Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Election Monitoring

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From the Philadelphia Inquirer (Jeremy Roebuck):

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Republican monitors observing vote counting in Philadelphia were given sufficient access under state law to view the proceedings…. [T]he court overturned a lower court decision that ordered monitors with President Donald Trump's campaign be allowed within six feet of tables where ballots were being tallied.

In its opinion, the Supreme Court found that the Philadelphia Board of Elections complied with requirements for observer access from the moment the first votes were counted.

"We conclude the board did not act contrary to the law in fashioning its regulations governing the positioning of candidate representatives," Justice Debra Todd wrote for the majority. "Critically, we find the board's regulations … were reasonable."

The majority opinion seems to be a pretty technical discussion of Pennsylvania state election law; one short dissenting opinion would have rejected the appeal on the grounds that it was moot, and another short dissent also argued that the trial courts order requiring closer access was valid. In any case, I thought I'd pass these along in case readers are interested. Thanks to Howard Bashman (How Appealing) for the pointer.

NEXT: The Chief Justice's Unexpected Super Precedent from the Shadow Docket

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  1. Trump’s team loses another challenge.

    In other news, water is still wet.

    1. The fix was already in, the dems were prepared. I give them credit for being so sly.

      1. These judges are masterful at making it look like Trump’s got nothing.

        1. It’s not so much a matter of him having nothing here, as of their not caring if he has anything.

          The PA supreme court finds election observers redundant and pointless, and so sees no reason that they should be in a position to actually observe anything.

          So they just don’t care that the observers were prevented from doing any meaningful observation.

          Much the same as they didn’t care that PA election law mandated that ballots arriving after election day be discarded, not counted.

          1. Brett Bellmore : “….as they didn’t care that PA election law mandated that ballots arriving after election day be discarded, not counted…”

            Help me out here, Brett : You loudly damned the PA Supreme Court for their adjustments to the letter of the law on ballots arriving after Election Day. Now you loudly damn them for following the strict letter of the law on ballot observers.

            You now hold there is damn good cause to allow better access to monitors, but said earlier the pandemic & expected deluge of mail-in ballots was irrelevant as justification, only the legislature can revise the process.

            I understand you holding the PA Supreme Court as inconsistent, but do you have a mirror handy?

            1. OK, I’ll help you out:

              The PA supreme court acknowledged that it was clearly and unambiguously illegal for ballots arriving after election day to be counted, then ordered them counted. They directly ordered a violation of the law.

              By contrast, your “better access”, which is to say, normal levels of access, the sort you’d have seen in any prior election, was NOT in any way a violation of state law. Rather, it was what everybody had previously understood the law to mandate: That the observers be permitted to actually OBSERVE.

              The PA court’s interpretation of the law deliberately rendered the presence of the observers pointless. As I’ve pointed out, it would have been consistent with their interpretation of the law to go so far as to have blindfolded them!

              1. Aw, c’mon, Brett. The observers were in the same room! What else do you need?

                Just because they were, in some cases, kept 100 feet away, and in one complaint someone parked a forklift in between their ‘observer area’ and the counting tables, doesn’t mean they weren’t observers.

                And we can totally trust Pennsylvania judges on elections. Especially the ones that looked the other way for the multi-decade run of the recently convicted judge that took bribes to alter vote totals…

              2. The PA supreme court acknowledged that it was clearly and unambiguously illegal for ballots arriving after election day to be counted

                Brett, you emulate Trump flawlessly. Repeat the lie enough and maybe you’ll create the illusion of truth.

                1. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

                  “Unlike other provisions of Act 77 currently before this Court, we are not asked to interpret the statutory language establishing the received-by deadline for mail in ballots. Indeed, there is no
                  ambiguity regarding the deadline set by the General Assembly:

                  Deadline –
                  Except as provided under 25 Pa.C.S. §3511[24]
                  (relating to receipt of voted ballot), a completed mail-in ballot
                  must be received in the office of the county board of elections
                  no later than eight o’clock P.M. on the day of the primary or
                  election. 25 P.S. §3150.16
                  (c)
                  . Moreover, we are not asked to declare the language facially unconstitutional as there is nothing constitutionally infirm about a deadline of 8:00 p.m. on Election Day for the receipt of ballots.

                  “We are fully cognizant that a balance must be struck between providing voters ample time to request mail-in ballots, while also building enough flexibility into the election timeline to guarantee that ballot has time to travel through the USPS delivery system to ensure that the completed ballot can be counted in the election. Moreover, we recognize that the determination of that balance is fully enshrined within the authority granted to the Legislature under the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions.

                  They found no ambiguity at all, they found the deadline perfectly constitutional, and they admitted that the legislature was entirely entitled to set it.

                  Then ordered it violated.

                  1. I should add that the statute in question was a legislative compromise with an explicit inseverability clause, because the legislature specifically did NOT want the judiciary upholding part of the deal they’d arrived at, and striking down other parts. It was, expressly, to stand or fall as a unit.

                    So the PA supreme court didn’t just order part of the law violated, they ordered part of a law violated where the legislature had expressly directed that it all had to be in force, or none of it.

                  2. Usually when you quote something, you snip your quote just before the text which proves you wrong.

                    What did you deliberately leave out this time?

                    A question which someone with integrity wouldn’t have to face.

                    1. There was nothing that proved me wrong. There was merely an excuse as to why they felt they were entitled to order a fully constitutional law violated.

                      Their excuse was irrelevant to the original point, which is that the PA supreme court DID clearly understand that counting the ballots was contrary to a clear and constitutional law. And then ordered the law violated.

                      I fully expect that, should the Supreme court take up a challenge to this ruling, (Seems unlikely, they’re ducking election stuff this cycle.) they’d tell the PA supreme court the same thing they told the FL supreme court: “The legislature writes the election laws, not you, and you’re not entitle to order them violated.”

                  3. Here is some of what he left out.

                    Immediately following his first quote:

                    The parties, instead, question whether the application of the statutory language to the facts of the current unprecedented situation results in an as-applied infringement of electors’ right to vote. In considering this issue, we reiterate that the Free and Equal Elections Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution requires that “all aspects of the electoral process, to the greatest degree possible, be kept open and unrestricted to the voters of our Commonwealth, and, also, conducted in a manner which guarantees, to the greatest degree possible, a voter’s right to equal participation in the electoral process for the selection of his or her representatives in government.”….

                    One paragraph after the second, we find:

                    We have no hesitation in concluding that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic equates to a natural disaster. … Moreover, the effects of the pandemic threatened the disenfranchisement of thousands of Pennsylvanians during the 2020 Primary, when several of the Commonwealth’s county election boards struggled to process the flow of mail-in ballot applications for voters who sought to avoid exposure to the virus. See, e.g., Delaware County Board of Elections’ Answer to Petition at 15, ¶77 (acknowledging that it “mailed out thousands of ballots in the twenty-four hour period preceding the election”). It is beyond cavil that the numbers of mail-in ballot requests for the Primary will be dwarfed by those applications filed during the upcoming highly-contested Presidential Election in the midst of the pandemic where many voters are still wary of congregating in crowded locations such as polling places. We acknowledge that the Secretary has estimated that nearly three million Pennsylvanians will apply for mail-in applications, in contrast to the 1.5 million cast during the Primary. Secretary’s Brief at 1.In light of these unprecedented numbers and the near-certain delays that will occur in Boards processing the mail-in applications, we conclude that the timeline built into the Election Code cannot be met by the USPS’s current delivery standards, regardless of whether those delivery standards are due to recent changes in the USPS’s logistical procedures or whether the standards are consistent with what the General Assembly expected when it enacted Act 77. In this regard, we place stock in the USPS’s General Counsel’s expression that his client could be unable to meet Pennsylvania’s statutory election calendar. General Counsel’s Letter at 2. The Legislature enacted an extremely condensed timeline, providing only seven days between the last date to request a mail-in ballot and the last day to return a completed ballot. While it may be feasible under normal conditions, it will unquestionably fail under the strain of COVID-19 and the 2020 Presidential Election, resulting in the disenfranchisement of voters.Under our Extraordinary Jurisdiction, this Court can and should act to extend the received-by deadline for mail-in ballots to prevent the disenfranchisement of voters. We have previously recognized that, in enforcing the Free and Equal Elections Clause, this “Court possesses broad authority to craft meaningful remedies when required.”

