The counting of undated mail-in ballots during elections has been officially prohibited in the state of Pennsylvania. The recent ruling by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals states that only dated ballots are eligible for counting.

This decision comes as a significant setback for Democrats, as they often rely on the strategy of including undated ballots to enhance their candidates’ overall numbers after Election Day.

NPR reports that a federal appeals panel has initiated a possible clash in the U.S. Supreme Court concerning Pennsylvania’s mail-in ballots. The regulations pertaining to the counting of these ballots could significantly impact the outcome of the presidential election and other crucial races in this pivotal swing state.

In a 2-1 verdict, a three-judge panel from the appeals court has declared that mail-in ballots received on schedule, but lacking handwritten dates by Pennsylvania voters or containing incorrect dates, should not be included in the final count. Consequently, their decision overturns a previous ruling made by a lower court.

The primary legal concern regarding “undated ballots” revolves around whether or not counting them violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

According to the law, a person’s right to vote cannot be denied due to a “non-material” error or omission in determining their eligibility to vote. Pennsylvania state law mandates that the return envelope must have a current, handwritten date.

However, this date does not serve as a means to verify a person’s eligibility to vote. In previous elections, county election officials have included ballots received in undated or incorrectly dated return envelopes in the final vote tallies. In the majority opinion of the panel, 3rd U.S. Circuit Judge Thomas Ambro stated that the provision known as the materiality provision only applies when the State is determining who is eligible to vote.

“In other words, its role stops at the door of the voting place.”