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Democrats Are Using The Same 2020 Election Shenanigans To Overtake Virginia This Year


Reported By Hayden Ludwig | NOVEMBER 1, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/01/democrats-are-using-the-same-2020-election-shenanigans-to-overtake-virginia-this-year/

Virginia’s hotly contested gubernatorial race is just days away, and with Republican Glenn Youngkin and former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe tied in the polls, the professional left isn’t leaving anything to chance. A McAuliffe defeat is largely considered a bellwether for congressional Democrats in the 2022 midterms.

So how do Democrats plan to ensure a McAuliffe win and a subsequent retention of power in the state and U.S. Senate? By using the same tactic they used in the 2020 national contest: profligate mail-in voting and fake grassroots get-out-the-vote efforts funding by philanthropies and wealthy leftists, a strategy revealed through Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s gift to the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL).

And it’s a smart strategy. Joe Biden voters were twice as likely as Donald Trump voters to vote by mail in 2020, for example; and we know the effect of Zuckerberg’s millions on the 2020 election. The Capital Research Center specializes in exposing the activists behind these efforts. Here’s what we’ve discovered about the funding and activists behind them.

Getting Out the Vote for Democrats

Vote Forward is one of the get-out-the-vote (GOTV) groups swamping Virginians with a letter practically begging them to vote early. Here’s my copy:

Vote Forward is ostensibly nonpartisan—until you look at its original website from 2018, which reads “Flip the House Blue: Send letters to unlikely voters.” Elsewhere, the group admits it was founded to send “get-out-the-vote” mailers to “traditionally underrepresented communities,” code for Democrat-leaning constituencies.

The New York Times praised Vote Forward’s goal of boosting Democrat turnout just one week before the 2020 election. An old FAQ states that many of its campaigns “typically target low-propensity voters who we believe are likely to vote for Democrats when they do cast a ballot.”

In 2020, that target was 10 million voters. To make that happen, Vote Forward sued the U.S. Postal Service, accusing Postmaster General Louis DeJoy—a Trump nominee—of “undermin[ing] USPS’s ability to ensure the on-time delivery of mail ballots” in the 2020 election. The details of their settlement remain unclear, but USPS agreed to deliver mail-in ballots in time for Georgia’s January special election, the result of which ultimately handed Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.

Like many organizations that present themselves as more interested in voting than election outcomes, Vote Forward is part of the Left’s Voting Machine: A massive web of interconnected GOTV nonprofits commanding tens of millions of dollars, mostly gifted by ultra-wealthy institutions like the Ford, Gates, and Rockefeller Foundations.

We’ve traced more than $600,000 flowing to Vote Forward from the Hopewell Fund, part of a $731 million “dark money” network run by the consultancy Arabella Advisors in Washington, DC. After studying this network for years, it’s become clear to us that wherever Arabella is involved, one is sure to find the left’s top operatives as well.

For example, Vote Forward’s board includes Ezra Reese, a partner at Perkins Coie and its Marc Elias-led spin-off (the Elias Law Group) “focused on electing Democrats, supporting voting rights, and helping progressives make change”—a fact you won’t find advertised on the “nonpartisan” group’s website. Perkins Coie is the left’s law firm of choice. Elias was general counsel to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and a partisan operative whose past dealings include George Soros-funded efforts to abolish voter ID laws.

A Flood of Mail-In Ballots

In September, I reported on a new wave of 2 million applications for Virginians to register for absentee ballots in 2021. These applications weren’t sent out by state or local elections officials, but by politically active nonprofits: the Voter Participation Center and Center for Voter Information (collectively “the center”). An internal memo details the spots they planned to cover most aggressively, many of which parallel Biden’s performance in 2020.

The center explicitly targeted the “New American Majority,” another code for likely Democratic voters that they define as “young people, people of color and unmarried women.” That bloc contains 73 percent of all unregistered voters nationwide, which is why the left-wing strategists at the Democracy Alliance consider their turnout “central to progressive long-term success.”

The IRS requires all nonprofits be officially nonpartisan in order to be tax exempt. In the center’s case, nonpartisanship comes in the shape of a fig leaf—as liberal journalist Sasha Issenberg explains in his 2012 book, The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns: “Even though the group was officially nonpartisan, for tax purposes, there was no secret that the goal of all its efforts was to generate new votes for Democrats” (emphasis added).

