State of Mississippi

Mississippi Mail-In Ballot Receipt Deadline Challenge (RNC)

Republican National Committee v. Wetzel

Lawsuit filed on behalf of the Republican National Committee, the Mississippi Republican Party and individual voters challenging a Mississippi law that allows mail-in ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day to be counted if they are received within five business days of the election. The Republican plaintiffs argue that the challenged law “effectively extends Mississippi’s federal election past the Election Day established by Congress” and results in “valid ballots” being “diluted by untimely, invalid ballots.” The plaintiffs assert that the challenged deadline is especially harmful to Republican voters: “Counting mail-in ballots received after Election Day doesn’t just dilute the valid ballots—it specifically and disproportionately harms Republican candidates and voters.” According to the lawsuit, a ballot is not a “legal vote” unless it is received by Election Day. 

The plaintiffs allege that Mississippi’s mail-in ballot receipt deadline violates their constitutional rights under the First and 14 Amendments as well as federal law, which sets “one specific day as the uniform, national Election Day for federal office.” The plaintiffs also claim that the challenged deadline — which allegedly “permits illegitimate votes” to be counted — violates their right to vote under the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit asks the court to strike down Mississippi’s mail-in ballot receipt deadline and to only allow for mail-in ballots received on or before Election Day to be counted. The case was consolidated with Libertarian Party of Mississippi v. Wetzel.

STATUS: Parties await a decision on several motions before the court. Litigation is ongoing.

Case Documents

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