                    IOW, Brett simply declares the state constitution irrelevant. He doesn’t want people in Philadelphia voting.

                    1. I said it already: When courts decide they’re going to order the law broken, they don’t SAY that’s what they’re doing, they make an excuse for it. All you related was the excuse.

                      The fact remains that the legislature had enacted a perfectly clear law that was in no way unconstitutional, in an area where they had a direct and plenary grant of power, and they had plenty of time to have amended it if they had wanted to.

                      Instead they’d written it with an anti-severability clause saying that the whole law would be void if the courts didn’t uphold any part of it.

                      The right to change the law incorporates the right to REFUSE to change the law.

                    2. Just to be perfectly clear, Brett is advocating a reading that allows legislatures to overrule the clear preference for counting every properly-made vote outlined in the Free and Equal Elections Clause of the Constitution. He is advocating, loudly and vehemently, to disenfranchise legitimate votes. That’s how far they’re willing to go to pretend Trump won the election.

                    3. Just to be clear, that’s total bullshit.

                      The law was clear, the law was constitutional, the legislature was entitled to enact it, and had the time to amend it if they had chosen, and chose not to.

                      The court is not a super-legislature, entitled to over-ride the lawful decisions of the actual legislature. The court had no lawful basis for ordering the election laws violated.

                    4. Brett appears to be unclear on the distinction between facial unconstitutionality (not present here) and unconstitutionality as applied to particular facts (which the court did find).

                      When and where did Brett get his legal training, if any?

              3. “By contrast, your “better access”, which is to say, normal levels of access, the sort you’d have seen in any prior election, was NOT in any way a violation of state law. Rather, it was what everybody had previously understood the law to mandate: That the observers be permitted to actually OBSERVE.”

                On what is your insight concerning customary practice with respect to Pennsylvania election law founded?

                1. Which they could observe. Even before the agreement to move the barriers to within 6′, they could observe.

                  Giuliani and the rest of the Trump legal team are complaining observers aren’t being allowed to do something they aren’t legally entitled to do: inspect the ballots and challenge them.

                  In court- where they could face sanctions for lying- the Trump lawyers have all noted there isn’t any fraud and observers were in the room. It’s only to the press where the First Amendment protects their lies that they’re feeding this line of bullshit to the willingly stupid.

    2. Nothing wrong if he loses most of them or even all. It’s good for the integrity of the elections to have irregularities or even potential irregularities aired out.

      He’s got a high bar to meet in court, and it’s better that they are fully heard and debunked than squelched without a full hearing.

      And if some of them pan out then we can undertake the reforms needed to keep them from happening again.

      And if somehow they are able to prove enough fraud to reverse the results, well then I think everyone should be happy the real winner prevailed.

      I think Joe Biden won, and I think the best evidence that the election was not marred by widespread fraud is that the GOP gained about 10 seats in the house, that indicates ticket splitting not fraud. Although I’m sure some fraud will show up. I won’t be surprised if either Georgia or Arizona flip back to Trump because the margins are so small. But he needs 3 states at least too flip, and I doubt that’s doable.

      It also eases my mind that all 5 of the most closely contested states have GOP legislatures, so there is a mechanism be sides the courts for thorough oversight.

      1. Nothing wrong if he loses most of them or even all. It’s good for the integrity of the elections to have irregularities or even potential irregularities aired out.

        Look at these threads. Look at polls of Republicans. This is not a stress test. This spurious effort is screwing with people’s acceptance of our democracy as legitimate.

        1. That the populace accepted results sans scrutiny in the past was merely a social convention, not a moral or civic imperative. Perhaps the idiots are our past selves simply accepting what we were told. Perhaps it is possible that there are people doing the right thing by being skeptical even if they are doing so for far fetched reasons.

          The first person to throw up an at-the-buzzer full court shot only to make it and win would have normally been seen as wasting time and energy on a far-fetched and dumb endeavor. That description of him was probably fairly accurate up until that point. The same could be true here. The ball is in the air, it is extremely likely to miss, but there are huge parts of the crowd who support the team currently winning who are trying to rush everyone out of the arena before the ball finishes its path so that they can continue to claim certain victory (instead of the accurate “likely victort”).

          1. A party invoking the jurisdiction of a court must show his standing to sue. That requires, among other things, showing that a ruling in the plaintiff´s favor will redress the wrong of which he complains.

            If the complaint is that fraud tainted the result of the election, no remedy lies unless the margin of victory is less than the number of unlawful votes. The lawsuit is otherwise an idle ceremony.

            The margin of victory in the disputed states is in the tens of thousands or scores of thousands. The electoral college math is such that at least three states must be overturned by the courts. The basic arithmetic is insurmountable.

      2. “And if somehow they are able to prove enough fraud to reverse the results”

        Not going to happen. That’s the problem here: All they’re likely to be able to establish is that the vault door was left open, the security systems shut off, and the account books unaccountably not filled out. They might even be able to establish that the daily take was statistically improbable.

        What they won’t be able to establish is that the bank was robbed. Because the security systems WERE shut off…

        The Democrats got what they wanted: An election in which fraud could have happened without anybody being able to prove it.

        1. Brett great comment! I’m plagiarizing it.

        2. So it isn’t necessary to prove election fraud occurred, only that it could’ve occurred. Meaningless drivel. Do better. You usually do.

          1. If you want people to believe you didn’t stack the deck, let them watch you shuffle it, don’t just let them “be in the room”.

            You want people to believe you didn’t commit embezzlement, don’t object to an audit.

            And if you want the other side to believe the election wasn’t stolen, don’t go out of your way to make sure nobody could prove it if you did steal it.

            I think Democrats don’t care if Republicans think the election was stolen. At least, that’s how they’re acting. Why object to the observers being close enough to observe in Philly, otherwise?

  2. Well, hardly shocking.

    Clearly “observing” from a great distance doesn’t accomplish the purpose of election observing, but given that the PA supreme court had already declared that ballots had to be counted regardless of whether they actually had matching signatures, I’m not sure what the observers were there to observe. Ballots being tossed in the circular file?

    The ruling wouldn’t even mandate sufficient view of the process to notice THAT.

    Basically, the PA supreme court shut down the security measures, and left nothing for the observers to do. The observers might as well have been blindfolded for all the good they could do, so the court saw no point in letting them actually be close enough to see things.

    I find myself again wondering if they were actively trying to make sure the losing side would have no reason to trust the outcome of the count. I can’t for the life of me think what they’d have done differently if that had been the goal.

    1. The PA Supreme Court is embarrassingly partisan in its behavior.

      1. That’s what happens when Democrat pieces of shit are in power. Look at what they did with the NRA local government lawsuit law a few years ago. Voided it on a technical notice comment issue. Whereas we know full well, that if a Democrat legislature had voted to eliminate criminal penalties for a homosexual HIV+ man ejaculating into another man, like Scott Weiner the homosexual spearheaded in California, they wouldn’t be concerned with formalities like notice periods.

        1. Stop projecting. Find yourself a gay club and go do what you clearly need to.

          1. It certainly seems this blog is mostly a collection of closeted gays, high-functioning autists, anti-social incels, Asperger cases, White nationalists, disaffected clingers, and . . . I’m probably omitting one or two groups.

