Judge: Absentee ballots submitted before end of Election Day will be counted

| Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, 3:38 p.m.

An Allegheny County judge on Tuesday agreed to extend the deadline for counting absentee voter ballots by two days because of Sandy.

Ballots received after 5 p.m. on Friday but before the end of Election Day would be counted for the presidential election — but sequestered for challenges.

Common Pleas Judge Joseph M. James denied a request to extend the deadline for accepting ballot applications.

“The courthouse has been open. The county is not under water,” he said.

Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday said he would extend the deadline for ballot applications to 5 p.m. Friday in some counties because courthouses closed. Corbett said counties could extend the deadline by one day for each day the courthouse closed this week.

Cliff Levine, a lawyer for the Democratic Party of Allegheny County, said the governor's order “falls short.”

Ron Hicks, a lawyer for the Republican Party, said the Board of Elections did not discuss extending the deadline. He said he might appeal the ruling.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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