Pennsylvania Supreme Court upholds universal mail-in voting

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that universal mail-in balloting passed in 2019 by the Republican-led legislature is constitutional, rejecting a challenge by Republican lawmakers that the state constitution prohibits it.

The law, Act 77, allows anyone to request an absentee ballot for any reason, but the constitution says absentee ballots are permissible only in certain listed circumstances.

Absentee voting became an issue after the 2020 election, when Republicans accused Democrats of using the ballots fraudulently to deliver the presidency to Joe Biden.

Former President Donald Trump is still claiming that he really won the 2020 election, except for fraudulent mail-in ballots. He has not been able to definitively prove these claims, however.

The reasoning

The court ruled 5-2 that the legislature was constitutionally permitted to expand the reasons for absentee voting beyond those listed in the the document.

The total number of mail-in votes in the 2020 election was 2,589,242, and those votes went 76% for Biden and only 23% for Trump.

On election day, on the other hand, the votes went 65% for Trump and 34% for Biden.

Given these numbers, it is easy to see why the Democrat-dominated court would want to justify continuing the unfettered use of absentee ballots, and why Republicans might want to return their use to justified reasons only.

2,000 Mules

The fraudulent use of absentee ballots was explored in an independent movie, 2,000 Mules, which used geolocation data to show that thousands of individuals made numerous stops at vote dropboxes.

The filmmaker, Dinesh D’Souza, said the data proved that those individuals were stuffing ballot boxes with many ballots each, which is ballot harvesting and is not allowed in most states.

NPR and other media outlets have questioned and tried to debunk some of the claims in the film, but many still question whether absentee ballots encourage voter fraud.

With most Republicans still saying they question the 2020 presidential election results, it’s clear that many questions remain around the issue of election integrity.

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