[guest post by JVW]
Because, I guess, so many of us longed for a reply of the Florida recount of 2000. NPR reports:
The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that election officials in Pennsylvania can count absentee ballots received as late as the Friday after Election Day so long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3.
The Court declined without comment to take up one of the highest-profile election law cases in the final stretch before Election. Pennsylvania Republicans had sought to block the counting of late-arriving ballots, which the state’s Supreme Court had approved last month.
Republicans sought the emergency stay, arguing that it is up to the state’s legislature — not the court — to set rules for how elections are conducted. They also said the court’s ruling could allow ballots cast after Election Day to be counted.
Chief Justice Roberts joined with the three remaining Court liberals to deadlock the Court at 4-4, allowing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision last month to stand, which overturned the GOP majority in Harrisburg’s law requiring mail-in ballots to be received by 8:00 pm on Election Evening and instead imposted what the majority felt was an arbitrary deadline of 5:00 pm on the Friday following the election. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court also declared that ballots need not include a valid postmark, and can only be disqualified if it can be determined that they were indeed mailed after Election Day. The Democrat majority on the court justified this questionable power grab on the basis that the legislative deadline, while reasonable under normal circumstances, “will unquestionably fail under the strain of COVID-19 and the 2020 presidential election, resulting in the disenfranchisement of voters.” One has to marvel at the court’s confident use of the word “unquestionably” in that clause above.
So, with Pennsylvania being a state that could decide the final outcome of the entire election, we are nicely set-up for a scenario under which Tuesday night ends with Donald Trump holding a lead in the Keystone State, only to lose it as ballots are further counted, perhaps ultimately losing by a margin commensurate with the number of late-arriving ballots bearing no postmark. Wouldn’t that be a magnificent way to wind-up this stupid, stupid year?