Politics

Tenn. Attorney General Joins Brief Asking SCOTUS To Review General Election Process In Pennsylvania

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Tennessee is one of five states to join Oklahoma’s brief in the Supreme Court of the United States, taking issue with the 2020 election process in Pennsylvania. Election officials from Tennessee, Oklahoma, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, and West Virginia all supported the court documents filed on Nov. 9. Tennessee’s Attorney General Herbert Slatery III signed on, suggesting that how Pennsylvania handled the 2020 election may be unconstitutional and requesting the Supreme Court to review the state’s actions.The Supreme Court allowed election officials in battleground state of Pennsylvania to accept absentee ballots for days after Election Day. As Americans watched states light up red or blue while awaiting presidential election results, Pennsylvania flipped from red to blue with President-elect Joe Biden scoring 20 electoral votes. President Trump has insistently disputed the election’s results.

According to reports, Pennsylvania officials said they told county election workers to separate ballots arriving after 8 p.m. on Election Day through 5 p.m. three days later. Something those signing onto the brief disagree with, as they push for all states to uphold Election Day receipt deadlines for absentee ballots. The brief says prior to the COVID-19 pandemic more than 30 states had a common state deadline for election officials to receive absentee ballots by Election Day when the polls close.

“More broadly, this election cycle demonstrates the immense importance to the states of the questions presented in this case: almost 500 cases have filed in almost every state, many of which sought to alter state election statutes on the eve of – and often in the midst of – the 2020 general election,” the brief reads.

With Biden surpassing Trump in electoral votes 290 to 214, election results are still being determined in Georgia, North Carolina and Alaska. Oklahoma’s amicus brief with AG Herbert Slatery’s name on it, has a problem with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court approving their own election deadline and declaring the one used in prior years must be rewritten due to coronavirus setbacks. The brief wants to make sure absentee ballot deadlines cannot be amended by state courts “merely because some voters will not act in a timely fashion to comply.”

The states say Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to write in a new postmark deadline with a three-day-after-Election-Day cutoff, violated the state’s prerogative to set “the Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections” from the Constitution. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court altered their election law based on the state’s high absentee voter turnout in its June primary. They say they were inundated with over 1.8 million requests for mail-in ballots.

“In this end, this was nothing more than a state court acting in a legislative capacity to change election rules for a federal election—a job the Constitution instead gives to state legislatures,” the brief reads.

The brief says this isn’t just a Pennsylvania problem, but that other states have a strong interest in the outcome of elections … (Read more)

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