Opinion

BRANDON: Democrats’ Push To Flip The Script On State Election Law Delegitimizes The Process

Derek R. Henkle/AFP via Getty Images

Adam Brandon CEO, FreedomWorks
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Now that the college and NFL seasons are finally underway (for most), football analogies are back in vogue. Imagine the start of the fourth quarter, when suddenly one team convinces the official to add a fifth down and make field goals worth as much as touchdowns. After three quarters of play, does this seem reasonable?

Whereas in 2016, Hillary Clinton thought that total yardage would win her the game, this time around, Democrats are flat-out changing the rules of how we count votes.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling on Sept. 17 all but guaranteed that we will not know the results of the 2020 presidential election the night of November 3. In response to challenges from the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, the Supreme Court has extended the deadline for acceptance of absentee ballots to three days after election day. If this year’s primaries — in which more than half a million mail ballots were rejected — can tell us anything, it’s that in-person voting remains the smartest way to go about a presidential election.

Students of American political history can recall the controversy surrounding the 1960 presidential election when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, to the benefit of John F. Kennedy, allegedly withheld votes on election night. Pennsylvania is now setting itself up for another “count votes until you win” scenario.

Delayed results only generate controversy and chaos. By arbitrarily extending the deadline for absentee ballots, Pennsylvania has issued a clarion call for partisan legal teams to descend upon the Keystone State in the weeks following the election. Is this how we want to conduct our elections? With lawyers fighting it out over what counts as a signature on a mail ballot?

Does Pennsylvania want to subject the entire country to watch as partisan legal teams fight over which ballots to count and which to discard until December 15 when the electors convene?

For all of Democrats’ hue and cry over President Trump’s purported undermining of our democratic institutions, one would think that effectively changing the date of an election is a step too far. This is crass politics at its worst. Widespread voting by mail is being sold as “ending voter suppression.” In reality, it’s a power play by Pennsylvania Democrats to change the rules with fewer than 50 days to go before Election Day. Our elections are no longer free and fair when we make late-game changes to the rules. Changes such as those that Pennsylvania just made destroy the legitimacy of the electoral process.

We need to move to a system of clear laws in order to prevent these sorts of last minute “reforms.” Americans deserve to see their elections resolved in a swift and timely manner. The best way to do this is to vote in-person on Election Day. The NIAID’s Dr. Fauci himself has said repeatedly that with proper precautions, in-person voting is safe. The US Postal Service has a poor track record of delivering election mail in good years. It makes no sense to believe that they could even handle such an influx of election mail this year, regardless of how much they receive in bailout funds.

Of course we must always allow for some amount of absentee voting, but to actively mislead and incentivize voters to cast their ballots by mail when most could otherwise vote in person opens the process up to corruption.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic party officials know that the system in place for voting by mail is both inadequate and flawed. It’s a system that can’t be fixed months before an election, and one which takes more than increased funding to solve. By pressing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to extend the deadline for absentee ballots, Democrats are taking advantage of this flawed system under the guise of “ending voter suppression.” In reality, they are doing the opposite by letting lawyers, rather than American voters, determine the results.

Adam Brandon is the President of FreedomWorks