The Pennsylvania Electoral System Needs Fixed, And It Needs Fixed Now
The entire electoral system of the state of Pennsylvania is in chaos. In reality, the Commonwealth now conducts what amounts to 67 separate elections, one for each county, as election officials attempt to navigate through the insanity produced by bad legislation, partisan Supreme Court decisions and the actions of a Secretary of State dedicated to ensuring one-party Democratic rule forever.
The people of Pennsylvania are increasingly fed up – as are county election officials who are desperately trying to preserve some level of integrity in an increasingly broken system. Action by the legislature to fix the situation is desperately needed. And, yet, incredibly, it seems that the legislature intends to do absolutely nothing.
The buzz coming out of Harrisburg is that the Republican-controlled legislature will reconvene, pass a budget and then – once again – adjourn until after the November elections. Pennsylvania will go into the next general election with exactly the same dysfunctional system it has now. Once again, we will see an election in which fraud and outright theft will be rampant.
In fact, increasingly, the Republican establishment in Harrisburg seems to be parroting exactly the same lines as the Democrats. When Republican Senator Pat Browne, a longtime denizen of the Swamp was defeated by a challenger in the recent primary, the first thing that surfaced were discussions among GOP establishment politicians about raising money for a court challenge to force county officials to count ballots clearly illegal under Pennsylvania law.
Ultimately, Browne’s friends in the Swamp appear to have dropped the idea but it seems only because the campaign of David McCormick– a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate – decided to litigate the same issues. Thus, Browne’s campaign can now get the benefit of pushing for the counting of these invalid ballots but allow someone else to take the heat for it.
Prior to 2019 Pennsylvania had a system of in-person voting with select provisions for absentee voting. Then the legislature passed Act 77 and moved the state, inexplicably to no excuse mail-in voting. There was no public pressure for the legislature to do so. The decision was made as part of a backroom deal with the Democrats. The GOP gave the Dems no excuse, mail-in voting. In exchange, the Democrats agreed to the end of “straight-ticket” voting. The GOP establishment desperately wanted that change in order to cut away Donald Trump in 2020 and “protect” their down-ballot candidates.
Then the Pennsylvania Supreme Court acted to make the situation even worse. It allowed mail-in ballots to be counted up to three days after Election Day. It said that a ballot without a postmark must be presumed to have been mailed before Election Day. It said signatures on ballots did not have to match those on file. It also decided all on its own, apparently, that drop boxes would be a good idea and winked them into existence.
The Pennsylvania Secretary of State then moved to gut even further provisions dedicated to ballot security. Among other things, the Secretary of State forbade county election officials from attempting to confirm the legitimacy of signatures on ballots. Any signature would be sufficient. Why anyone would even continue to sign a ballot under these conditions remains unclear.
A GOP investigative committee created after the 2020 election found, among other things, that the number of votes counted exceeded the number of people who actually voted by over 200,000. That would seem to be a pretty big deal but the committee members were not allowed to testify before the legislative committees investigating the election results and their report was never entered into evidence. The whole thing was simply swept under the rug.
Ever since the 2020 election, the legislature has claimed that it was going to do something to fix the situation and restore sanity to Pennsylvania elections. The strong suspicion has always been that this was a lie designed to appease the ignorant masses, keep them in line, and run out the clock. It is noteworthy that, increasingly in the state, the supposed investigation of what happened in 2020 is referred to as the ‘fraudit’ rather than the audit.
It seems safe now to conclude that the suspicion that we were being lied to has been proven correct. No one is going to do anything, at least not unless they are forced to. The GOP establishment and the Democratic Party have become increasingly indistinguishable.
It is time, then, for those people who actually believe the integrity of an electoral system counts to make clear to their “representatives” that action must be taken. When Patriot group leaders signed on to the Election Integrity Declaration and demanded a return to in-person voting immediately that was a good start. Obviously, it was also only a beginning.
The next step is the planned appearance of Patriot group demonstrators in front of every legislative district office in the state on 14 June, Flag Day. Every person in the state who cares about the face of our democracy needs to turn out and make themselves heard.
The Pennsylvania electoral system needs to be fixed, and it needs to be fixed now.