The center sent out 15 million vote-by-mail applications in 2020 and registered 4.6 million new voters. Time credits the center’s partisan registration efforts as central to the “shadow campaign that saved the 2020 election” for Biden. No surprise that the center is heavily funded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), AFL-CIOSierra ClubLeague of Conservation Voters, and Tides Foundation.

Will Zuck Bucks Continue?

We were among the first to report in-depth on how billionaire Zuckerberg and the little-known Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) spent $350 million to effectively privatize the 2020 election in battleground states, helping turnout for Biden in the name of COVID-19 “relief.”

Overnight, this little nonprofit’s revenues grew by more than 12,000 percent from $2.8 million thanks to Zuckerberg’s cash injection—fueling its “nonpartisan,” “charitable” façade to elections officials and helping Democrat turnout in precisely the spots Biden needed to win the presidency.

Across nine states, our data shows that CTCL’s grants consistently ignored Trump counties in favor of big, Democratic-leaning spots like Philadelphia, Maricopa County, and Houston—all essential to Biden’s victory. In Georgia, for instance, Biden counties were two-and-a-half times more likely to receive CTCL funding than Trump counties.

Virginia received close to $4 million in Zuck Bucks, more than one-third of which went to populous Fairfax County to support in-person early votingand “vote by mail.” Fairfax County was Biden’s biggest vote-haul in the state and is the linchpin to McAuliffe’s strategy.

Nearly $970,000 paid for “temporary staffing support” to bolster Fairfax County’s elections agency. That may sound innocuous, but as CTCL expert William Doyle recently wrote at this site, that funding “supported the infiltration of election offices by paid Democratic Party activists.”

[CTCL] funded self-described ‘vote navigators’ in Wisconsin to ‘assist voters, potentially at their front doors, to answer questions, assist in ballot curing … and witness absentee ballot signatures,’ and a temporary staffing agency affiliated with Stacey Abrams called ‘Happy Faces’ counting the votes amidst the election night chaos in Fulton County, Georgia.

Fairfax County applied for an extension to its CTCL grant in January, but ultimately returned its remaining $187,709 in April, spokesman Brian Worthy told me. To his knowledge, the county has not applied for another grant for the 2021 election. That’s a good start, but to save the integrity of our elections, Zuck Bucks need to be banned. No exceptions.

There’s no faster way to destroy what remaining trust Americans have in their elections than by giving them to the highest bidder. Private funding of elections would take us back to the worst of the 19th century robber barons, when rich political machines won elections by buying public officials and intimidating voters. It also presents opportunities for foreign interests to manipulate our politics and undermine American sovereignty.

It’s unknown how much CTCL money remains in Virginia or if the group has continued to make grants here. Neighboring Fairfax City reports $14,175 in CTCL funds leftover for the 2021 election.

CTCL has been surprisingly mum about the ongoing election considering how loudly it advertised open-ended grants to Georgia counties in January. It’s possible that the dozens of exposés, hundreds of critical news articles, flurry of state Zuck Buck bans, and an inquiry from furious congressional Republicans silenced the leftists running CTCL.

Or maybe not. A recent CTCL statement calls lawsuits against its grants program “frivolous” and its funding “equitable,” particularly in small counties with small elections budgets.

Today’s left has cynically embraced Zuck Bucks out of short-term thinking, believing like NPR that “private money from Facebook’s CEO saved the 2020 election.” That’s a losing hand. Americans can see that the same leftists who’ve now embraced plutocracy were just yesterday crying eat the rich and abolish billionaires.” Close to a dozen states have already banned Zuck Bucks and grassroots groups are leading a national movement to audit the 2020 election and save the country.

Leftists believed the country would overlook their desperate indiscretions, claiming—as CTCL does—that Zuckerberg’s unprecedented spending spree somehow made 2020 “the most secure election in U.S. history.” We’ll know even more in December, when CTCL releases its IRS Form 990 filing to the public. If coming revelations are anything like observers expect, that claim will age about as well as milk.

Hayden Ludwig is an investigative researcher for the Capital Research Center in Washington, DC.

15 Insane Things In Democrats’ H.R. 1 Bill To Corrupt Elections Forever


On Wednesday, House Democrats passed an 800-page bill that would mandate insecure voting processes and subject voting tallies to partisan manipulation. It’s a slap in the face to the half of Americans, including many Democrats, who believe the 2020 election was riddled with fraud and errors, largely due to the rapid expansion of mail-in balloting and other suspensions of state election laws.

