Opinion

Pennsylvania election officials accepted several postal votes without verifying whether they were mailed late, an attorney who specializes in reversing court judgments said.

Reeves Law LLC believes the Trump 2020 campaign has reasonable legal grounds to challenge election results in the Keystone State because many postal votes could have arrived after the 8 p.m. deadline on Nov. 3.

“This past Sept. 17, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order, directing the Pennsylvania secretary of state, and all Pennsylvania county election boards, to accept as legal all mail-in votes received up to three days after Nov. 3, contrary to what the General Assembly passed,” founding appellate lawyer John Reeves said in an opinion article published by UncoverDC.

Reeves revealed postal votes were counted even though many did not have a postmark to verify what date they were sent.

“The court also said that mail-in votes had to be counted, even if they lacked a postmark indicating they had been sent out on Election Day itself,” he said. “In other words, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the election boards to include as valid votes lacking any proof that they were actually cast on Nov. 3, 2020—the day Congress has set for the presidential election.”

Pennsylvania is widely considered to be a jurisdiction that ultimately decided whether President Donald Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would win the presidential election. If all postal votes are included, Biden has 49.8 percent, the incumbent president 49.1 percent, and Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen 1.1 percent, according to Google.

However, suppose an estimated 350,000 postal votes are excluded from the count. In that case, it might be enough to reverse the election’s outcome and give President Trump another four years in the Oval Office.

“Not surprisingly, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania was dissatisfied with this order and accordingly filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, which is still pending,” the attorney said. “Because of the matters at issue, it is highly likely the court will take the case, regardless of whether or not it changes the final vote tally in such a manner as to decide the presidential election.”

He believes the lawsuit will have far-reaching implications on who is president for the next four years and whether the government or court ultimately decides how a president should be elected.

“This case is about far more than the ultimate winner of the presidential election. It is also about far more than allegations of election fraud,” he said. “More importantly, it goes to the heart of who has the final say in deciding how presidential elections are to be conducted—the state legislature, or the state judiciary.”

“The lawsuit, Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Kathy Boockvar, et al., presents the question of whether, under the United States Constitution and federal law, state courts can overturn the express enactments of state legislatures regarding the time, place, and manner of holding Presidential elections. The Constitution vests the state legislatures with the authority to do this and mentions nothing about state courts,” added Reeves. 

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that because of potential hardships some may experience in mailing in their ballots, the November 3, 8 pm deadline had to be extended by three days to Friday. The court admitted that no law explicitly gave it the authority to extend this deadline. But it nevertheless concluded that it could extend the deadline, not on federal constitutional grounds, but rather on the nebulous provision of the Pennsylvania state constitution providing that “[e]lections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.” Pa. Const. art. I, §5.” It did this despite admitting that there was no evidence of any civil or military power hindering people from voting on Election Day.

The remarks came after Attorney General William Barr (R) allowed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to begin recounting ballots, certifying election results, and conducting witness interviews without intervention from the DOJ public integrity section’s election crimes branch (ECB.) This will allow the work to be performed transparently and efficiently with minimal delays.

“A passive and delayed enforcement approach can result in situations in which election misconduct cannot realistically be rectified,” Barr said in a statement shared on Twitter. “[Without interference from the ECB] any concerns that overt actions taken by the department could inadvertently impact an election are greatly minimized, if they exist at all, once voting has concluded—even if election certification has not yet been completed.”