William J. Watkins, Jr. – November 15, 2020
Appalachian Trail hikers often call Pennsylvania “Rocksylvania” because of the rocky terrain along the trail. With all the shenanigans related to the 2020 election, “Fraudsylvania” is perhaps the most appropriate moniker. Things are a mess. According to this article from The Epoch Times:
More than 20,000 absentee ballots in Pennsylvania have impossible return dates and another more than 80,000 have return dates that raise questions, according to a researcher’s analysis of the state’s voter database.
Over 51,000 ballots were marked as returned just a day after they were sent out—an extraordinary speed, given U.S. Postal Service (USPS) delivery times, while nearly 35,000 were returned on the same day they were mailed out. Another more than 23,000 have a return date earlier than the sent date. More than 9,000 have no sent date.
Moreover, in legal action initiated by President Trump, his lawyers assert:
Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties alone received and processed 682,479 mail-in and absentee ballots without review by the political parties and candidates. These are unprecedented numbers in Pennsylvania’s elections history. Rather than engaging in an open and transparent process to give credibility to Pennsylvania’s brand-new voting system, the processes were hidden during the receipt, review, opening, and tabulation of those 682,479 votes in direct contravention of the Election Code.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has also come forward with concerning information about ballot harvesting in Pennsylvania:
“We’re now finding potentially that 25,000 nursing home residents in different nursing homes requested mail-in ballots at the exact same time,” the South Carolina Republican said on Fox News.
“You can’t ballot harvest in Pennsylvania,” Graham added. “What are the odds that 25,000 people in different locations of the same age group requested at the same time a ballot? Somebody is up to no good in these nursing homes.”
Multiple lawsuits are pending, and investigations are ongoing to ferret out any election fraud. But one doesn’t need Dick Tracy to locate the number one aider and abettor. This co-conspirator publicly acted and put in writing its reasons for unilaterally changing the statutory deadline for mail-in ballots: the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
In Pennsylvania Democratic Party v. Boockvar, despite acknowledging that state statutory law required that all mail-in ballots be “received in the office of the county board of elections no later than eight o’clock P.M. on the day of the primary or election,” (25 Pa. Stat. § 3150.16(c)), the 4-3 majority decreed “a three-day extension” of the statutory deadline and directed election officials to presume that any ballot received by its extended deadline that lacks an intelligible postmark was “mailed by Election Day unless a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that it was mailed after Election Day.”
To achieve the desired result, the court claimed sweeping powers to alter the statute based on the “natural disaster” that is COVID-19 and asserted its decree was necessary to protect the rights of voters under the Free and Equal Elections Clause of the State Constitution. Of course, the state legislature was aware of COVID-19 and, when addressing election issues related to the pandemic in March 2020, it declined to alter the deadline for mail-in ballots.
The state Republican Party sought a stay of the state court’s order in the U.S. Supreme Court, but a 4-4 decision caused the stay application to fail. The High Court also declined to expedite review because there was simply not enough time to consider the matter before the election. However, Justices Alito, Thomas, and Gorsuch issued this statement indicating that further review was likely:
That does not mean, however, that the state court decision must escape our review. Although the Court denies the motion to expedite, the petition for certiorari remains before us, and if it is granted, the case can then be decided under a shortened schedule. In addition, the Court’s denial of the motion to expedite is not a denial of a request for this Court to order that ballots received after election day be segregated so that if the State Supreme Court’s decision is ultimately overturned, a targeted remedy will be available.
The three justices also stated with clarity what they thought of the judicial legislation of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court:
There is a strong likelihood that the State Supreme Court decision violates the Federal Constitution. The provisions of the Federal Constitution conferring on state legislatures, not state courts, the authority to make rules governing federal elections would be meaningless if a state court could override the rules adopted by the legislature simply by claiming that a state constitutional provision gave the courts the authority to make whatever rules it thought appropriate for the conduct of a fair election.
There were already four votes to stay the order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and now with Amy Coney Barrett on the court, the Pennsylvania decision is likely in real trouble. And it should be. There is nothing unreasonable about an election-evening deadline for mail-in ballots. Yes, there is a pandemic, but it’s not like Election Day is some surprise party. Reasonable people can get their ballots in on time. Even if there is a hiccup, it’s the job of the legislature to make laws governing elections, not the courts. The actions of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court are a reminder of why courts should stick to interpreting the laws and leave it to elected representatives to make the laws.
If disturbing statistics and reports of voter fraud are proven, we can thank the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for making it easier for bad actors to tamper with this election.