“It is difficult to imagine a legislative proposal more threatening to election integrity and voter confidence,” write 20 Republican attorneys general in a Thursday letter about the ridiculously named For The People Act of 2021, or H.R. 1. Democrats have made the bill their top priority this Congress to permanently cement their current unified control of the federal government.

The bill “would (among other things) implement nationwide the worst changes in election rules that occurred during the 2020 election; go even further in eroding and eliminating basic security protocols that states have in place; and interfere with the ability of states and their citizens to determine the qualifications and eligibility of voters, ensure the accuracy of voter registration rolls, secure the fairness and integrity of elections, and participate and speak freely in the political process,” says a Heritage Foundation analysis.

H.R. 1 broadcasts Democrats’ goals for unending electoral dominance through openly rigged voting processes. It would engineer an unconstitutional federal takeover of state elections for national office. No surprise, then, that Joe Biden says he will sign this legislation if it reaches his desk.

Here are just some of the unconstitutional, absurd, nakedly partisan, and crime-assisting provisions in this bill that 220 House Democrats voted for and every House Republican voted against.

1. Openly Breaks the Constitution

As the attorneys general note, “Under both the Elections Clause of Article I of the Constitution and the Electors Clause of Article II, States have principal—and with presidential elections, exclusive—responsibility to safeguard the manner of holding elections.” This bill would instead unconstitutionally give Congress primacy over state elections, in numerous ways.

Yet the Constitution expressly affords the states, not Congress, the power to determine how presidential electors are selected. Mandating mail-in voting, requiring states to accept late ballots, overriding state voter ID laws, and mandating that states conduct redistricting through unelected commissions all violate states’ constitutional authority in conducting elections.

2. Set Up Star Chambers to Intimidate Judges

The bill would establish a “Commission to Protect Democratic Institutions” that would have the power to force judges to testify before a panel of unelected federal bureaucrats. According to the bill on page 389, the commission, or any member or subcommittee of the commission, may “hold hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission considers advisable.”

This commission, the Heritage analysis finds, “would be given the authority to compel judges to testify and justify their legal decisions, threatening their independent judgment and subjecting them to political pressure and harassment.”

3. Mandate Mail-in Ballots, 10-Day Delay in Results

Rather than reject the 2020 electoral chaos caused by bureaucrats suspending state election laws to further unreliable mail-in voting and suspend legal deadlines for mailed ballots, H.R. 1 would mandate this electoral chaos forever.

The bill mandates universal mail-in balloting and requires states to wait ten days after election day for any outstanding tranches of ballots to be suddenly discovered in Democrat-run strongholds — oops, I mean, allow all ballots to arrive. The Heritage report notes that “no-fault absentee ballots” “are the tool of choice for vote thieves.”

Besides a recipe for chaos and partisan election manipulation, this is unconstitutional. The attorneys general note that “The exclusivity of state power to ‘define the method’ of choosing presidential electors means that Congress may not force states to permit presidential voting by mail or curbside voting.”

4. Eliminate Voter ID Election Security

“Perhaps most egregious is the Act’s limitations on voter ID laws,” write the attorneys general. “Fairly considered, requiring government-issued photo identification at the polls represents nothing more than a best practice for election administration.”

After a brief overview of this history of bipartisan support for voter ID laws, the letter continues: “Voter ID laws remain popular, with thirty-five states requiring some form of documentary personal identification at the polls. Yet the Act would dismantle meaningful voter ID laws by allowing a statement, as a substitute for prior-issued, document-backed identification, to ‘attest[] to the individual’s identity and . . . that the individual is eligible to vote in the election.’ This does little to ensure that voters are who they say they are. Worse, it vitiates the capacity of voter ID requirements to protect against improper interference with voting rights.”

5. Register Millions Of Criminally Present Foreign Citizens to Vote

By forcing states to automatically and duplicatively register all people to vote through government outposts such as motor vehicles, state universities, and welfare agencies, H.R. 1 would register millions of illegal migrants to vote in the United States. According to their own reports on surveys, millions of illegally present foreign citizens vote in the United States, and overwhelmingly for Democrats. Democrats including President Barack Obama have worked to prevent states from enforcing laws against foreign citizens voting in U.S. elections.

This bill would essentially create de facto voting rights for the tens of millions of non-citizens inside the United States. Under this bill, states must automatically register every adult and are legally prohibited from inspecting or checking whether anyone who votes is legally eligible to do so.

