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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Extends State Absentee Ballot Deadline

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Extends State Absentee Ballot Deadline

Approves use of ballot drop boxes

Thursday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended the state’s absentee ballot deadline and approved the use of ballot drop boxes.

From CNBC:

The case, which was brought by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, is similar to another one being litigated in federal court, which was put on pause while the state’s supreme court considered the matter. The federal case, essentially a reverse of the state case, was brought by President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Battles over voting rules have taken on a heightened significance amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced states to adjust to millions more voters casting ballots by mail.

The legal fight in Pennsylvania is particularly fierce, given the state’s role in possible paths to victory for Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee. Trump won the state in 2016, marking the first Republican victory there in a presidential race since 1988.

The state supreme court’s ruling pushed the deadline for receiving absentee ballots to Nov. 6, or three days after Election Day, if they are postmarked by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. It also held that the election code permitted drop boxes for submitting mail-in ballots.

The previous deadline for receiving absentee ballots was 8 p.m. on Election Day, but Democrats argued that enforcing that deadline would lead to widespread voter disenfranchisement given the pandemic and delays with the United States Postal Service.

The court also agreed with Democrats that a state requirement that poll watchers live in the county where they serve is constitutional.

The court ruling, authored by Justice Max Baer, did contain some bad news for Democrats. It rejected their argument that election boards should have to notify voters whose ballots contained minor defects to allow them to “cure” the errors.

The court also rejected the argument from Democrats that so-called “naked ballots,” or those that are submitted with no outer envelope shielding the ballot, should be counted.

So the political victory here goes to…

Following the ruling, both sides claimed partial victories. Marc Elias, a lawyer fighting on behalf of the Democratic Party in a number of suits around the country, said on Twitter that the ruling was “a very good result for those of us fighting for voting rights.”

Trump took to Twitter to cheer the win for Republicans on ballot curing, and touted a separate case, also decided Thursday by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, that rejected a request by four retired Pennsylvania voters to allow for third-party assistance in returning their mail-in ballots. Trump has labeled the practice ballot “harvesting,” although others call it ballot collection.

“Waiting for the BIG Federal decisions in Pennsylvania, Nevada, and elsewhere!” he wrote.

The Pennsylvania Inquirer is under the impression that the decision is a huge boon to the Democrats electoral prospects:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday issued rulings that could make it easier for people to vote by mail, steps likely to aid Democrat Joe Biden’s prospects and increase the likelihood that results in the critical battleground state won’t be known for days after Election Day.

In three decisions less than seven weeks before the Nov. 3 election, the Democratic-controlled high court extended the deadline for mail ballots to be returned, ruled that voters can use drop boxes to return them, and removed the Green Party’s presidential ticket from the ballot.

The changes will likely allow tens of thousands more mail ballots to be counted than would have been accepted previously. Democrats are expected to vote by mail in disproportionate numbers this fall compared with Republicans, who, interviews and polls show, have been turned off from doing so following President Donald Trump’s false attacks on the method as susceptible to widespread fraud.

“It really makes the access to voting better,” Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday, “and so I welcome the decision.”

The ruling allowing mail ballots to be counted if they arrive by the Friday after Election Day has the potential to create a historic cliffhanger as the nation awaits Pennsylvania’s results. The state is one of a handful likely to decide the presidential race, and if the Pennsylvania contest is as close as expected, the winner might not be known until those ballots are tallied.

Of course if not for Covid lockdowns, none of this would be necessary. But that’s a separate discussion altogether.


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This goes to show that if a state has been a democrat stronghold for a long time and voters start to wake up and many decide to switch and vote Republican it will not go smoothly.

    Connivin Caniff in reply to UserP. | September 17, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    You seem to ignore that this balloting mess in Pa. was enabled by the joinder of the Republican controlled Senate in the enacting legislation. Do not ask me why.

    puhiawa in reply to UserP. | September 17, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    In Philadelphia once, 100,000 mail in votes were manufactured for the Democrat candidate. Not a single signature matched of this group, right out of a vote creation workshop. The news paper did an extensive story on it. Not a single thing happened. Both the State and Federal courts ignored fraud and slow walked the case until it was mute.
    Just like Justice Roberts does.

