The legal fight in Pennsylvania over mail-in ballots with missing or incorrect dates could drag on for weeks after Election Day, forcing courts to make the final decision on whether thousands of votes can be counted.

The battle is playing out in both in state and federal court against the backdrop of a very close U.S. Senate race that may decide control of the upper chamber. On one side are Democrat officials and activist groups who want to allow mail-in votes to count despite “minor errors.” On the other are state, local and national Republican committees insisting on strict adherence to state law on how to fill out these ballots…

“There’s a certain amount of common sense here that should say these votes should count,” R Street Institute resident elections fellow Matthew Germer told Fox News Digital. “If a ballot arrives in advance of Election Day, it’s pretty clear to me at least that that ballot should be counted.”

Germer said it is possible court cases related to Pennsylvania’s elections continue for days or weeks after Election Day, and could potentially make it to the Supreme Court. However, he argued, that is not necessarily a bad thing – and that it is likely the courts will come to a conclusion well before the results legally must be certified.

“I would expect the first kind of ruling within a week. And then if there are any appeals that move forward from there, that it jumps to the top of the docket for almost any court that’s going to be handling it,” Germer said.

Germer also noted that if the state’s U.S. Senate race between Fetterman and Oz is not close, the sequestered mail ballots may not matter at all.