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Legal decisions issued over the past few days significant impact voting by mail in a half-dozen states.

More court rulings in favor of a complete (if not quick) election

This month's flurry of courthouse wins is continuing for advocates of a comprehensive and safe election. The most important decision out of six since Friday could prevent the presidential election winner from being declared until the middle of November.

Michigan absentee ballots must be counted so long as they arrive within two weeks of the election, a judge ruled Friday. If not reversed on appeal, the ruling means the tallying of potentially hundreds of thousands of votes won't be done until Nov. 17 in a state Donald Trump carried by a scant 11,000 votes last time — and with 16 electoral votes that remain a tossup again this time.

Judges also allowed easier absentee voting in the biggest county in Texas, relaxed a vote-by-mail restriction in South Carolina and tossed a lawsuit seeking to limit mail voting in Illinois. And the Postal Service agreed to destroy millions of its misleading voter mailings. The only bad news for voting rights groups came from the Supreme Court of Mississippi, which ruled people at high risk of severe Covid-19 complications don't have an automatic right to vote absentee.

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These are the latest developments:

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Republicans claim Illinois Gov. J.P Pritzker "snuck through" legislation that invites voter fraud.

GOP lawsuit attacks expansion of Illinois voting by mail

Republicans in Illinois are accusing the state's Democratic governor of seeking to promote election fraud in November.

The allegation is the centerpiece of a lawsuit the Cook County GOP filed in federal court Monday against Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The Chicago Republicans contend the governor, by promoting the use of mail-in voting, is attempting to put as many ballots into play as possible in order to sway the election.

The litigation is a reversal of the normal narrative about courthouse battles over voting this year: Democrats suing GOP state governments for not doing enough to make voting easier during the coronavirus pandemic. It also amplifies President Trump's unfounded allegation that mail voting guarantees widespread election theft.

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mapchart.net; Tristiaña Hinton/The Fulcrum

Can you spot the gerrymandered congressional district?

Think you can recognize what congressional districts look like? Take this quiz to see if you can pick out which pieces were drawn on maps by legislatures and which ones are abstract doodles created by our staff.

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