's Republican-controlled legislature appealed that decision.

What they're saying: In its 3-0 opinion, the court of appeals said the decision to change the law, which states that absentee ballots must be delivered by election night, "is the responsibility of our elected policy makers, not the judiciary," per The Detroit News.

  • "To be sure, the pandemic has caused considerable change in our lives, but election officials have taken considerable steps to alleviate the potential effects by making no-reason absent voting easier for the 2020 election," the judges added, pointing to the installation of additional absentee drop-off boxes.

Worth noting: Similar absentee ballot extensions have been reversed by higher courts in Wisconsin and Indiana, per AP.

Go deeper: Mail-in ballot rejections could disenfranchise thousands in 2020

Go deeper

Georgia's early voting starts with heavy turnout

Voters wait in line to vote at the Buckhead Library in Atlanta on the first day of in-person early voting for the Georgia Senate runoff election. Photo: Jason Armond/Getty Images

Georgia's on an early path to a huge turnout in the two runoffs to decide control of the U.S. Senate, according to data from the Georgia Secretary of State's Office crunched by Axios.

By the numbers: Voters cast 482,000 ballots in roughly the first day and a half of early voting this week. That’s equivalent to one-third of the total in the last statewide general election runoff, held in 2018, and about one-fourth of the total ballots in the last Senate runoff, held in 2008.

House members and staff will be allowed to bring visitors into Capitol again

The U.S. Capitol on Saturday. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

Members of the House and their staff will be able to escort certain visitors into the Capitol starting Wednesday.

Why it matters: The House is slowly starting to reopen after more than a year of pandemic restrictions. The Senate already allows official visits, with a staff escort.

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Jury in Derek Chauvin trial heads into deliberation

The jury of Derek Chauvin's trial has gone into deliberation Monday. The judge told instructed them to "reach a just verdict regardless of what the consequence might be."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.