      MattMusson in reply to puhiawa. | September 18, 2020 at 7:52 am

      The Crazy thing is that mail-in votes are disqualified at very high rates – usually around 10%. (late postmarks, not signed, bad signatures, etc)

      In this election here in NC – twice as many Dems have requested absentee ballots as GOP supporters.

      2 Million Dem votes * 10% 200,000 disqualified
      1 Million GOP votes * 10% 100,000 disqualified

      100,000 more Democrat votes will be disqualified and that could decide the election.

        That is why the Socialist/Communist Party has planned to send (I’ve read up to 800) lawyers out to try and make sure that as many of the 200,000 ballots are counted instead of being discarded.

And if three days doesn’t give them enough time they will demand five days, then seven and on until they get enough votes. Of course the laws are supposed to be made by the legislature and not the courts but they know that there’s is no time to do that before the election so use judicial tyrants to get what you want. Federal court hopefully rules differently.

    Mark “Slash” Levin went over this today. This can be fixed very quickly by the state legislature. They need to call an emergency session and quickly approve a bill re-establishing the status quo. The governor would not need to approve it and so could not veto. The court has no standing since, as you say, it’s the legislature that has the sole power to regulate elections.

      I’d like to believe there is hope but, with all due respect to Mark Levin, where was the state legislature when their supreme court took it upon themselves to re-write the state’s redistricting plans? Now they’ll find the courage to stand up to the court? Just don’t see it.

    The fix is in.

    Unfortunately the Federal courts likely won’t save us from the Communists seizing power. If it gets that far Chief Justice Roberts and his mini-me Gorsuch will side with the Communists (and thus preserve their social standing in the holy Washington cocktail parties).

    What is more important to Roberts and Gorsuch? Upholding the rule of law and the Constitution? Or getting a vague, bored compliment from the Joseph Goebbels media?

      I don’t think it makes it to the SCOTUS due to lack of time. It would first go to a district court which would take 3-4weeks before a hearing and ruling. If it goes against the Democrats they would appeal but I get the feeling that the higher courts really don’t want to be seen as meddling and unless it went full en banc to start there are good odds it has judges appointed by President Trump meaning more time before a decision is made and possibly appealed again. The Democrat’s problem is that time is a limiting factor and I believe Roberts especially would want to avoid making a decision on this issue.

        We will have to agree to disagree about Roberts. Far from being reluctant to make a decision, I think Roberts is salivating at the prospect at poking Trump and the hated Deplorables in the eye by ruling that the election should go on for weeks (or months, if necessary). Roberts was stung by Republican criticism of his Obamacare decision – a ruling full of weird, twisted legal reasoning that ranks up there with Dred Scott – and he is slowly morphing into Earl Warren with a growing string of tyrannical, unconstitutional decisions.

        But the gripping hand is that – as you pointed out – time makes it unlikely Roberts will get to live his dream of being kingmaker.

This is only the first shoe. You can expect several other Dem controlled, likely closely contested states to follow suit.

Let PA count those fraudulent ballots as votes for state and local elections. Reject them for all federal level elections unless they can provide clear evidence that each ballot was submitted by a qualified voter (that can be done in batches, such as is done at in-person voting places). Maybe start the inevitable civil war against the ILLEGAL insurrection and get it over with fast so it stays small?

Mail in ballots are SOOOOOO secure and safe, that it requires several days, possibly weeks, to accurately count them after the election!!! Yeah… you can’t have it both ways, you can’t say they are safe, secure, accurate, and effective, and then claim you need days more than in-person ballots to accurately count mail-in ballots. You can’t say the Post Office is reliable, and at the same time say they needs days if not weeks more because the Post Office is not reliable.

Pretty soon, the democrats will find a court to rule that we don’t even need to fill out ballots, they can just do it for us.

“The changes will likely allow tens of thousands more mail ballots to be counted …”

… of which possibly as many as 6 will be real.

Well, yeah, but have they called it for O’Biden, yet?