    2. The observers might as well have been blindfolded for all the good they could do

      That’s not what ‘Justice is blind’ is supposed to mean.

      1. Well, they’d still have been present in the room, which was all the court admitted they were entitled to. So why not blindfold them and stop pretending you were allowing observation?

    3. I find myself again wondering if they were actively trying to make sure the losing side would have no reason to trust the outcome of the count. I can’t for the life of me think what they’d have done differently if that had been the goal.

      Given Trump’s statements and behavior, and the number of crap lawsuits he’s filed, and the attitude of his supporters, there is nothing the court or anyone else could do to make the losing side trust the outcome.

      It is no use trying to convince people who won’t be convinced.

      1. You could try rebutting the actual arguments, such as the observers being too far away to see anything, rather than just whine about Trump. But you’d rather whine about Trump. I wonder if you’d be whining about Biden if his backers were the ones complaining about observers too far away. Actually, no I lied, I know you’d be whining.

        1. I wasn’t whining about Trump. I was pointing out the futility of trying to convince Trumpists that he lot, and by the way pointing out that a lot of the Trumpist complaints don’t even rise to the level of whining.

          1. I think Trump probably will lose. You seem to have trouble understanding the difference between “probably will win” and “has already won”.

            I support the legal challenges just to get everything on the record, but hold out little hope at this point of changing the outcome.

            1. But Brett you are also positing that these legal challenges are not sufficient to satisfy your suspicions.

              1. The sad fact is that a lot of the election law violations the Democrats engaged in this year, often with state courts signing off on it, were designed to make sure that there would NOT be preservation of the relevant evidence. Once you’ve conducted the election without meaningful observation, there’s no way to go back and undo that.

                It’s like your opponent in a card game arranges to “shuffle” the deck without permitting you to watch, and then enjoys an improbable run of lucky hands. You may be as suspicious as you like, you’ll never prove that they actually did stack the deck.

                Still, there are some things that could be detected even after the violations, and they’re worth finding. It’s also been worth demonstrating to the PA legislature, (Currently controlled by Republicans.) that the PA supreme court has utter contempt for their election laws, and that they desperately need to do something about it if they mean for future state elections to be conducted legally.

                1. OK, I’ll bite :

                  1. What “election law violations”?
                  2. And how were they “designed to make sure that there would NOT be preservation of the relevant evidence”?

                  For example, you have the Pennsylvania Supreme Court allowing late ballots post-marked by Election Day to be counted, just like 21 other states do. Presumably that counts as a “violation” for you since it goes beyond the letter of the law, pandemic-be-damned. But how does it fit your second allegation?

                  1. The primary election law violations here, on the part of the PA supreme court, were directing that the statutorily mandated signature matching not be done, and directing that ballots arriving after the statutory deadline be counted anyway, in defiance of what that court itself admitted was a perfectly clear prohibition.

                    Let’s be clear, that didn’t “go beyond the letter of the law”, it VIOLATED the letter of the law.

                    Then you have the local obstruction of election observers, which the state supreme court didn’t order, but did bless after the fact.

                    Because the federal Supreme court refused to order segregation of ballots arriving after the statutory deadline, a fair number of illegally counted ballots were irretrievably mixed with the legal ballots, and the relevant evidence of which ballots were legal, and which were illegal, was destroyed.

                    The obstruction of election observers also counted as destruction, or at least prevention of collection, of evidence.

                    1. You forgot the opening of mail-in ballots early, reviewing those ballots in secret early, sending out people to help cure problematic ballots before the election, which took place before your mentioned mixing those cured ballots in with the normal ballots and not keeping the original spoiled ballots for 2 years.

                      The problem here, as a judge in Georgia stated, is just because a lot of illegal ballot handling went down, it doesn’t prove that there were illegal ballots or any other election fraud. It could have been entirely done by honest and well-minded people that just wanted to help, and accidentally made lots of “clerical errors”.

                    2. I left out a lot of stuff, I’m not writing a long form essay here.

                      Yes, that’s the problem: You can prove all sorts of violations of the law, and circumventions of ballot security measures, but that doesn’t prove the actual results were rigged.

                      Thus my analogy: Your opponent in a poker game arranges to shuffle the deck out of your view, and then has an amazing run of “lucky” hands. That’s not proof he stacked the deck.

                      But he’s gotten rid of any reason you might have had for not believing it stacked.

                      I’m very much afraid that just proving election laws were violated, in a way that made fraud possible, will not cut it with the Supreme court. They’ll want proof of fraud, not just proof that the election was laid wide open to it, before they agree to any meaningful remedy.

                      I think Roberts signaled, with the refusal to take the pre-election cases, that the Court is NOT going to pull Trump’s fat out of the fire, even if it does mean letting a corrupt election stand.

                    3. Have you considered that with all the court cases going against your conspiracy theory, and none of them having credible evidence, and law firms pulling out of the lawsuits because they’re meaningless wastes of the Court’s time, that perhaps the real problem is you still believing the nonsense you do?

                      You’re as bad as the Flat-Earthers. Despite all of the evidence stacked against your belief, you hold onto it. That isn’t the behavior of a reasonable, sane individual. Mankind has evolved as a species in part because we’ve adapted our beliefs and behaviors based on evidence we’ve gathered over thousands of years.

                      You’re trying to single-handedly drag us backwards.

                    4. What we’re seeing in PA is a state supreme court that doesn’t care if election laws are violated, is even willing to order them violated. Their rulings are hardly evidence that the violations didn’t take place.

                      That the violations swung the election? THAT I don’t see being proven.

                    5. What we’re seeing in PA is a state supreme court that doesn’t care if election laws are violated, is even willing to order them violated

                      Consider for a moment what judicial review is, and how what you’re saying is putting your own understanding of the state of the law/constitution above the duly constituted state supreme court. And doing so to such an extent you appear to be arguing they’re in bad faith.

                    6. Jason Cavanaugh : “Mankind has evolved as a species in part because we’ve adapted our beliefs and behaviors based on evidence”

                      Well, that’s one approach. Here’s another :

                      President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that he’s fired Chris Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which is in charge of keeping voting systems secure. Trump said Krebs’ firing is a direct result of CISA issuing a statement that it had found no evidence of votes being deleted, lost, changed or compromised at all in the 2020 election, which Trump lost to Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Trump :

                      “The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud – including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling locations, “glitches” in the voting machines which changed votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more. Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency”

                    7. Sarcastro, above in the thread I linked to the PA court’s ruling, and quoted parts of it.

                      1) The acknowledged that the deadline was utterly clear.
                      2) They acknowledged that the deadline did not violate the state or federal constitutions.
                      3) They acknowledged that the legislature was acting within the powers granted it by both the state and federal constitutions in enacting the deadline.

                      That exhausted every legitimate excuse they had for setting it aside.

                    8. GRB, the firing seems justified.

                      If Krebs had said that he saw no evidence those things happened on a scale sufficient to have changed the outcome of the election, that might have been a reasonable thing. But for him to deny they happened at all was not a reasonable thing.

                      His job was keeping voting systems secure, not just denying that they were insecure. Admitting things went wrong is the first step in fixing them, so Krebs was communicating that he had no intention of fixing the problems that had been exposed.

                    9. Of course you’d claim it’s justified. You already made up your mind that there was massive election fraud once the results came in.

                      You will literally excuse anything Trump does. Your stamp of approval on his behaviors is hardly a confirmation of truth or morality.

                    10. Brett – Two Things :

                      1. Did you know Trump tweeted Krebs’ statement after it went out and took credit for what the CISA director said? Then he fires the man a few days later over the same statement. Maybe this is a good opportunity for you to concede Trump is a broken individual without integrity or morals. Do it for your own integrity’s sake.

                      2. You say this : “Admitting things went wrong is the first step in fixing them” Admitting what? You still have nothing. Why are you asking Krebs to fix problems that exist only in your head? You. Have. Nothing.

