Pennsylvania’s Republican leadership was celebrating yesterday over the potential of eliminating a pesky impediment to their winning on November 8: thousands of Democratic voters as a court ordered undated or incorrectly dated ballots to be put aside. Over 900,000 mail-in ballots have already been sent in, over 70% of them from a Democratic voter.
Absent their chief justice Max Baer, who died last month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was deadlocked 3-3 on the issue of counting undated or incorrectly dated mail-in ballots, with one Democratic judge (for some reason) siding with two Republican ones, versus three Democratic justices on the side of counting the votes.
For now, the court has ordered that counties “segregate and preserve” these ballots (because segregate is such an apt term to use when you’re considering disallowing votes).
— Senator Doug Mastriano (@SenMastriano) November 1, 2022
I'm not exactly surprised you're in favor of segregation.
— Martin Gardner (@mglovesfun) November 2, 2022
The suit was brought by the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, plus individuals that the court has now dismissed as not having standing.
Previously, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for the United States had decided that dating the outside of the envelope, as Pennsylvania law requires, was immaterial to validating mail-in votes, and that such votes should be counted. But last month the US Supreme Court vacated that ruling, giving Republicans the chance to go back to the Pennsylvania state courts and try to overrule a state court’s ruling that had concluded the same as the Third Circuit.
JUST IN: PA Supreme Court tells counties to segregate mail ballots without a handwritten date on the return envelope but not count them. We're disappointed. No one should be disenfranchised for an irrelevant technicality.
Voters, sign and date your return envelope.🖊️
— ACLU of Pennsylvania (@aclupa) November 1, 2022
And now the PA Supreme Court has created a situation that may result in considerable tension on and immediately after election day.
Let’s say, for instance, that Mehmet Oz is up on John Fetterman by just a few thousand votes, with those segregated mail-in ballots sitting there. What then? People may (rightfully) be outraged if those votes are not counted and we get Dr. Seuss – sorry, Dr. Oz – as senator (who, I’ll remind you, indicated that he may in fact drink his own urine).
As for the “voter integrity” claim the Republicans are making, it obviously doesn’t hold water: if Democratic party leaders were trying to cheat and creating masses of fake votes, wouldn’t they make sure they were dated correctly? The real reason dates are sometimes missing – logically – is that voters – not realizing a date is needed or not sure which date to put – make simple, careless errors.
Of course, the GOP will undoubtedly continue to employ tactics designed to disqualify legitimate voters under the pretense of avoiding fraud – which, I’ll remind you dear reader, essentially has been found not to exist on any scale whatsoever.
Yet we’ll continue to see Republicans engaging in voter caging, promoting voter ID laws, finding ways to disqualify mail-in ballots, and increasing the number of names on convict lists in order to skew things their way. And when elections don’t go their way, they’ll likely cry foul, despite being the only ones cheating.
What’s next after the date elimination strategy, disenfranchising voters who use blue ink?
Rudy Giuliani, that frail little boy who is so fragile he cannot be tapped on the back, likely hates Ross. And so you should like him on Twitter! @RossRosenfeld