Tags: 2020 Elections | George W. Bush | Joe Biden | dnc | gore | nyu | rnc

History Explains Why Dems Push Late Mail-In Ballot Count Deadlines

hanging chad or chads circa 2004
(Mike Simons/Getty Images c. 2004)

By Friday, 25 September 2020 03:29 PM Current | Bio | Archive

With no thanks to court judges functioning as state legislators, acceptance of a late mail-in ballot surge over coronavirus will very likely delay determination of who will be America’s president until several days — perhaps weeks — after election day.

Then, over that undecided interim period, we can expect raucous and potentially destructive bedlam in the streets over a pre-contested result if candidate Biden isn’t leading in the count.

Partisan battles over how legitimately and expeditiously ballots will be counted focus most particularly on three key predominately Democratic-controlled swing states: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Court decrees in each of them prohibit election officials from beginning to process mail-in votes until Nov. 3.

Accordingly, close national election results may be highly uncertain until all those votes are tallied.

Rational concerns foresee chaos arising from the repeat of a sort of nightmare Florida "hanging, dimpled and pregnant chad" scenario witnessed during the 2000 presidential election when the country awaited determinations of how many punch-card ballots were adequately punctured to be counted.

It took three weeks and a Supreme Court decision before Republican George W. Bush was declared the 43rd U.S. president over Al Gore by a mere 537 votes.

Although the chads are gone, this year’s Biden-Trump campaigns are certain to provoke hotly contested tabulation technicalities revolving around various methods different states use to verify counts.

Such contentious issues include whether mail-in ballots are postmarked by election day as required only by some, and if a voter’s signature matches the one on file with election officials as stipulated by others.

Polls show that Trump supporters are far more likely to vote in person than Biden’s backers. Accordingly, Democrats are pushing hard for all mail-in advantages that their mega-funded media campaign coffers can muster.

Additionally, they are aggressively lawyering up to contest tight results in arguing that some rejected late ballots should have been counted. Consider here, that Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by only 22,748 votes.

Based upon a federal judge ruling that more appropriately should have been made by the Legislature and Governor, Wisconsin is now the latest of the three big swing states to allow ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 to be counted as late as arrival by Nov. 9.

The order by District Judge William Conley — a President Obama appointee — bumped the ballot deadline during the state’s April 7 primary.

Dismissing objections that his order will delay election results, Judge Conley said that since 14 other states already count late ballots, "Wisconsin will not be an anomaly."

Nevertheless, most American’s won’t be wondering throughout election night who carried dark blue California.

The Wisconsin decision resulted from opposing legal arguments brought forth by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC).

But we still ain’t seen nothin’ yet like brawl that’s sure to come.

As described by the Biden campaign, it is launching the most massive voter "protection" effort in history.

Led by Dana Remus, the campaign’s general counsel, and Bob Bauer, who served as general counsel on both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, the effort has enlisted thousands of lawyers.

Several of those attorneys are working in a special litigation unit under Donald Verrilli Jr. and Walter Dellinger, two former U.S. solicitors general.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is serving as a liaison between the campaign and voting rights group stakeholders.

The Biden campaign litigation unit is also working closely with the law firm Perkins Coie.

It's being headed by Marc Elias, a top Democratic voting rights attorney known for leading a blitz of national lawsuits challenging voting on such issues as extending ballot receipt deadlines, requiring election officials to prepay postage, allowing third parties to collect mail-in ballots, and mandating that officials give voters a chance to cure any defect with their mail-in ballot before it gets rejected.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee has pledged to spend $20 million in countering Democratic Party legal challenges.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign also currently has active lawsuits around the country to block a range of voting practices, including allowing third parties from collecting ballots and stopping election officials from counting ballots that arrive after election day and from using ballot drop boxes, among other issues.

Election judges will ultimately have to second-guess rejected ballots, unrejected ballots, and may even demand an accounting for unsolicited ballot forms sent out but never returned by a voter.

In a normal election, 0.01% of in-person ballots are disqualified, and about 100 times as many --- or 1% - of mail-in ballots. In the April Wisconsin Democratic primary, 2.5% of ballots were disallowed, the equivalent of three times Donald Trump’s victory margin in 2016.

Now consider that whereas 134,000 Wisconsinites voted by mail in the last presidential race, that number is expected to be 1.8 million this fall.

Richard Pildes, an election law professor at NYU, warns that "If it’s close and the courts get drawn in on potentially decisive issues, Bush v. Gore will look like a walk in the park compared to what [this] would be like."

Pildes predicts that "Social media and cable television will inflame with sinister spin any problems in the process, no matter how legitimate or normal those problems might be; many on both sides are primed already to believe the election is being stolen if their candidate loses."

Mail-in ballots raise an obvious chain-of-custody challenge regarding who truly voted and which states have erected various barriers involving signature-matching witnesses.

As Professor Pildes points out, lawsuits can also be expected to focus on discrepancies among different counties in a state on how ballots were counted. A worse-case scenario would be if states did not resolve election disputes by the time the electoral college meets in December, leaving state legislatures and litigant parties divided regarding which slates of electors to use.

All such disastrous prospects went media mainstream when Hillary Clinton, during a televised interview with her former communications director Jennifer Palmieri, advised that Joe Biden should "not concede under any circumstances, because I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch, and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is."

It's therefore in everyone’s interest amid weeks of legal wrangling and public protests that could become enormously ugly, that conditions be resolved without devolving into a legal constitutional crisis.

To this end, filling the vacant Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg seat prior to election is vital to safeguard against a potentially split 4-4 Supreme Court decision standoff.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. Larry has written more than 700 articles for Newsmax and Forbes and is the author of several books. Included are: "How Everything Happened, Including Us" (2020), "Cyberwarfare: Targeting America, Our Infrastructure and Our Future" (2020), "The Weaponization of AI and the Internet: How Global Networks of Infotech Overlords are Expanding Their Control Over Our Lives" (2019), "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful" (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2011). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.

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It's in everyone’s interest amid weeks of legal wrangling and public protests that could become enormously ugly, that conditions be resolved without devolving into a legal constitutional crisis.
dnc, gore, nyu, rnc
Friday, 25 September 2020 03:29 PM
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