Attorneys General in ten GOP states have filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court opened the door to election fraud that threatens the “liberty” of all Americans.
They say PA high court’s ‘jurisprudential misadventure” exacerbated the risk of fraud and abuse in mail-in voting in PA by permitting votes to be counted when there was no assurance they were cast by election day.
States outside PA “have a strong interest in preventing the effective invalidation of their own voters’ choices through illegal voting in Pennsylvania,” they argue
The group, led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, asks the Court to reverse the PA high court’s decision allowing mail-in ballots to be counted provided they arrive up to three days after Election Day, including those lacking a postmark to prove they were mailed by Election Day.
The AGs represent Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and South Dakota. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a similar brief and Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter planned to do so on Tuesday.
The AGs say PA’s high court, which is dominated by Democrats, adopted a recommendation by Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, to count late arriving ballots even if they “lack a postmark or other proof of mailing, or for which the postmark or other proof of mailing is illegible.”
They say the extension and lack of time validation “permitted unscrupulous actors to know the results reported on Election Day before deciding to purse fraudulent activities.”
They argue the ruling violated the Constitution’s separation of powers clause, which explicitly allocates to state legislatures the power to regulate federal elections.
The AGs say the Constitution allocates authority to regulate elections to state legislatures because it is the branch “most responsive to the People and most democratically accountable.”
According to their brief, the U.S. Department of Justice has found election fraud is most likely to occur in the conditions present in PA – when there are close political contests, fairly equal political factions and the stakes are weighty.
They cite “overwhelming public evidence” that voting by mail exacerbates fraud and abuse, including intimidation of older and vulnerable voters, vote buying schemes and ballot tampering by third-party operatives after a ballot is marked.
They add that election fraud is particularly difficult to prove. The U.S. Government Accountability Office concluded in 2014 that many crimes of election fraud go undetected because they are perpetrated by actors engaged in intentional deception.
The issue of the late arriving ballots is significant because the difference in vote count between GOP Joe Biden and Democrat Donald Trump on Tuesday was roughly 46,000 votes or o.7 points. If the gap narrows to 0.5 points, PA law automatically requires a recount of the votes.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Democrats submitted nearly three times as many mail in ballots as Republicans.