                    11. I think it’s clear that there have been some election law violations and circumventions, of a nature that would allow fraud to pass undetected, and on a massive scale. That’s not the same thing as massive fraud certainly having happened.

                      And though there were statistical anomalies in the vote that suggest fraud, they’re not proof of fraud.

                      I think Trump mostly lost because of 4 years of relentless negative coverage, and the media’s largely successful campaign to prevent most people from hearing about Hunter’s laptop. Polls have indicated that it was more damaging to Biden than Hillary’s server was to her, among people who were familiar with the story. But far fewer people heard the details, because the MSM almost entirely suppressed it.

                      If an October surprise falls in the woods, and nobody hears it, is it really an October surprise?

                      Still, even if there wasn’t massive fraud, we can’t go on running elections on the honor system like this, with these levels of political polarization and distrust.

                      I said this before the election: We’re at levels of polarization not seen since the runup to the Civil war. We should have turned election security up to 11, dotted every “i” and crossed every “t”, to the point where even Alex Jones wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face while claiming fraud.

                      Instead we went in the opposite direction, and ran an election guaranteed to leave the losing side convinced they’d been robbed. Unless the goal was to start a civil war, why the hell would you do that?

                    12. Brett-1 : “I think it’s clear that there have been some election law violations and circumventions, of a nature that would allow fraud to pass undetected, and on a massive scale”

                      In short : You have nothing. Take one part hysteria over mail-in voting, which is now commonplace in this country. Add a pinch of whining over election procedures : Six feet as opposed to twelve being your bellwether example. From this nothing, fantasize tens of thousands of fraudulent votes occurred leaving zero trace.

                      Incidentally, up & down these comments you wail the PA Supreme Court ruling on six feet distance makes fraud possible, even probable. But that rule overturned a trial court order that was put in place on 05Nov, 10:30. Trump had a 164,000 vote lead when GOP observers were permitted to move to six feet. Biden had a plus-80,000 vote lead when the PA Supreme Court reversed that order. You know how much voting fraud was discovered in the interim? Zero. Why not whine about that?

                      Brett-2 : “…successful campaign to prevent most people from hearing about Hunter’s laptop. Polls have indicated that it was more damaging to Biden than Hillary’s server was to her, among people who were familiar with the story”

                      Awh, your Russian kompromat didn’t work this time? Cry me a river. We’ll forget that everything about the “laptop” story reeked to high-heavens. We’ll ignore that Rudy and the NY Post refused to let any third party examine the raw data. So let’s focus on the two “revelations” in this dezinformatsiya : (a) Hunter may have gotten a handshake for a business associate with pappy. (b) Hunter may have discussed cutting dad in on a deal after Joe Biden left public office and became a private citizen.

                      And that’s it. There’s more corruption oozing out Trump’s pores in a typical day than all the “shocking developments” found in your gamey laptop. You see, I know this because I’m “familiar with the story.” What you really wanted were lots of people not familiar with this nothingburger garbage.

                    13. “You. Have. Nothing.”

                      You might be overlooking some autism.

                    14. Brett, this is just Constitution in Exile silliness warmed over to be about election law.

                      Just because you don’t think the court is right doesn’t mean it’s breaking the law.

                      You are not the final arbiter of much in this arena, no matter how much you use the word ‘clearly.’

                    15. Hunter Biden’s laptop?

                      Really? You haven’t abandoned that one?

                      You are aware Giuliani long ago took leave of his senses?

                    16. Brett Bellmore : “We should have turned election security up to 11, dotted every “i” and crossed every “t”, to the point where even Alex Jones wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face while claiming fraud”

                      You’d still be here claiming fraud even if Alex Jones couldn’t keep a straight face, so what does it matter?

                    17. The Supreme Court in fact did issue such an order, and it’s irrelevant anyway since the total number of such tardy ballots was significantly less than Biden’s margin of victory.

                    18. If Krebs had said that he saw no evidence those things happened on a scale sufficient to have changed the outcome of the election, that might have been a reasonable thing. But for him to deny they happened at all was not a reasonable thing.

                      You’re being Trumpian stupid. He didn’t say anything about most of “those things,” because they have nothing to do with his job. Krebs was talking about cybersecurity, not whether poll watchers were allowed to invade the personal space of the vote counters.

                      His job was keeping voting systems secure, not just denying that they were insecure. Admitting things went wrong is the first step in fixing them, so Krebs was communicating that he had no intention of fixing the problems that had been exposed.

                      No problems were exposed. That’s the whole point. The voting systems were secure.

                  2. As always, Brett exhibits Dunning-Kruger syndrome better than anyone else:

                    2) They acknowledged that the deadline did not violate the state or federal constitutions.

                    No, they did not. They held that it did violate the constitution.

                    1. Brett seems to be confusing facial unconstitutionality, which the court did not find, with unconstitutionality as applied, which the court did find based on the Pennsylvania constitution.

            2. I support the legal challenges just to get everything on the record,

              Really? You support Trump going into court and making allegations unsupported by evidence or, in some case, plainly false? Can he just make up anything and get a court hearing? Because that’s what’s going on. Dead people voting who turn out to be alive. Out of state voters who turn out to be military personnel and others authorized to vote despite living out of state and so on.

              I’m all for letting Trump press his claims, but the fact is he is making shit up, and you don’t get to press that. Giuiani, Trump’s “personal lawyer” was raving in court today, without a shred of evidence, that 1.5 million ballots were illegal.

              Lindsey Graham is committing federal crimes to try to get GA votes thrown out. So fuck Trump’s “challenges.” They are complete bullshit, advanced only to keep the suckers riled up. I’d think you were smart enough to figure that out, but you’re too much of a True Believer.

              1. I think the allegations are not entirely unsupported by evidence, but they are very unlikely to prevail for non-legal reasons.

                1. Brett Bellmore : “I think the allegations are not entirely unsupported by evidence”

                  “Not entirely”, huh? Well, here’s some pretty solid evidence : Donald Trump created a special Voting Fraud Commission. He stocked it with members dedicated to finding voting fraud. He appointed a known fanatic about voting fraud to head it.

                  And how much voting fraud did it find? Not entirely none, but damn well close to it. How can that be, Brett? Does the conspiracy work with such crystalline perfection? Microscopic evidence of voting fraud from 2016 back. No evidence of voting fraud from 2020. Yet it supposed changed scores of thousands of votes….

                  1. You’re omitting the part where states refused to allow access to the data in question. It’s really hard to find stuff when you’re not permitted to look for it.

                    That’s the general problem here: Our elections system hasn’t been designed to make fraud nearly impossible. It’s been designed to make finding fraud nearly impossible.

                    1. So all the states led by Republicans were in on the conspiracy too ?!?

                    2. The GOP has been embroiled in a low level civil war since the late 90’s, Trump is only the latest manifestation of that. Sure the GOP establishment wanted him to lose. They wanted him to lose 4 years ago, too. They’re hoping he’ll just go away, and they can go back to running a bait and switch operation and raking in graft.

                      You maybe missed the Lincoln Project? The whole NeverTrump phenomenon?

                    3. How convenient. –That’s all I ever think when a conspiracy theorist is coaxed into spelling out their entire version of a chain of events. Whenever a fact contradicts their irrational narrative, they invent an assumption that is impossible to prove or disprove that makes their theory possible, no matter how improbable.

                    4. Let’s review Brett’s latest bit of trolling :

                      State governments led by Democrats are concealing massive voter fraud. State governments led by Republicans are concealing massive voter fraud. State governments led by one party after ousting the other party are concealing the massive voter fraud of their predecessors. Parties out of power in state governments are concealing the massive voter fraud of their opponents in power.