The bill also bans courts from enforcing any legal penalties on any foreign citizens who illegally vote in the United States (Section 1015). This bill’s provisions would thus allow anyone inside the United States to vote in its elections with no consequences, even if they are not citizens and have demonstrated contempt for our nation by breaking our laws to take advantage of our freedoms (for as long as they last).

6. Explode Opportunities for Election Cheating

“Adding to the threat of increased voter fraud, the Act would mandate nationwide automatic voter registration and Election Day voter registration,” write the attorneys general. “Such systems would provide too many opportunities for non-citizens and others ineligible to vote to register and cast fraudulent ballots before officials can take preventive action.”

Allowing people to register the same day they vote in 2020 contributed to suspiciously high — near or even above 100 percent — percentages of registered voters reportedly casting ballots in many precincts, often in key locations.

The bill would also “Prevent election officials from checking the eligibility and qualifications of voters and removing ineligible voters,” notes the Heritage analysis. It would require every ballot to be considered legitimate from the get-go, effectively banning provisional ballots.

Those are currently used, for example, when a voter shows up at the polls and records say he already voted or he is registered using incorrect information such as the wrong address. Under this bill, he could still vote without the error being cleared up, and with a regular, not provisional, ballot.

The bill would also eliminate any requirements that a witness sign an absentee ballot, and send absentee ballots for life to everyone who has ever used one. It would also effectively ban matching signatures on absentee ballots to government records of the voter’s signature, such as from a driver’s license record (Section 307).

Therefore, the bill eliminates almost every safeguard meant to protect against fraud and give voters confidence in election results.

7. Prevent Cleaning Up Voter Rolls

If the bill passes into law, “States could not use a combination of voter inactivity and unresponsiveness to maintain voter lists but may instead remove illegitimate voter registrations only where officials obtain some other unspecified ‘objective and reliable evidence that the registrant is ineligible to vote,’” write the 20 state attorneys general. “This attack on reliable methods that states have been using to maintain voters lists without specifying any reasonable permissible alternatives belies any actual interest in preventing voter fraud. The objective, rather, seems to be to prevent meaningful voter list maintenance altogether.”

Moreover, the bill threatens anyone, such as a local election official or poll watcher, who might undertake any questioning of any voter or attempts to establish his or her eligibility to vote. Section 1071 says: “It shall be unlawful for any person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, to corruptly hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person from registering to vote or to corruptly hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person from aiding another person in registering to vote.” The maximum penalty for this would be up to five years in prison.

8. Unleash Mobs on Political Donors

If passed, the bill would require that political speakers and nonprofit organizations publish the identities of their donors. This would create blacklists for leftist activists to target to prevent their political opponents from the opportunity to speak in public, note the attorneys general.

In addition, the bill would require massive compliance costs for “candidates, citizens, civic groups, unions, corporations, and nonprofit organizations,” says the Heritage Foundation. “Many of these provisions violate the First Amendment, protect incumbents, and reduce the accountability of politicians to the public; its onerous disclosure requirements for nonprofit organizations would subject their members and donors to intimidation and harassment.”

Even the leftist American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern about these provisions in a letter to top House Democrats. These sections of H.R. 1 “could harm political advocacy and expose non-profit donors to harassment and threats of violence should their support for organizations be subject to forced disclosure,” the ACLU wrote.

9. Gerrymander Districts to Favor Democrats

The bill would establish a commission of unelected national bureaucrats to decide where the political boundaries for various districts will be, rather than state elected officials.

“At least when legislatures draw boundary lines voters may punish egregious behavior at the next election; not so with government-by-commission, which trades accountability for mythical expertise and disinterest,” complain the Republican attorneys general about this provision. “The republican form of government inherently rejects the idea that elites have some unique capacity to discern and implement the best policies. The American tradition instead embraces political accountability as the best way to advance the public interest. With respect to political redistricting, no ideal, perfectly balanced congressional boundaries exist, so we should let the people decide, through their elected officials, where to place them.”

10. Make Vote Hacking Easier

The bill’s mass forced voter registration of every person with a record in various state databases comprises “a recipe for massive voter registration fraud by hackers and cyber criminals,” the Heritage analysis finds. Government databases are notorious for breaches of private information by cybercriminals and foreign countries. This would also create numerous duplicate voter registrations that the bill bans state and local officials from cleaning up, potentially assisting individuals in voting multiple times.