Michigan law requires ballots to be at polls by 8 PM election night, Biden’s lawyers are probably working on that now and they have a compliant Michigan governor and attorney general.

I like how no one bothered to prevent this. Keep up the great work, PA (R)s. You allegedly control the entire legislature.

If you make a change that can be clearly seen as helping one side over the other (“likely to aid Democrat Joe Biden’s prospects”), doesn’t that automatically make it the wrong thing to do when the goal is a fair election? I’m not a lawyer, just a voter, so perhaps I’m missing some legal nuance.

In Alaska… with the State just finishing printing up ballots.. a judge appointed by the previous Dem governor has stopped the printing. Legal verbiage is that the ballot will some party AFFILIATION. This year the House and Senate opponents of Rep.Young and Sen. Sullivan are describing themselves as unaligned although Dem money, support and promises to caucus are all Dem oriented. So the State labeled them as affiliated with the Dem party. Alaska doesn’t have the weight of Penn. but games are afoot all over the place.

Legislated voter fraud, plain and simple. They know exactly how the fraud will be perpetrated.

How can a court overturn the deadline for recieving absentee Ballots? What about the legislation setting the deadline collides with law?

“The state supreme court’s ruling pushed the deadline for receiving absentee ballots to Nov. 6, or three days after Election Day, ”
If the vote has to be in by the 6th, why can’t it be in by the 3rd?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | September 18, 2020 at 1:27 am

The state supreme court’s ruling pushed the deadline for receiving absentee ballots to Nov. 6, or three days after Election Day, if they are postmarked by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3.

So, the court legislators have effectively changed election day, since they have ASSURED that votes CANNOT be tallied after polls close and that a victor is assured to not be available for days after the election is over – in the best of cases.

The court’s decision read like a 5 year old’s thesis on why cookies are good for him. It was bullsh*t from beginningt to end.

First of all, there is immediate relief for ALL mail-in voters with problems getting their illegal mail-in ballots sent, and that relief is to get off your ass and go down to the polls. If that scares them they can pretend they are going to Walmart to buy granola dip or tofu bars.

Secondly, the USPS was not set up to carry ballots for dictators who decided to change their fiefdom’s balloting procedures. If the USPS has problems, then that’s tough, and it is NOT to the election process to work around the post office. If anything, people using illegal mail-in ballots should have to put forth a little extra work to get their illegal ballots in. Not have the rest of us have to wait for days for the last of the illegal ballots to trickle in … that is INSANE.

We conclude that this extension of the received-by deadline protects voters’ rights while being least at variance with Pennsylvania’s permanent election calendar, which we respect and do not alter lightly, even temporarily.

Gee … thanks guys. You’re the best!

Lastly, besides the BS “emergency” of the killer WUhan virus that kills 100% of 0.26% of those infected by it … the illegal mail-in ballot scam has nothing to do with the alleged pandemic as is seen in the fact that he postcard I got from PA about the illegal mail-in ballots informed me that there it is also possible to request “permanent mail-in voting status”. That fact, in and of itself, is enough to throw aside any ascription of good faith to this illegal mail-in voting scam. I didn’t read the whole court opinion but I didn’t see any reference to this in the decision. Of course, a 5 year old would leave out any information about cavities and the like in his thesis for the health benefits of cookies to children.

Don’t know how but the Pa SC have been pulling Left for awhile. They ruled some years ago the gerrymandering by the Republicans was wrong so found a Leftist professor to do it for the legislature. Ruled after Governor Wolf’s 90 days of emergency decree ended he could continue as Emperor.
So extending it even the whole wouldn’t surprise me.

enforcing that deadline
Shouldn’t that be “enforcing the law“?

My solution:
Fine, you get the extra days. But NO votes get counted until the deadline for mail-in ballots is reached. Then you count them all.

Off the cuff prediction…. Nancy Pelosi will be forced to step down if the election looks to be fully contested as they can’t have her as president… optics are way too bad.

Missed Levin last night but he brought up by the constitution the state’s legislature makes up the rules for counting votes, not robed overlords. Heard on talk radio the Pa Legislature got caught out by this outrageous ruling.