A Southern Illinois Congressman has filed a federal lawsuit could possibly invalidate tens of thousands of vote-by-mail general election ballots cast in the state. The lawsuit seeks to invalidate ballots received by local election authorities after Election Day but are postmarked on or before Election Day, potentially affecting ballots cast by members of the military serving overseas.
The lawsuit is being led by 12th District Congressman Mike Bost, who previously served as a U.S. Marine. The lawsuit alleges that ballots received after Election Day violate federal law and shouldn’t be counted. The lawsuit asks the federal court to prohibit Illinois election officials from counting mail-in ballots received after Election Day in future elections.
The Chicago Tribune reports Bost filed the lawsuit along with Laura Pollastrini, a member of the Republican State Central Committee from Kane County, and Susan Sweeney, who was appointed a Donald Trump elector from Illinois in 2020, all in conjunction with conservative legal organization Judicial Watch. Sweeney and Pollastrini are seeking to become GOP presidential electors in the 2024 election.
Bost’s suit is among more than 100 lawsuits that The Associated Press has tracked that have been filed around the November 8 General Election. Nationally, the legal challenges, filed largely by Republicans, go after rules for mail-in voting, early voting, voter access, voting machines, voting registration, the counting of incorrectly marked absentee ballots, and access for partisan poll watchers.
As of today, over 830,000 vote-by-mail ballots had been requested by voters statewide and more than 362,000 had already been returned, Illinois State Board of Elections figures show.
The lawsuit has drawn the Justice Department’s attention with a statement on behalf of Attorney General Merrick Garland saying that Illinois’ law to count the ballots does not violate federal law.
The suit, filed in May in U.S. District Court in Chicago, remains pending with Election Day less than 10 days away.