                      And as a subset of this gargantuan phenomena – operating in perfect synchronized secrecy – state governments led by Republicans now act as they do because of the “Lincoln Project”

                      God alone knows what “explained” their actions before Trump was on the scene……

                2. Unlikely to prevail for non-legal reasons? Electoral math is evidently not your strong suit.

              2. Lindsey Graham is committing federal crimes to try to get GA votes thrown out.

                I’ll take Bernard’s baseless bombast for $500, Alex.

                1. Funny how both the Georgia SoS and Deputy (I believe) have the same message regarding Graham’s felonious behavior.

                  Graham had, and has, no business inquiring about the election process in Georgia. He is not a Senator there.

                2. Why baseless?

                  He plainly called the SoS and asked him to throw out legal ballots. That’s a lot stronger than the basis for Trump’s lawsuits.

                  Wonder who else that spineless POS is calling.

                  1. Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia, according to news reports.

          2. Bernard,
            I think that you are correct here, and I note that the Trumpist behavior mirrors that of the Hilaryites in 2016.

            In order words roughly 40% of the electorate believes that neither this Presidency nor the next are legitimate.

            1. Indeed. Remember, in 2016 there were active efforts by many liberals to have the electoral college not elect Trump.

            2. Don’t bothsides this. No one on the left believes Trump secretly lost the election.

              The left sure was into ‘Not My President.’

              The right is delving into ‘Not THE President.’

              1. “Don’t bothsides this. No one on the left believes Trump secretly lost the election.”

                Sigh Hillary Clinton: “He knows he’s an illegitimate president.”

                1. This is NOTHING like Democratic concerns about Russian meddling.

                  And you know this.

                  Jesus, man, this is unjustifiable.

                  1. You mean the entirely baseless fever dream of Russian interference that was exhaustively investigated for 3 fucking years?

                    1. I mean Trump campaign members communicating secretly with Russia or intermediaries included Don Jr., Jared Kushner, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Erik Prince, and Roger Stone.

                      But I also mean that even if it is all false, that is a fundamentally different objection than what Trump is bringing up right now.

                    2. So, Sarcastro, you’d be cool with charging the Biden campaign with Logan act violations? Because they’re doing the same right now, have been for months.

                      EVERY Presidential campaign with the least chance of winning establishes private communications with foreign governments, when they’re not of the party already holding the White House. It’s a standard, long standing part of the system.

                    3. Social Justice is neither : baseless fever dream of Russian interference

                      Russia did interfere. You know who said that? The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee : “We found irrefutable evidence of Russian meddling,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement, directly refuting President Donald Trump’s repeated assertions that Russian interference was a “hoax” perpetrated by Democrats.

                      https://www.rollcall.com/2020/08/18/senate-intelligence-committee-russian-interference-2016-election-report/

                      Now I could go on to recount all the bizarre contacts between Trump figures and the Russian government : His campaign head giving secret briefings to someone listed as a Russian spy, his son-in-law asking the Russian if he could use their secure communication lines, his buddy Roger Stone passing messages from a Russian hacker, his fixer Cohen conducting secret business negotiations with Kremlin officials throughout the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly lying about this even as it was occurring.

                      Mueller’s report is full of evidence like that. Suffice it to say your “baseless fever dream” garbage is a baseless fever dream.

                    4. Brett, you don’t know what you’re talking about. The Logan Act isn’t the issue here.

                    5. So, Sarcastro, you’d be cool with charging the Biden campaign with Logan act violations? Because they’re doing the same right now, have been for months.

                      EVERY Presidential campaign with the least chance of winning establishes private communications with foreign governments, when they’re not of the party already holding the White House. It’s a standard, long standing part of the system.

                      That’s perhaps why the Logan Act does not forbid “private communications with foreign governments.” It bans (in layman’s terms) negotiations with foreign governments.

            3. Don,

              I don’t think it mirrors the Clinton behavior in 2016 at all.

              Sure, Clinton supporters were upset, and there no doubt is an ample supply of unhappy quotes of various kinds and whatnot. That doesn’t make the situations remotely comparable.

              Contrast:

              Clinton made a concession speech the day after the election.

              Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. …

              Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.
              Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it.

              Are you really calling that equivalent to Trump’s behavior?

              Obama invited Trump to the White House two days after the election, and the transition began in a timely fashion.

              From Wikipedia:

              Shortly after noon on November 9, outgoing president Barack Obama made a statement from the Rose Garden of the White House, in which he announced that he had spoken, the previous evening, with Trump and formally invited him to the White House the next day, November 10, for discussions to ensure “that there is a successful transition between our presidencies”. President Obama said he had instructed his staff to “follow the example” of the George W. Bush administration in 2008, who he said could “not have been more professional or more gracious in making sure we had a smooth transition”.

              Are you really calling that equivalent to Trump’s behavior?

              Clinton declined to ask for recounts in the states with the narrowest margins and, as I recall, did not bring a slew of baseless lawsuits challenging election results.

              So, no. The two situations are not close to the same. They are not even on the same planet.

              1. Why wouldn’t she concede? The only really close state was Michigan, which didn’t have enough EC votes to change the outcome, and there wasn’t really any basis for worrying about fraud.

                Not like this year with multiple close states in which election laws were systematically violated.

                1. Clinton lost MI by about 11K, WI by 23K and PA by 44K. Trump is losing in AZ by about 11K, GA by 14K, WI by 21K and PA by 73K. To win, Trump has to flip three of those four (AZ+GA+WI is a 269-269 tie). Looks comparable to me.

                2. Trump’s 2016 margin in WI was barely greater than Biden’s this year. His margin in PA was slightly less.

                  No challenges. No sending Giuliani into court to claim that 1.5 million votes were stolen in PA.

                  As to suspicions – there were some about hacking the results in those three states. Were they well-grounded? I don’t know, but they were surely better well-grounded than the Trump complaints.

                  So no. Different planet.

                  Even without mentioning that you disregard the transition issue entirely.

                  1. Oh, right, “suspicions”, vs objectively confirmed violations of election laws.

                    1. 1) Most folks on the right are well beyond suspicion to fraud at the polls.

                      2) Exigencies are a thing recognized at law. You disagreeing doesn’t change what the objective law is.
                      Biden is the President.

                    2. But he’s not. Not until December 14th, anyway.

                    3. As usual, Brett is hiding behind formalities that have not been exercised before.

                    4. Right. You DO recall that, in 2000, the GSA didn’t cut loose transition funding until the EC had met?

                      GSA releases transition funds

                      Live by the formalities, die by the formalities. The winner of the election doesn’t get a transition until either his opponent concedes, or the EC votes, whichever comes first.

                    5. No new goalposts, Brett. As of November.17.2020 at 9:44 pm, you’re talking about semantics.

                      Technically, nothing.
                      We’ve always talked about the President Elect by this point in time, except for the legit unknowability of Bush v. Gore.

                    6. […] objectively confirmed violations of election laws

                      That keep evaporating under scrutiny.

                  2. Clinton’s campaign lawyers were still trying to overturn Michigan’s results in court filings on December 12th, 2016. They sued in Florida as well, and were involved in the Wisconsin and Pennsylvania recounts as well.

                    About the only set of lawsuits Clinton wasn’t involved in was in Nevada, where the Trump and Reform campaigns worked together – because Clinton won the state.

                    1. Given that Clinton conceded the election in the wee hours of the Wednesday directly after election day, citations please.

                    2. Empty verbiage, since she didn’t call off her lawyers.

              2. They don’t have to be close to the same; that’s been a standard of Trumpism from the start. Dear Leader can trample any norm into the ground as long as there’s an analogous action by Democrats on the far distant horizon that looks somewhat similar (possibly) if you squint your eyes just so…..

            4. When did Clinton send a lawyer into court to claim with no basis whatsoever that 1.5 million votes had been illegally counted in PA?

              No, Don. Different planets.