11. Let Former Felons Vote Before They’ve Completed Their Sentences

The Heritage analysis says this bill would also “Require states to restore the ability of felons to vote the moment they are out of prison regardless of uncompleted parole, probation, or restitution requirements. Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment gives states the constitutional authority to decide when felons who committed crimes against their fellow citizens may vote again. Congress cannot override a constitutional amendment with a statute.”

12. Help 16- and 17-Year-Olds Vote Illegally

H.R. 1 “would also require states to allow 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds to register; when combined with a ban on voter ID and restrictions on the ability to challenge the eligibility of a voter, this would effectively ensure that underage individuals could vote with impunity,” says the Heritage analysis.

In Section 1091, the bill establishes a federal pilot program in public schools to register 12th graders to vote. This is a blatant attempt to push elections Democrat, as polls have shown for decades the younger people are, the more likely they are to vote Democrat.

13. Bans Keeping the Records Necessary for an Election Audit or Recount

In Section 1502, the bill would ban state and local officials from preserving the record of paper ballots that make trustworthy post-election recounts and audits possible. It states: ‘‘The voting system shall not preserve the voter-verified paper ballots in any manner that makes it possible, at any time after the ballot has been cast, to associate a voter with the record of the voter’s vote without the voter’s consent.”

14. Mandates Ballot Drop Boxes

In Section 1907, H.R. 1 would mandate that, beginning 45 days before an election, “In each county in the State, each State shall provide in-person, secured, and clearly labeled drop boxes at which individuals may, at any time during the period described in subsection (b), drop off voted absentee ballots in an election for Federal office.” This allows for the anonymous submission of absentee ballots outside of mail.

It is also a recipe for massive fraud, given that in 2020, when mail-in balloting was massively expanded, more than 26 million ballots were requested and never returned. Since this bill also requires all votes to be presumed valid, anyone could gather up any number of ballots that this law also requires to be mailed to all people listed in every government database, fill them out, and dump them in.

Tens of millions would be available for ventures like these. This bill would also legalize “ballot harvesting,” or authorizing one individual to collect such ballots and turn them in by the barrel.

Even if not one partisan in the entire United States is unscrupulous enough to take advantage of this big cheating opportunity, the mere existence of this possibility would seriously erode public confidence in elections. That should be reason enough for any honest person to oppose it.

15. Giving U.S. Territories Extra Democrat Seats in Congress and the Electoral College

H.R. 1 would form a commission to consider granting five U.S. territories voting rights, but not statehood. This is an open attempt to rig Congress and the presidency in favor of Democrats.

If these territories are granted House, Senate, and Electoral College seats, they could add as many as 10 senators and 18 new Electoral College votes, all almost assuredly filled with Democrats. Notice that at the current construction of the Senate, when a 60-vote majority is needed to pass most items of importance, this plan would give Democrats that insurmountable 60-vote majority to do whatever they want with no obstacles.

Since these remote islands are all welfare states that have chosen to remain dependent on U.S. taxpayer largess rather than developing self-government, they would be poor partners for the existing states, to say the least. Like usual, Democrats don’t even want to challenge them to self-governance. They just want to use them as dependents to expand their political power.

There’s a lot more in this bill, such as that its only limits on voting appear to be regarding absentee ballots for U.S. soldiers. This massive list is not a comprehensive examination.

It should suffice, however, to reveal how insane today’s Democrat Party is that every single House Democrat, save one, voted for this bill. This is a voting bill that only totalitarians seeking a uniparty nation could love.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Sign up here to get early access to her next book, “How To Control The Internet So It Doesn’t Control You.” Her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” A Hillsdale College honors graduate, @JoyPullmann is also the author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books.

Today’s Three Politically INCORRECT Cartoons by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Political Football

Many folks are accusing Dr. Fauci of continuously moving the science goalpost.

Fauci Moving the GoalpostPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.

A.F. Branco Cartoon – Fatal Attraction

Many feel Biden, Harris and the Democrats have a lot to do with the failure with 2020 election security.

Election SecurityPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.

A.F. Branco Cartoon – Trust But Don’t Verify

Democrats fighting against only legal votes being counted in the 2020 election.

Illegal VotesPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.
Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

How Pennsylvania Democrats Deliberately Stoked 2020 Election Chaos


Reported By Jennifer Stefano  9, 2020

I can’t tell you how many texts I’ve received this week from friends and acquaintances across the country asking—usually in all-caps and peppered with profanity—what is going on in Pennsylvania? As a native Philadelphian, and from my current vantage in politically coveted Bucks County, I can see why Americans are demanding answers.

