Alito granted a request by the state's Republican party to separate mail-in ballots received between 8 p.m. Nov. 3 and 5 p.m. Nov. 6 from those that arrived by Election Day, in accordance with state guidance. He ordered (pdf) that those segregated ballots must be kept "in a secure, safe and sealed container separate from other voted ballots."
The justice, however, did not order the counties to stop counting but instead ordered those ballots to be counted separately.
The Republican Party of Pennsylvania had filed a request (pdf) earlier on Friday asking the court for an order to log, segregate, and not take any actions over mail-in ballots received after Election Day.
The Republicans argued that the order was necessary because it was unclear whether all 67 county boards of elections were following Boockvar's guidance issued on Oct. 28 (pdf) on ballot segregation. The filing stated that while 42 counties confirmed that they would follow the guidance, the 25 remaining counties had not responded to whether they were segregating late-arriving ballots.
Moreover, Boockvar's guidances are not legally binding on the county boards of elections, which means the counties may choose not to follow the guidance, the party added.
The Republicans also raised concerns that Boockvar had reserved the right to change her guidance or to provide further direction over the ballots. They said that the secretary had done so when it issued new guidance on Nov. 1 (pdf) directing county boards to count late-arriving ballots.