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An election worker opens envelopes containing vote-by-mail ballots in the Washington state primary. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Thursday extended the deadlines for mail ballots to several days after the election, a decision that could see thousands more ballots counted, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: Current law says that mail-in ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. The court decision moves that deadline to 5 p.m. the following Friday, Nov. 6.

  • Any ballot received "after Election Day must either be postmarked by Nov. 3 or have no proof they were sent afterward," according to the Inquirer.
  • The decision "will likely draw criticism from Republicans who have argued that votes should be received by Election Day," the Inquirer writes.

Worth noting: The court allowed counties to use drop boxes for people to personally turn in the ballots — a method President Trump has frequently attacked.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Nov 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Why we struggle with the election expectations game

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden appears close to an electoral win that will likely be narrower than election forecasts projected, and the initial sense that he underperformed expectations, which were themselves off base, could color his election and perhaps his presidency.

The big picture: We can't help but judge events based on whether they exceed or fall short of our expectations for them — but those expectations often aren't grounded in reality.

Special report on virus-era voting: Prepare for unprecedented threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With rare, if not unprecedented, agreement, President Trump, Joe Biden, intelligence officials and Big Tech CEOs are all warning of threats to accurate and trusted vote counts before, on and after election day. 

American elections face a triple threat in 2020: 

  • Foreign governmentsespecially Russia, China and Iran — are actively spreading misinformation via social platforms.
Updated 1 hour ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two named Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

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