‘We have already seen more litigation, even before COVID, than ever before in 2020. What COVID has done is added fuel to that fire…’
(Liberty Headlines) There is much reason for optimism in the current coronavirus crisis.
However, Democrats may yet use over-inflated data and sensationalist coverage to milk the pandemic hype through November—if for no other reason than to push their corrupt attempt at a mail-in-only election.
On the very day that President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, left-wing operatives already were at work calling for the November election to be conducted by mail-in ballot only.
I am getting a lot of questions about the November election. While states can set their own primary days, the federal general election is set by federal statute as the the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. This date cannot be changed by a state nor by the President. https://t.co/jxHCLW4MZ4.
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) March 13, 2020
Elias’s past skulduggery has included contesting several tight races where the Republican won by narrow margins on election night only to see those victories overturned by the mysterious appearance of new, uncounted ballots.
As soon as Democrats sent their best Election stealing lawyer, Marc Elias, to Broward County they miraculously started finding Democrat votes. Don’t worry, Florida – I am sending much better lawyers to expose the FRAUD!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
Moreover, Elias has the dubious distinction of having been the liaison between the Fusion GPS firm and the Hillary Clinton campaign in providing the payoff for its commissioning of the notorious, now-discredited Steele Dossier.
Now Elias has taken on a new crusade: not only to reverse the outcome of Election Day, but to prevent it from happening altogether.
Capitalizing on Coronavirus
On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled its Democratic governor’s last-ditch effort to delay the state primary—an unprecedented and unconstitutional move that he claimed was justified, even without legal basis, due to the current health crisis.
But for litigious left-wing activists, that may just be the beginning.
“We have already seen more litigation, even before COVID, than ever before in 2020,” boasted Elias of the nonstop attempts to use the courts to undo the political and legislative processes. “What COVID has done is added fuel to that fire.”
Rick Hasen, an election law professor at the University of California-Irvine, said he expects “a lot of litigation, especially in states that offer excuse absentee balloting.” But, he added, fighting over elections was already going to be intense before the outbreak.
Hasen tracks election litigation and said it soared to a high record in 2018—an unusual mark for a nonpresidential year.
“Part of it is hyperpolarization,” Hasen said. “Part of it is that we have a lot of close elections, and people realize that, in really close elections, rules matter.”
Both major parties are preparing for a monthslong, state-by-state legal fight over how citizens will cast their ballots in a time of unparalleled government overreach that already has tossed out several sacred tenets of the Constitution.
Elias said he expects to file lawsuits within the coming weeks against states that Democrats claim haven’t taken adequate steps to protect voters and poll workers during the outbreak. The party is pushing steps to make it simpler to request and return mail-in ballots.
The outcome of the upcoming court battles—expected to litigate mail-in voting rules, voter identification requirements and safe access to polls—may have a significant impact on how many people turn out to vote in hundreds of elections across the country, including the White House race.
Trump warned Tuesday that Democrats, like Elias, who wanted to extend the time for mail ballots to come in, were not acting in good faith with the noblest of intentions as they claimed.
“Now, mail ballots, they cheat, OK? People cheat. Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country,” said the president.
Red Lines for Republicans
A legal victory for the Left would likely open the door to massive fraud and ballot mishandling, allowing Elias and others like him to continue sowing chaos in the aftermath by challenging the very rules they sought to put in place.
But Republicans said they were ready to fight back.
The Republican National Committee plans to spend some of the $10 million it set aside for presidential year election-related litigation to fight back against Democratic lawsuits over the virus.
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel was the latest to warn against the cynical effort by political adversaries to secure permanent Democratic majorities.
“The Republican Party will always defend free and fair elections, especially in times like these,” she wrote in an opinion article published Monday by Fox News. “That is why we will continue to fight and win against attempts by Democrats to use the pandemic as an excuse to circumvent election integrity.”
The Trump campaign has laid down markers on what sort of changes it expects state Republicans to fight, although it anticipates a greater need for promoting safety if the virus concerns linger into the fall.
Notably, some Republican secretaries of state, such as in Iowa and Ohio, have already moved to send mail ballots out widely.
Vote-by-mail options can “play a role during a pandemic by enabling at-risk voters to vote safely,” legal counsel Justin Clark said in a statement.
But, Clark added, “states should resist proposals that open the door to voting fraud such as mailing ballots to voters who haven’t asked for one.”
Sowing Chaos and Confusion
Tuesday’s presidential primary in Wisconsin was a preview of confusion the court fights can cause.
After Democratic Gov. Tony Evers tried to delay the election at the last minute, a court initially postponed and tweaked the rules for the contest, only to have the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday night reinstate many of the original rules and the election.
The election went on as planned—although Milwaukee opened just five of its 180 in-person polling places after hundreds of poll workers declined to show up.
Voters cast ballots while wearing protective masks and stood in long lines, trying to keep a safe distance in a state where the virus has killed 92 people.
Yet, the turnout during the peak of the pandemic revealed voters’ commitment to preserving the foundations of democracy.
Currently, five states use an exclusive vote-by-mail system, sending ballots to all voters: Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah and Hawaii.
Elsewhere, laws vary as to whether voters need to provide a valid reason for absentee ballots, and whether another person is allowed to return the ballot.
Roughly one-third of states require a formal excuse to procure an absentee ballot that can be sent in remotely, including the swing state of New Hampshire, which has yet to designate the pandemic as a legitimate reason to get a mail ballot.
Other states crucial to the presidential contest, like Wisconsin and North Carolina, require a witness to sign an application for a mail ballot. Democrats claim that would be difficult for voters under quarantine.
In Texas, the state Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit seeking to allow the pandemic to qualify as a legitimate excuse for any voter seeking an absentee ballot.
The Republican National Committee, meanwhile, helped New Mexico Republicans stop that state’s Supreme Court from allowing a request by county clerks to turn their June primary into an all-mail event.
The party argues that such changes are premature and, in some cases, unworkable.
“Imposing a new system onto states unnecessarily will result in significant problems in the November election, and it is critical we work to preserve the integrity of the democratic process,” said RNC spokeswoman Mandi Merritt.
Pushing the Envelope
The brewing legal fight comes as Democrats’ efforts to mandate no-excuse mail-in voting have fizzled in Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., attempted to include mail-in ballot measures among a litany of left-wing wish-list items unrelated to emergency at hand in the House version of the CARES Act relief bill passed last month.
Senate Republicans prevented much of the Democratic pork from making it into the $2-trillion economic stimulus package.
However, Democratic leaders said the Wisconsin primary strengthened their resolve to try again in the next bill.
Left-wing activists also believe more litigation is inevitable. Elias said Democrats are pushing for some standards, including a postage-paid return envelope, counting ballots postmarked by Election Day, allowing voters to resolve issues arising from questions about a signature and allowing groups to drop off and collect mail ballots from voters.
Democrats claim the latter provision, dubbed “ballot harvesting,” is essential for elderly voters and others isolated by the pandemic. But it’s another red line for the Trump campaign.
Trump warned that the suspicious scheme could lead to so many people voting that “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
Ironically, Elias himself was recently on the other end of a high-profile case against ballot-harvesting after a GOP-hired get-out-the-vote contractor in North Carolina was accused of violating state law by collecting ballots during the 2018 election.
Elias led the effort to undo the narrow victory of Baptist pastor Mark Harris, the Republican victor in the state’s 9th Congressional District, amid the accusations that the election had been tainted.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press