              1. There’s a basis. You don’t like the basis, but there’s a basis.

                1. Not at law, Brett.

                  Or do you think going through like 3 lawyers is what happens when you have a great case?

                  1. No, I think going through like 3 lawyers is what happens when any lawyer who dares work for you gets doxed and threatened with retaliation.

                    1. Cite?

                    2. For instance: Twitter Removes Lincoln Project Tweet With Trump Lawyers’ Contact Info

                      Trump’s legal headquarters in PA even got hit with bomb threats.

                    3. And they are dropping cases because their phone number is being tweeted? Seems like an over reaction.

                      Can you explain all the other lawyers quitting, to the point that we now have root and toot Rudy soiling his pants in front of a judge yesterday? I mean, really, “regular prejudice”? This is the best Trump’s got?

                    4. As an aside: thanks for an example of Twitter also removing left-leaning content that violates for their policies.

                2. There is no fucking basis.

                  Giuliani didn’t even try to support his argument.

            5. I think that you are correct here, and I note that the Trumpist behavior mirrors that of the Hilaryites in 2016.

              Hillary conceded early morning the day after the election. Jill Stein tried for recounts in Michigan and Wisconsin; “Hilaryites” did not. Hillary filed no lawsuits seeking to throw out legal votes or stop certification. Hillary tweeted zero times about how Trump didn’t win and she was the real winner.

  3. That’s a mockery of the the spirit of the law.

    Clearly the law is meant for the observers to actually be able to observe the process. But under the court’s interpretation, the observers can be blindfolded and turned in the other direction over 100 feet away, and still be “present” in the room.

    1. Here’s an idea PA is free to use: have cameras recording the entire process, live streamed and recorded, available for the entire world to watch and download and inspect at their leisure.

      If enough people complain about the procedure for specific time stamps or specific ballots, redo those ballots, slower. Or budget a certain amount and start reprocessing the ballots and time frames with the most complaints. Or people who complain can put up money for redoing ballots; suppose they charge $10 per ballot, then ten people could put up $1 apiece, or 1000 people could put up a penny apiece.

      1. This is not a bad idea, though I wouldn’t live stream it, just because you’ll get overwhelmed with BS. Not that hard to organize people to complain about every ballot.

        But you could record and let designated observers watch the video. If someone files too many invalid complaints kick them out of the observation room.

        Another thing that would help would be to start processing the absentee votes as they come in, but the legislature wanted to give Trump the maximum chance to gum things up, I guess.

        1. I have no doubt that you could design a system to operate that way, but it would have to be configured very differently than the current system.

          You’d have to take the incoming envelopes, scan them for the system, and then file them in an addressable storage system, rather than immediately processing them. Because, as I mentioned below, they’re processing them too fast for the challenge to be anything but instant.

          I’d rather invest the money in roving election mobiles that could go around during the early voting period and allow people to vote in person even at home if necessary, with the full security procedures in place.

          Absentee ballots are a huge security hole under any system, due to chain of custody issues and the lack of any assurance the vote was cast in private, or even by the voter themselves.

          1. I was thinking the video would be recorded and could be reviewed.

            Cameras are cheap. Storage is cheap.

            Sending mobile vans around, staffed with at least two people plus a driver, looks impractical and expensive to me. Are you going to set up appointments with people to vote at home, with “full security procedures?” And how are you going to make them vote in private?

            1. Of course the video would be recorded and could be reviewed. What good does that do if the ballot has already been separated from its envelope? Such a system only makes sense if you’re going to store them in the envelopes for some significant period of time.

              And ideally in an addressable form of storage, so that the disputed ones could be pulled out directly without having to go through all of them.

              1. I would review all the complaints from the video itself, at first. If that doesn’t resolve the complaint, the complainer can pay more to go retrieve the ballot itself.

                These cameras won’t be secret. The staffer removes a ballot from its envelope slowly, in view of cameras recording both sides, pausing as it clears the envelope, making sure the cameras get both sides. Humans are human and some won’t be as clear as they should; the real-time monitoring can pick those complaints up before the ballot has gotten far away, so it’s easier to find and re-record.

                When someone has a complaint, look to the video first. Each complaint should include a timestamp and ballot number.

                If a complaint comes in that the video has been altered from the original livestream, there will be hundreds or thousands of people who saved the livestream, and it’s a simple matter to compare them. Yes, someone could distribute edited downloads and make it look like lots of people caught the fraud; but there would almost certainly be far more people with the unedited download, and it wouldn’t take much of an investigation to find out the truth. The certain damage from being found out would far outweigh the slight chance of getting away with it.

                1. “These cameras won’t be secret. The staffer removes a ballot from its envelope slowly, in view of cameras recording both sides, pausing as it clears the envelope, making sure the cameras get both sides. ”

                  Can’t be done, it would be a gross violation of ballot secrecy to do it that way. That’s why the normal procedure in absentee ballot challenges is that challenged ballots are kept in their envelopes until the challenge can be resolved. You have to keep them in the envelopes until then, to maintain both ballot secrecy and the capacity for the challenge to matter.

            2. I’ll grant that my election van notion would be expensive, but it would be worth it in terms of security of the vote.

              And, how do you make them vote in private at a polling place? A mobile polling place would be no different.

              1. And when your candidate lost, you’d still find reasons why it was because of imaginary fraud, regardless of how many of your ideas were implemented.

                It’s one of many reasons why you aren’t in a position of power.

                1. As a Libertarian I ran for state rep once back in Michigan, just to fill the ticket. I woke more than once in a cold sweat from nightmares where I’d somehow inexplicably won.

                  I’m not in a position of power because,

                  1) I have no desire to be in a position of power. None at all.
                  2) I spent most of my life in a third party which only very rarely won elections.
                  and,
                  3) I have the social skills of a wet dishrag.

                  It’s over-determined, any one of them would have been enough.

        2. Have to livestream it, to prevent editing after-the-fact.

          You can save all the complaints for later. Don’t even look at them until the initial counting is over; maybe it will be such a landslide that no one thinks paying for re-analysis is worth it.

          1. I keep pointing this out to people: Before the ballot can be counted, all identifying information MUST be stripped away to maintain ballot secrecy. So all such challenges MUST be resolved before the ballot can be counted, after it’s counted it is too late to do anything about it.

            1. This is true, but you could still review the video to understand if there was a meaningful amount of discrepancy from the correct procedure. If you found 20 instances and there’s a 20K margin between the candidates, it doesn’t really matter. If you find 40K instances, then you know the election is broken and have to re-do it (as in NC-9 or the Nevada County Commission election that is being run again since the margin of discrepancies in the canvass exceeeds the margin of the election).

      2. There’s a bit of a problem with that, in as much as they’ve so streamlined the process in PA that any challenge would have to be almost instantaneous.

        But the court decision pretty much rules out challenges anyway, as I read it, unless the observer sees something really gross, like somebody shoving ballots into a trash can.

        1. Even if they see that, the election worker can just say “No, it didn’t happen”.

          And what does the court do?

          1. Well, if it’s the PA court, probably nothing. But, of course, at that point you get your Brooks Brothers riot.

            Which, recall, happened when Palm Beach decided to move the counting of ballots out of the sight of election observers.

            1. Sigh….

              So a woman suddenly busts out an accusation from 20 years ago of a sexual assault. She can’t remember the exact day. Or even month. Or how she got there. Or how she got home. And the first time there’s any potential mention of it is decades after the supposed event. And we are supposed to believe her.

              But direct allegations with time, date, and event, mere days after the event….. “Nope, can’t do anything”

              1. That woman never got her day in court. Unlike this, which is literally about multiple appeals in an actual real court.

                1. How the hell was she supposed to get “her day in court”, with a case like that? “So and so assaulted me a couple decades ago. I’m unclear about what year it happened in, didn’t document it or tell anybody at the time, and can’t remember exactly where it happened, either. But, trust me, it happened! I have witnesses!”