Ballots can be counted up to three days after Election Day? Mailed ballots with no postmark still qualify? Unsupervised drop boxes scattered across cities are entrusted to secure tens of thousands of votes?

Sadly, it’s all true. None of these practices inspires confidence that the standard of “one person, one vote” is being upheld. Nor were these practices valid in any prior general election in Pennsylvania.

Scratching your head as to why we chose the most consequential election in our lifetimes to run an experiment? Here’s what I’ve told my friends: the experiment was a wild success—once you understand that the chaos we’re witnessing was the plan all along, carefully orchestrated by Pennsylvania Democrats, including the governor, party activists, and the state Supreme Court. Here’s how it happened.

In Pennsylvania, Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf used the COVID-19 pandemic as cover for hurrying through new voting rules that bypassed reasonable deadlines or restrictions. The result? Many voters now have deep suspicion about wide-scale voter fraud in Philadelphia.

Republicans and Democrats have long understood the problems with mass mail-in ballots. The usual stages of ballot security are lost: unlike absentee ballots, some people are claiming they received unsolicited mail-in ballots, a practice Pennsylvania does not allow. Could it be ballots are being illegally sent or is it simply that voters forgot they signed up to get them?

Worse, it’s impossible to ensure the ballot is filled out by the voter or with her approval. And when the ballot is submitted, the chain of custody observing that ballot is broken. It’s a recipe for contested election results.

The seeds of public distrust were sowed in June, when Wolf decreed by executive order that mail-in ballots in the primary election could trickle in from certain counties for an extra week. The state Democratic Party followed up in July by suing to similarly extend the general election deadline for mail-in ballots. Their suit also sought to allow unprecedented “drop boxes” to collect mail-ins and to limit the number of election observers.

Wolf’s administration then asked the state’s elected Supreme Court, which is 5-2 Democratic-majority and has become notorious for partisan rulings, to grant all the Democrats’ requests—and they did on Sep. 17. The court went further than expected, granting the Democrats’ deadline extension, approving drop boxes and satellite “election offices” for ballot collection, and even ruling that postmarks could not be used to verify when ballots had been mailed.

In addition, the court removed the Green Party presidential candidate’s name from the state ballot over a technicality, a move that may have shifted Green Party votes to Joe Biden’s camp. In their decision, the justices acknowledged that the new deadline violated state law but claimed that “in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic” such laws could be dismissed.

It got worse. Sensing an opportunity, the Wolf administration pronounced that county officials “are prohibited from rejecting absentee or mail-in ballots based on signature comparison.” On Oct. 23, not long before Election Day, the court approved this last nail in the coffin of election integrity.

On Thursday, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey expressed concern about these unprecedented rule changes that fueled this week’s chaos, making clear that free and fair elections aren’t a partisan issue. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court will have to rule.

But on Oct. 28, the Supreme Court postponed any decision with a 4-4 ruling—excluding newly appointed justice Amy Coney Barrett—that returned the case to its court of origin. At the time, Justice Samuel Alito noted that it is likely “that the state Supreme Court decision violates the Federal Constitution,” opening a possibility that the justices will review the case post-election, with the potential outcome of eliminating thousands of illegal ballots.

On Friday, GOP state House Speaker Bryan Cutler, who noted that the election “confusion is a direct result of the court decisions,” called for a full audit before any certification of the results. Cutler also cited Pennsylvania’s 100,000 provisional ballots—cast when a voter’s eligibility is in question—that further indicated problems with the mail-in system.

Elections decided by the courts is a nightmare scenario for either political party. But Wolf refused to reform the state’s election procedures in concert with the legislature. In October, GOP lawmakers proposed compromise legislation, House Bill 2626, that included several, but not all, of the governor’s proposed changes to Pennsylvania voting laws. Wolf threatened to veto their bill in an all-or-nothing negotiation standoff.

To prevent a future election debacle in Pennsylvania, we need election integrity reform through the normal legislative process. Only legal votes should be counted, and controls should be put in place—like polling place verification and absentee ballot chain-of-custody at every stage.

But Democrats have resisted these reforms for years, creating the present chaos. The U.S. Supreme Court must respond accordingly and assure Pennsylvanians that their election was fair—regardless of the presidential outcome.

Jennifer Stefano is chief innovation officer and vice president at the Commonwealth Foundation, Pennsylvania’s free market think tank.

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