Pennsylvania was always going to be hotly contested leading up to Election Day. Things are still hot as legal challenges abound.
Kermit Roosevelt, a constitutional law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School explains, “Really what they need is to get a court to say this whole election was so compromised by something,” Roosevelt said.
Despite public comments indicating evidence of widespread fraud, the Trump campaign has been hesitant to claim fraud in front of a judge in court.
Roosevelt says widespread fraud or gross incompetence administering the election would likely need to be proven.
“If you compare the magnitude of what they’re asking to the significance of the evidence that they’ve put forward so far, it’s wildly out of proportion,” Roosevelt said.
Accepting Late Ballots
Another of the Trump campaign’s arguments is that there was no basis in the state’s law to extend the identification deadline, and that Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar did not have the power to unilaterally change it. State law requires that voters only have until six days after the election — this year that was Nov. 9 — to cure problems regarding a lack of proof of identification. The Pennsylvania Constitution is very clear that election law is set by the state legislature.
And a Pennsylvania judge agreed and ruled in favor of the Trump campaign Thursday, ordering that the state may not count ballots where the voters needed to provide proof of identification and failed to do so by Nov. 9 and ruled that those ballots may not be counted.
“[T]he Court concludes that Respondent Kathy Boockvar, in her official capacity as Secretary of the Commonwealth, lacked statutory authority to issue the November 1, 2020, guidance to Respondents County Boards of Elections insofar as that guidance purported to change the deadline … for certain electors to verify proof of identification,” Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt said in a court order.
Pennsylvania recently held legislative hearings to investigate the complaints.
Several Republican candidates and voters filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania, the General Assembly, the governor, and Secretary of State. The lawsuit seeks to block the state from certifying the election results and asks the court to exclude mail-in ballots from the certified results, or alternatively direct the general assembly to choose its own electors.
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania called on President Trump to accept the outcome of the Nov. 3 election and move forward with the transition process in order to protect his presidential legacy.
“President Trump has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result of the presidential race in Pennsylvania,” Toomey said in a lengthy statement.
Senator Toomey’s Saturday night statement came soon after a federal judge dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit challenging the results in Pennsylvania by alleging that election officials in Democratic-leaning counties allowed voters to fix errors on their mail-in ballots. The Trump campaign has vowed to the appeal the ruling.
- Read the complaint here.
- Read the DNC’s amicus brief opposing motion for emergency/special prohibitory injunction here.
- Read the order enjoining the certification of remaining results pending an evidentiary hearing here.
- Read the notice of appeal here.Read the order here.Read the plaintiffs’ application for stay here.
- Read the order denying emergency application for stay here.
- Read the Republicans’ appeal to SCOTUS here.R
- Read Pennsylvania’s opposition to the Republicans’ appeal here.Read the U.S. Supreme Court order here.