                  Named witnesses: “We don’t remember anything like that happening.”

                  Try that, and see how close to a courtroom you get.

                  1. You are just underscoring how Armchair Lawyer’s parallel is very bad.

                    1. No, you’re just underscoring that you don’t care about the difference between precisely specifying the time and place, with witnesses confirming, and making the complaint promptly, and making an allegation about what happened decades earlier at an unspecified location and date, with ‘witnesses’ who deny witnessing any such thing.

                      The two cases could not be more different.

                    2. Re Brett:

                      Yep…

                2. She never got her day in court because she waited 35 years. Are you a moron?

    2. Armchair Lawyer : “That’s a mockery of the the spirit of the law”

      Suddenly we’re all touchy-feely, do-the-right-thing, make it up as we go along. But when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was faced with the uncertainties of an election during a pandemic, the expected deluge of ballots by mail, and serious concerns over USPS response, what were we told?

      Not a step beyond the letter of the law! Elections are solely the responsibility of the legislature. Court ordered accommodations are illegitimate. As I recall, the “spirit of the law” was not held to be a consideration back then.

      1. Sigh…

        When the law is literally

        “(b) Watchers shall be permitted to be present when the envelopes containing official absentee ballots are opened and when such ballots are counted and recorded.”

        A fair interpretation is that the watchers should actually be able to watch…and not be blindfolded and unable to watch.

        When the law is literally

        “Except as provided in section 1302.1(a.2) and subsection (g), no  2 absentee ballot shall be counted which is received in the office of the county board of election later than five o’clock P.M. on the Friday immediately preceding the primary or November election.”

        A fair interpretation is that the absentee ballots should be counted that come in later.

        1. And if you ignore the latter provision being found unconstitutional, as applied, that’sa great point.

          1. Being found unconstitutional on the basis of a vague provision which was not obviously on point.

            Sure, when courts order you to violate the law, they generally cook up an excuse. Doesn’t mean it’s a valid excuse.

  4. Amazing set of conclusions on the ability to observe from commentators who, as nearly as I can tell, were not even in the room where the votes were being counted (or in the city or in the state) Yet they somehow know with certainty that the observers were able and unable to observe.

    Wow, its a miracle!!

    Seriously, ultimately you have to trust somebody and that somebody is the court system. Of course for diehard Trumpers, that trust apparently only takes place when the decisions are in their favor.

    1. I’d rather trust crowds of people. See my proposal just above.

    2. So you don’t think it’s appropriate to credit the first-hand reports of the people in the room about their ability (or inability) to do their jobs as observers?

      Sure, those first-hand reports are by interested parties and their credibility should be weighted appropriately. But it is disingenuous to claim that the commentors who trusted those reports are merely making things up. In other words, you have no room to talk when whining that “that trust apparently only takes place when the decisions are in their favor.”

      1. Those familiar with our legal system know that it is not enough to just charge that ” Trump supporters were not given sufficient space to watch the count of mail in votes.

        1. You must show that what did happen was contrary to Pa. law. (This, the Court said, did not happen.) One finds it curious that those who protest so loudly because they believe the Pa. Court was biased in favor of Democrats have no problem wanting to take the case to the Supreme Court because they think that Trump has stacked the Court in his favor, that they can win at the Supreme Court because a majority of the Justices are Republicans. Seems like bias in a Court is okay if it goes the ‘right’ way. (pun intended).

        2. You must show that some illegal activities took place, specifically that actins were taken that kept at least some of the Trump votes from being counted. Just suspecting that was the case does not a law case make.

        3. You must show that there is sufficient cause that based on (2) above, the outcome of the race was placed in doubt. Finding a few dozen votes or even 10 to 20 thousand on the floor don’t do it. Note that some of the filings have asked for a Prelim Injunc to give them time to find evidence of fraud. Sorry Charlie, it don’t work that way, and one suspects that Mr. Volokh was strongly support a case against a preliminary injunction in that situation.

        4. You must state the appropriate relief that is being sought, just delaying certification is not enough, do you want a re-vote, a declaration that Trump won the state, what relief do you want from the Court?

        Since none of this has taken place those who complain about PA have no rational basis to stand on. But then to be fair that has never stopped the Trump supporters before.

        1. 1. It’s already an established fact that the PA Court doesn’t give a bucket of warm piss about PA law. Remember the late arriving ballots they ordered accepted, after acknowledging that state law clearly said they shouldn’t be?

          2. The illegal act was not letting the observers observe.

          3. All ballots counted out of the sight of the observers are illegally counted ballots. How many were there? Tens of thousands.

          4. The relief would be decertifying any count that included them.

          1. If you think they misapplied the state constitution, say do. Ignoring the fact that court relied on the constitution is just dishonest.

            1. Yes, I think they misapplied the state constitution, on several grounds. And the state constitution was less a reason for the ruling, than an excuse.

          2. the PA Court doesn’t give a bucket of warm piss about PA law.

            I hate to break this to you, Brett, but the PA state constitution is part of PA state law.

            1. I hate to break it to YOU, but it’s not the whole of PA law.

    3. When one has a highly manipulated (or contrived) voting system, it cannot be surprising that one shouldn’t trust anyone.

      The US needs to go back to voting on 1 day (including the weekend before) and have absentee ballots submitted for cause only. Can that be manipulated? Yes, but much less so,

      1. No, it’s not that the procedure is to blame, it’s Trump (and his enablers on the right) that is to blame. Absentee ballots have been going on for ages without this issue.

        And whether correct or not, the perception of COVID risks makes your procedure impractical. People shouldn’t be choosing between a risk to their life and their franchise.

        1. Given that the people most at risk from COVID are Democrat constituencies, I’m fine with putting them at higher risk.

        2. The only reason you’re saying procedure isn’t to blame, is that you don’t freaking CARE about procedure as long as the ‘right’ outcome comes out of it.

          “And whether correct or not, the perception of COVID risks makes your procedure impractical.”

          Like hell it does. Grocery shopping in person had been going on for months. People aren’t that scared of Covid.

          You just used the virus as an excuse to massively change the rules right before a viciously contested election in an almost zero trust political environment. Change them in a way that removed most of the security features our elections had formerly featured.

          Like I’ve said before: If you did want to make sure that the election losers wouldn’t trust the outcome, I don’t know what else you’d have done.

          1. OK, I’ll bite :

            “massively change the rules” how?
            “Change them in a way that removed most of the security features our elections had formerly featured” how?

            Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington have been holding elections almost entirely by mail. Postal voting is an option in 33 states and the District of Columbia. Doesn’t it bother you that your rhetoric is untethered from reality?

            1. States that had been conducting mail votes had some security measures in place already. Not that I’m happy with the degree of them, but they had them.

              States that switched to mail in ballots at the last moment did it on an ad hoc basis without much in the way of security. Such as mailing ballots, unsolicited, to everybody on the registered voter list, despite knowing that the list wasn’t up to date.

        3. S-0,
          I am not looking to blame someone. But I note that this year’s procedures invited manipulation.
          Why is voting for no more than 1 week impractical? Billions of people do it all over the world. Covid will pass before the next election. But the temptations to cheat will not.

          1. Why is voting for more than one week an issue to you? Presumably you have an actual reason that rises above the level of petulant whining….

            1. Because the longer it goes, the more the election can be hacked.

              You just want the opportunity to cheat or to have your partisans cheat or manipulate the election. I personally saw one such example in CA has tried to do.

              1. You just want the opportunity to cheat.

                Or, maybe, maximizing who gets to vote is something we like in good faith.

                Voting security ain’t nothing, but for the right it’s increasingly everything.

              2. Your accusations are overwrought, Don.

                Not a question of cheating or the like. There are lots of reasons to allow a longer voting period. One is that some parts of the country are very densely populated. If you want to give voters there reasonable access to voting you either have to set up tons of polling places or allow lots of early voting, including mail-in ballots.

