UPDATE: Per the Wall Street Journal, October 19, 2020:
J Robert Smith
- Oct. 18, 2020
- 5 min read
WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court on Monday refused to disturb a ruling by Pennsylvania’s highest court that extended the battleground state’s deadline for accepting mail-in ballots, a win for Democrats that gives voters more time to navigate postal delays and avoid in-person voting.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s three liberal members to leave intact a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision extending by three days the time for receipt of absentee ballots and allowing those with illegible postmarks to be counted if received by the deadline.
The court’s four more conservative justices would have granted requests by the state Republican Party and two leading GOP state senators to block the state court’s ruling.
Trump isn’t there yet in Pennsylvania, according to Cahaly. “Right now, we’ve got him down in Pennsylvania,” he says, “I think if it were held today, the undecided would break toward Trump and there’d be some hidden vote. He’d probably win Pennsylvania. But I’m going to give a caveat on only Pennsylvania. I believe Pennsylvania to be the No. 1 state that Trump could win and have stolen due to voter fraud.” [bold added]
— Robert Cahaly, Trafalgar Group, via National Review Online, October 18, 2020
Democrats have had a busy year in Pennsylvania, working hard to wire the Commonwealth for a Biden victory, principally, thanks to the PA Supreme Court, which Democrats control 5-2. The other critical advantage is the Keystone State’s secretary of state, Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat who was appointed by Governor Tom Wolf – of course, a Democrat, notorious for the state’s economy-busting shutdown and 5,000 plus nursing home deaths.
In Pennsylvania, ballot fraud is far more likely thanks to four Court rulings.
First, from LWV (League of Woman Voters), September 14, 2020:
[Secretary of State] Boockvar’s guidance states that, for the 2020 General Election this fall and in future elections, Pennsylvania county boards of elections can no longer reject a ballot based solely on an election official’s belief that a signature does not match the signature in the voter’s file. [link and italics added]
The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh – along with individual plaintiffs – litigated to strike the requirement that a ballot signature must match the corresponding voter registration signature. The litigation was dropped when Boockvar chose to act. Boockvar’s decision opens the door to counting many tens of thousands of ballots that may not have been cast by the voters on file. The decision effectively blocks challenges.
Second, the State Supreme Court extended the deadline to receive and count ballots after Election Day by three days. The Pennsylvania GOP is fighting the ruling in federal court.
But there’s another worrisome twist in the 3-day ruling. From the AP, September 28, 2020:
Republicans also object to a portion of the state court’s ruling that orders counties to count ballots that arrive during the three-day extension period even if they lack a postmark or legible postmark, unless there is proof they were mailed after polls closed. [italics added]
“This is an open invitation to voters to cast their ballots after Election Day, thereby injecting chaos and the potential for gamesmanship into what was an orderly and secure schedule of clear, bright-line deadlines,” lawyers for the Senate’s two top Republicans wrote.
Guess who wanted to extend the count? From the AP report:
The state Democratic Party and its allies had sought an extension of Pennsylvania’s Election Day deadline to count mailed ballots as their voters are requesting mail ballots at a nearly 3-to-1 ratio over Republicans. [italics added]
The Democrats mail-in ballot edge may well be bogus, but they’re clearly counting on mail-ins to decide the outcome. The potential for mail-in ballot chicanery in PA has the odor of Palm Beach and Broward counties in the 2018 midterms, when Florida Democrats came within eyelashes of stealing elections from now Governor Ron DeSantis and U.S. Senator Rick Scott.
A third decision has to do with using drop boxes for ballot collections. Evidently, ballot security isn’t of much concern to the Court.
The fourth advantage for Democrats is the Court’s removal of Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for president, from the General Election ballot. No need to siphon off votes from Biden.
Another ruling out of the Court may prove a significant faux pas. It’s confounded Democrats. It’s called the “naked ballots” decision. The Court requires that returned ballots be enclosed in inner secrecy envelopes. Naked ballots are to be rejected. Tens of thousands could be, per estimates. But will they? Much will depend on who controls any given county elections office.
From The Hill, September 23, 2020:
The recent court ruling, [Lisa Deeley, the chair of the Philadelphia city commissioners] wrote, could “set Pennsylvania up to be the subject of significant post-election legal controversy, the likes of which we have not seen since Florida in 2000,” when a lengthy recount dispute prompted intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court.
If Democrats steal Pennsylvania – and, perhaps, the presidency – for Joe Biden, the Commonwealth may be more than the “subject of significant post-election legal controversy.”It may be Ground Zero in a national unraveling. It may spark conflicts across the nation – with disastrous consequences.