In the News

COUNTING MAIL-IN BALLOTS BETWEEN NOV. 3 – 6

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would not grant a quick, pre-election review to a new Republican appeal to exclude Pennsylvania absentee ballots received after Election Day.
But the court’s order left open the possibility that the justices could take up and decide after the voting whether a three-day extension to receive and count absentee ballots ordered by the state’s high court was proper. The issue would take on enormous importance if Pennsylvania turns out to be the crucial state in next week’s election and the votes received between Nov. 3 and Nov. 6 are potentially decisive.
The issue of the U.S. Supreme Court decision today on counting ballots in PA was clarified tonight on MSNBC’s Reid Out and at the link provided below. The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to rule on the issue NOW (before the election) but left a BIG LOOPHOLE: They can decide to revisit the case AFTER the election. So those mail-ins received AFTER Election Day will be held aside. What will happen to them? No one knows.

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October 28, 2020

In an interview with Joy Reid, the Democratic governor said ‘Pennsylvanians would not put up with’ any electoral hijinks from the GOP-controlled General Assembly.

With millions of people nationwide, including those in Pennsylvania, standing in line to vote in-person this election season, and millions more expected to vote by mail-in ballot, Gov. Tom Wolf went on MSNBC on Tuesday night to talk about election integrity issues.
In a conversation with host Joy Reid, the Democratic governor said he doesn’t think the Republican-controlled General Assembly is “in a position to steal the election” for President Donald Trump, because he “doesn’t think Pennsylvanians will stand for that.”  The line of questioning appeared to be a reference to a bombshell story in the Atlantic last month that raised the prospect of an Electoral College meltdown in the Keystone State. Pennsylvania Republicans have aggressively pushed back against the reporting.
Wolf also told Reid that he wasn’t sure what to make of apparent threats by President Donald Trump to withhold federal aid or other assistance, because he was forced to move the site of a rally in Allentown on Monday to comply with COVID-19 standards. Trump told the crowd, “I’ll remember it, Tom. I’m gonna remember it, Tom. ‘Hello, Mr. President, this is Governor Wolf, I need help, I need help.’ You know what? These people are bad,” CNN reported.
“I am absolutely beyond being clear on what he is capable of doing and not capable of doing. Nothing surprises me,” Wolf told Reid. What is clear, however, is that Democrats are sufficiently concerned about issues of election security and voter security that some are taking steps now to make sure it’s not an issue in the next election.
Source: Pennsylvania Capital Star October 28, 2020

 

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Federal civil servants lose protections

Trump issued an executive order that would remove civil service protections from federal employees whose work involves policymaking, allowing them to be dismissed with little cause or recourse.
“Rep. Don Beyer, a Democrat . . . said the order, if enacted, would usher in loyalty tests and further politicize agencies that have become deeply partisan workplaces under Trump.”
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There is a threat of losing the 3-day mail-in votes extension

“A new federal lawsuit seeks to block Pennsylvania officials from counting mail-in and absentee ballots received within three days after Election Day, an extension approved by the state’s highest court and recently allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court.
… the state’s top elections official, Kathy Boockvar, urged voters not to count on the extension, and instead mail in their ballots right away to get their votes
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Pre-canvassing appears to be dead

The governor will not sign House Bill 2626, which would have allowed the preparation of mail-in ballots for counting beginning 3 days before the election, but would have also restricted the use of ballot-collection boxes and would have allowed partisan poll watchers to come from outside the county (which may be used to intimidate voters and suppress the vote).  Despite our phone calling efforts, the legislature has not putting a “clean” bill forward. The General Assembly adjourned Wednesday and is not scheduled to reconvene until Nov. 10, a week after the election.
“Without a deal, the days-long process of counting mail ballots can’t begin until 7 a.m. on Election Day, potentially leaving the results unclear for days and opening room for candidates to falsely declare victory.”
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