A judge in Virginia vindicated a key complaint of former President Donald Trump’s with respect to how the 2020 election was conducted.
In a win for the integrity of future elections, Circuit Court Judge William Eldridge struck down a policy allowing late mail-in ballots without a postmark to be counted, the Daily Caller reported.
Mail-in ballot changes illegal
Like many states, officials in Virginia changed election rules amidst the coronavirus pandemic, with the state’s Board of Elections moving in August to allow mail-in ballots without a postmark to be counted up to three days after Election Day.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation filed suit in October on behalf of Frederick County electoral board member Thomas Reed, and they won a preliminary injunction from the judge prior to the election. As a result, late ballots without postmarks were not counted.
The group then announced last week that the rule was permanently invalidated after the judge agreed that it violated state law.
“This is a big win for the Rule of Law,” said Public Interest Legal Foundation President J. Christian Adams.
“This consent decree gives Mr. Reed everything he requested — a permanent ban on accepting ballots without postmarks after Election Day and is a loss for the Virginia bureaucrats who said ballots could come in without these protections,” he added.
Win for election integrity
According to the Daily Caller, Virginia law states that “any absentee ballot returned to the general registrar after the closing of the polls on election day but before noon on the third day after the election and postmarked on or before the date of the election shall be counted.”
While it won’t make Trump president, this judge’s decision seems to be a step toward addressing his concerns of election integrity — however small it might be, and it amounts to enforcing the rules on the books.
Trump spent several weeks contesting the election’s outcome, blasting Democrats for unilateral changes to election procedure that he claimed had allowed them to “rig” the election with phony ballots.
Trump’s concerns continue to echo beyond the 2020 debacle.