Voting: An odd Pennsylvania poll case fuels considerations in regards to the DOJ


The Atlantic quoted Pennsylvania GOP chair Lawrence Tabas, who mentioned this scheme, by which Republican legislators might appoint their very own slate of electors, “is without doubt one of the out there authorized choices set forth within the Structure” and that he had “talked about it” to the Trump marketing campaign and hopes “they’re fascinated about it.”

In an emailed assertion to CNN, Vonne Andring, govt director of the Pennsylvania Republican Social gathering, mentioned that whereas what Tabas mentioned was factually true, “The Atlantic used that interview to spin an out of context, pre-emptive farce.”

She didn’t, nevertheless, definitively rule out utilizing the legislature to overturn the statewide outcomes.

“Because the Chairman mentioned, all of us need a swift, correct end result,” Andring mentioned.

CNN’s Marshall Cohen and Pamela Brown level out the assertion additionally famous that Republicans, who management the legislature, lately handed a invoice that will velocity up ballot-processing. That provision has bipartisan assist, however the invoice has different measures which can be opposed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, like banning new dropboxes and easing guidelines on partisan poll-watchers.

An official investigation into ballots

Add to that this bizarre announcement from the Justice Division that it was, in keeping with one other Cohen report, “investigating ‘potential points with mail-in ballots’ within the swing state of Pennsylvania and, in a extremely uncommon disclosure, revealed that a number of ballots marked for President Donald Trump have been ‘discarded.'”

What occurred? “US Legal professional David Freed mentioned a preliminary inquiry decided that 9 ‘navy ballots have been discarded’ and that seven of them ‘have been solid for presidential candidate Donald Trump.’ The incident occurred in Luzerne County, a swing county in northeastern Pennsylvania.”

However on Friday, Cohen reviews, county officers mentioned the issue was attributable to a “momentary seasonal impartial contractor” on their third day of labor serving to the elections workplace. They mentioned the contractor “incorrectly” threw the ballots into the workplace trash. The officers referred to as this an “error” and mentioned the truth that it was shortly observed and investigated proves that “the system of checks and balances” is working to guard the election.

Why is that this bizarre? Cohen once more: “The assertion was extremely uncommon as a result of it highlighted the truth that the ballots have been marked for Trump — which instantly raised suspicions that the Justice Division was making an attempt to furnish materials that Trump might promote for political acquire. Certainly, Trump and different White Home aides used the data, even earlier than it was made public, to assault mail-in voting.”

What’s purported to occur? Election officers go to extraordinary lengths to guard poll secrecy. It is unclear how investigators discovered who the votes have been for, and why they made that info public. And the county additionally mentioned it realized on Thursday — from the Justice Division’s uncommon press launch — that seven of the ballots has been solid for Trump.

However Trump was speaking in regards to the case even earlier than it had been introduced, in an interview on Fox Information radio.

And what about North Carolina

There is a fully completely different drama in North Carolina, the place the 2 Republican members of the state election board resigned this week citing a court docket settlement over mail-in voting practices. Republicans have requested the Division of Justice to look into the board’s efforts to depend ballots postmarked by Election Day however that arrive later and permit folks to treatment mail-in ballots which can be rejected for technical issues, as will occur in plenty of states. Learn extra right here.
So what is going on on? These are all variations on the theme of Republicans taking a cue from Trump and making an attempt to discredit mail-in ballots in small methods all around the nation. CNN’s Jeremy Herb has an excellent story on that right here.
The involvement of the Division of Justice is the newest growth. And whereas Legal professional Basic Invoice Barr is aiding Trump’s theories about voting, FBI Director Christopher Wray agrees with consultants and proof that there isn’t any widespread voter fraud effort. That seems to have put Wray on the outs with the White Home.
There’s extra. The Florida Legal professional Basic is, in keeping with NPR, asking regulation enforcement companies to analyze Mike Bloomberg’s effort to pay the fines of Florida felons to allow them to vote.
Money playing cards. Trump desires ship $200 drug low cost playing cards to seniors on Medicare, a gaggle he is struggling to draw — and that Democratic nominee Joe Biden is doing effectively with. Which, wow. How’s he going to pay for that? We do not know a lot.

It is all associated

Learn this column by CNN analyst and elections professional Rick Hasen in Slate, the place he argues that the Pennsylvania reporting, all of the completely different authorized fights and Trump’s repeated efforts to assert there’s voter fraud all work collectively as an effort to pre-empt the democratic vote.

“We must always not consider the litigation and the wild claims of voter fraud as separate from each other. As a substitute, they’re a part of a play to seize energy if the election is shut sufficient. There are good authorized arguments towards an influence seize, but when one other physique tries to overturn the need of the folks in voting for president, there shall be protests within the streets, with the potential for violence.

Tom Friedman, the New York Occasions columnist, was much more alarmed and instructed CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday that he fears the US is headed for a second civil warfare. Watch that second.

That is likely to be alarmist, however we’re positively in a spot the place severe persons are questioning if the nation can deal with this election.


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