WASHINGTON, D.C. — On May 25, three Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), filed a lawsuit challenging Illinois’ mail-in ballot receipt deadline. The plaintiffs argue that federal law establishing Election Day as the first Tuesday in November precludes Illinois from counting ballots after that day. Illinois law currently permits mail-in ballots that were cast on or before Election Day, but received up to 14 days after, to be counted.
As former and prospective candidates for federal office and Illinois voters, the plaintiffs argue that “Counting untimely votes […] increases the pool of total votes cast and dilutes the weight of Plaintiffs’ votes.” Consequently, the lawsuit argues that the current deadline violates the plaintiffs’ rights to vote and stand for office as protected under the First and 14th Amendments. The lawsuit asks the federal court to prohibit Illinois election officials from counting mail-in ballots received after Election Day in future elections.
This lawsuit mirrors the numerous cases filed during the 2020 election cycle that challenged states’ ballot receipt deadlines that permitted otherwise valid ballots that arrived after Election Day to be counted.