PENNSYLVANIA GAME-CHANGER ... Oh Wait, Nope, Joe Biden Still Won!
Let's watch that wingnut sausage get made, shall we?
Here's a tweet from some rando conservative news dude who used to work for Fox.
BREAKING: Pennsylvania.🗳️ Judge orders segregated ballots should *not* be counted. It rules the PA Secretary of St… https://t.co/rLdVnL43G9— Kyle Becker (@Kyle Becker) 1605208079.0
No link to the case; no cite; and he doesn't even tell you what court it's in. Did you think this was about the 10,000 "segregated ballots" arriving in Pennsylvania after November 3 thanks to covid and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's mail slowdown? Do you think that was Kyle Becker's intention when he wrote this tweet? Do you want to eat this nasty sausage?
DO NOT EAT THE SAUSAGE!
Here on Planet Earth, the order involves a tiny handful of ballots cast by first-time voters. #SCOTUS will not "ultimately decide the case now" because it won't make any goddamn difference! No one cares about some bullshit little case filed by the Trump campaign in an attempt to chip away at Biden's insurmountable 54,000-vote margin in the state.
In September, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar to accept all ballots postmarked by November 3 as long as they arrived by Friday, November 6. Boockvar interpreted this judicially mandated extension to cover other categories of defective ballot. In this instance, Pennsylvania law allows first-time voters who lack ID to come in with acceptable identification and "cure" their ballots for six days after the election — a period that Boockvar extended to nine days. Yesterday the state's appellate court said this extrapolation was incorrect and ordered her not to count any votes that were "fixed" between November 9 and 12.
How many ballots are affected by this ruling? Dunno! But it's not 10,000, as most of the commenters on Kyle Becker's widely shared tweet assumed. And it's not going to make a dent in Biden's 54,000-vote lead in the state. So ... not so BREAKING at all really. But it did get Becker retweeted by Senator Ted Cruz. And what's more important, ginning up traffic with incendiary misdirection, or informing your readers?
You'll be shocked to learn that our Kyle is busy fanning the flames of misinformation about Dominion voting machines this morning. Gotta get those clicks!
To his (partial) credit, Becker also retweeted Trump campaign lawyer Harmeet Dhillon's (partial) explanation of the Boockvar decision.
2/ It's unclear how many first-time voters are affected by this b/c they didn't produce this information a full six… https://t.co/Fju5kzHTVL— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@Harmeet K. Dhillon) 1605215417.0
UH HUH. Let's stipulate that Harmeet Dhillon is not a fool. She's a practicing attorney who clerked for a federal judge, and she knows goddamn well the difference between this case and the one involving the 10,000 late-arriving ballots. But we've met Ms. Dhillon before, so her willingness to spin the truth didn't come as a total shock.
Trump campaign legal adviser: "We're waiting for the United States Supreme Court - of which the President has nomin… https://t.co/IR207x36wH— Jason Campbell (@Jason Campbell) 1604615202.0
Ain't she a peach?
The Commonwealth Court may have ruled that Secretary Boockvar "lacked statutory authority" to extend the ID deadline herself, but that's not what happened with the late ballots, where the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the three-day extension due to the ongoing public health emergency. And indeed the Commonwealth Court explicitly acknowledged the validity of the judicially mandated change, writing that the secretary could have extended the ID period by seeking the court's blessing: "The petitioner's observation persuades the Court that an amendment of the Supreme Court's order is necessary to achieve Secretary Boockvar's objective."
Justice Alito may yet swoop in to undo the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's ruling on some cockeyed theory that only the legislature can control state elections — the better to allow gerrymandered legislatures to rig future races. But the Pennsylvania appellate court is certainly not saying that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court lacks the authority to interpret the state's election laws. That's just bullshit, as Harmeet Dhillon surely must know.
In summary and in conclusion, these people are all hacks and liars. We won Pennsylvania, and there's nothing they can do about it. And whatever you do, don't eat that nasty sausage!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.