                Now, you’re not Bellmore, so I presume you accept the idea that city-dwellers should be allowed to vote without major inconvenience. I presume you also understand that there are places in the US that have been using mail-in ballots fro quite some time, without any apparent problems. So maybe the concern about security is BS, and is really aimed at making it harder for those city-dwellers to vote.

                Lots of other practices – not least an inadequate number of polling places leading to long lines – seem to have that objective.

                1. Most city dwellers shouldn’t be allowed to vote at all, as voting should be limited to people with farms or single family homes, not renters, and not anyone who owns a condo or co-op.

  5. This story isn’t exactly a crowd pleaser.

  6. I’m reserving final judgement until the Q drop.

  7. Lamestream media line, “election fraud allegations are unsupported and exceptionally rare….”

    EXCEPT when it involves a Republican:

    “Lindsey Graham called officials to suggest some ballots should not be counted. The Feds need to investigate this, NOW!”

    Yup we already know you are two faced losers. But thanks for reminding us.

    1. Claims about Graham are by someone who went on the public record, and corroborated by an independent witness.

      1. And if you get your head out of MSNBC agit prop then you would see plenty of that going around elsewhere…

        1. I don’t spend a lot of time at Gateway Pundit & co. for good reason, Jimmy – I don’t love being lied to.

          1. More denials from Gaslightro!

  8. Folks on the right are claiming that Trump is losing because people are bullying lawyers into not representing him. I sure hope nobody on the left is giving people who claim that any ammo.

    1. Or anybody on the right, for that matter.

    2. Apparently the “everyone is entitled to legal representation” only applies to killers, terrorists, and homosexuals looking to redefine marriage.

      1. Actually, it’s that defendants in criminal cases are entitled to legal representation. And if they cannot or will not find a lawyer, we have court-appointed lawyers for that task.

        But no one is entitled to a lawyer when they’re not the defendant. If you can’t find a lawyer willing to sue for you, you can’t demand the court appoint you one.

        That said? Gay folk were willing to go to court and found lawyers to represent us even when it was illegal to be gay. So, uh, maybe you Republicans should have the coverage of a queer, and step the fuck up?

    3. You think that’s why the attorneys keep withdrawing? Because while the targeting of Jones Day was inappropriate, this looks a lot more like being unable to represent a client asking for nonsense.

      1. I lost all sympathy for Jones Day when they put out that statement claiming they weren’t representing the Trump campaign.

        What a legalistic POS that was.

        1. It’s now up to three law firms that have pulled out. What we’re looking at is cancel culture reaching the courtroom. It’s not just Twitter and Facebook deplatforming people, it’s now law firms doing it, in the middle of litigation.

        2. I have to say that comment is a little ambiguous.

          Did you lose all sympathy because they were lying about representing the Trump campaign, or because they pulled out of representing it in the middle of litigation?

          1. The lying.

            I’m ambivalent about the pull out. On the one hand, if they have legitimate arguments then they shouldn’t let themselves be pressured into pulling out. On the other, if they don’t, or the client insists they make a lot of BS claims, then I guess it’s OK.

            On the third hand, they have represented Trump before, and should have been familiar with his style, so I doubt they were surprised if he wanted them to advance bogus claims.

            So I don’t think they handled things particularly well. Probably, the money got in their eyes.

        3. Excoriate them for the arguments they make, not for the clients they take.

          1. Sure, but in this instance there is a linkage, isn’t there?

            1. Except I haven’t seen much connection between the arguments and the law firms, only the firms and repping Trump in this effort.

              If the effort sucks (and it does) the arguments it puts forth will suck (and they do). Seems an easy one this time.

      2. I think it’s a combination of being threatened, (Which very clearly IS happening.) and being threatened providing them an excuse to pull out of defending a client they never much liked in the first place. (Their donations ran better than 10-1 Democratic, with about $300K going to Biden, and none going to Trump, per Open Secrets.)

        Trump was new to politics, and while he had remarkable success in spite of that, it shows in some ways. Such as his failure to understand that, while in a business case you can generally count on your lawyer to take your side as long as the check clears, in politics it is critically important that your lawyer actually WANT you to win.

      3. “You think that’s why the attorneys keep withdrawing? Because while the targeting of Jones Day was inappropriate, this looks a lot more like being unable to represent a client asking for nonsense.”

        I couldn’t tell you. It could be that Trump’s position is bullshit and Biden won the election legitimately, or it could be that a bunch of lawyers unfairly stole the election. Thanks to the actions of a few, I guess we’ll never know.

        1. Even if Trump’s position were bullshit, people with bullshit arguments get represented in court all the time.

          1. Brett, FFS, can’t isn’t the same as shouldn’t. No one here is arguing can’t.

            1. It starts to become can’t, if any lawyer who does try to represent them gets serious threats. They’ve had THREE law firms drop them after being threatened.

              1. No one here. None of the mainstream Dems. No one who isn’t you nutpicking is talking about can’t.

                Quit with your paranoid speculation of why Trump keeps losing while he screws with the GOP’s commitment to a republican form of government.

                1. [Trump is undermining] the GOP’s commitment to a republican form of government.

                  If A believes B cheated, and refuses to concede–i.e., is insisting on the rules / refusing to accept a violation of the rules–isn’t A demonstrating his commitment to the rules? Isn’t it B–the cheating party–whose commitment to the rules is put in question? Telling A to just forget about the stupid rules and concede already certainly doesn’t demonstrate a commitment to the rules…

                  1. A doesn’t really believe that B cheated. A’s cult, on the other hand…

                  2. This is not a subjective test, Ed. The rules are objective things. A being a self-deluded idiot doesn’t absolve them.

                    Moreover, Trump is not just going to the courts, he’s involved the beurocracy, his bully pulpit, and his party generally.

                    And from Detroit to targeting only blue counties in PA to whatever Graham is doing, the effort is becoming more and more clearly an attempt to make legitimate Democratic votes not count.

  9. For an election that was supposed won fair and square, “clean as a whistle” the left is sure running a lot of interference. “Cancelling” law firms. Targeting legal professionals with character assassination. Leaking “dirt” to the media on various low level legal figures that usually wouldn’t ever see the light of day in the media. It all smells awfully fishy. But I’m sure there is absolutely no fraud because the media started using that line BEFORE the election. And why would the solidly anti-Trump media, that spent four years drumming up fake news and witchhunts against the man, lie now?

    1. ‘But to me they look so suspicious!’ is just your feelings trying to author reality.

      This is otherwise known as no actual evidence.

      1. Come on. I know you aren’t stupid, but you sure do try to play that role here sometimes.

        Where there is smoke there is fire. What would a cop do if they weren’t sure someone committed a crime, but that same person seemed to be doing everything in their power to stop the investigation, get rid of evidence, and convince everyone around them it isn’t worth talking to the police? That same cop is going to think “gee something is up here….”

        1. Where there is smoke there is fire. is the argument of a conspiracy theorist. I’m smart enough to understand how facts work, and you’re notably fact free so far.

          Plus, the right has proven they can create smoke whenever they want through their shameless lying. And it works like a charm on you!

  10. It’s funny. Just the other day, there was a younger person who just couldn’t wrap their hear around the 80s “Satanic Panic.”

    How could people believe such absurdities? Metal music causing suicide? D&D and the occult? Satanic pedophile cults everywhere, in schools and pre-schools? Didn’t everyone just, you know, know that it was stupid?

    …wait, people went to actual prison for this crud? What?

    Anyway, plus ca change.

    1. Too much credit, loki. This is tribal. This is full ‘The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.’

  11. Webcams should be required in all vote-counting rooms, at all points in the process, to put to rest any possible questions. But Republicans had every chance to provide federal funds to make that happen, and haven’t.

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