Officials of Prior Republican Presidential Administrations Support Counting Late Arriving Ballots With No Postmarks in Pennsylvania

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FILE- This Oct. 22, 2009 file photo shows former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Ridge is out of the hospital more than two weeks after suffering a heart attack and is continuing his recovery in a Texas rehabilitation facility. A Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 statement issued through a family spokesman quoted Ridge saying he’s making great progress and feeling much better. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, file)


Their hatred for Donald Trump seemingly knows no bounds.

Led by former Pennsylvania Governor and Bush Administration Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, and former New Jersey Governor and EPA Administrator Christie Todd Witman, ten individuals who have served as officials of the administrations of GOP Presidents Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 have signed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court backing the decision of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania declaring that mailed-in ballots arriving up to three days after the November 3 election are valid, if the ballot envelopes are postmarked on or before Nov. 3.

I covered in this story the case now pending before the Supreme Court challenging the decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rewriting several Pennsylvania election laws in a manner that the Pennsylvania Legislature had refused to pass legislation to accomplish.  One of the changes made by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was to extend the deadline for mailed-in ballots to be received by election officials, from 8:00 pm on election day to 8:00 pm on November 6, provided that the ballots received during that three day period bear a postmark showing they were mailed on or before November 3.

Depending on the volume of ballots that arrive in that extended window of time, the outcome of the Pennsylvania statewide vote for President may not be known until more than 72 hours after most of the rest of the country has voted.


While that change imposed by the seven judges of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court — in a 4-3 party-line  vote — is bad enough, it was made worse by the fact that the Court ordered that any ballots arriving with an illegible postmark — or no postmark at all — would be presumed to have been mailed timely unless there is proof by a preponderance of evidence that the ballot was mailed untimely.

The amicus brief filed by Gov. Ridge and the others expressly ENDORSED this invitation for mischief in the processing of ballots received from November 4 to November 6.  They argue:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court merely approved a rebuttable presumption to assist in deciding the factual issue of whether a vote received by November 6, 2020, in an envelope without a legible postmark was cast by being mailed on or before the November 3, 2020, deadline for voting….  When 130 million or more Americans vote, many timely-cast votes in many states, including many in-person votes, will be counted after midnight on election day, as has occurred for almost two centuries. And recounts, by definition, are conducted after election day.  The statutes Congress has enacted about certifying congressional and presidential election results pointedly omit any provision requiring counting of timely-cast votes to be completed on election day….  Thus, with respect to timely-cast votes, federal statutes do not limit a state to counting these votes by election day.

Whether a ballot was cast by being mailed by November 3, 2020, is a factual issue. For over two centuries, state administrative officials and courts have decided factual issues concerning whether a ballot was cast legally in a federal election. Nothing in any federal statute – including 2 U.S.C. § 7 and 3 U.S.C. § 1 – disables a state’s courts and administrative officials from using reasonable inferences and reasonable rebuttable presumptions in deciding such factual issues. Nor does any legislative history or case bar the use of such reasonable inferences or reasonable rebuttable presumptions.


Did I mention that Tom Ridge wrote an editorial in the Philadephia Inquirer announcing his intention to vote for Joe Biden?

I will cast my vote for Joe Biden on Nov. 3. It will be my first vote for a

I actually consider it a point of personal pride that I’m recognized for being among the first Republicans to reject Donald Trump. It was way back in December 2015. I told NBC’s Chuck Todd that day that I could never support Trump. I said then that he was an embarrassment to the Republican Party and our country. I said he belittles, demeans, and ridicules people who disagree with him, and that I’ve never thought that loud, obnoxious, and simpleminded solutions to complex problems are the kind of qualities we want in a president. I believe that earned me my first of several Trump tweets of indignation.

Here’s the problem Tom — while it might be understandable in 2015 that you had a view of what you thought a Trump Presidency might be, in 2020 you’ve had four years to see the progress on GOP and conservative principles and priorities that a Trump Presidency has delivered on.

And he routinely dismisses the opinions of experts who know far more about the subject at hand than he does — intelligence, military, and public health.

Be honest Tom — that’s not your real gripe.  Your real gripe is the same gripe as the rest of the GOP establishment.  Pres. Trump questions the accepted wisdom of the institutional leadership of the GOP over the past 40 years — yourself included.


To ensure your desired outcome, you’re willing to join in with a “plan” by the Pennsylvania Democrat party — championed by a Democrat Gov. and put in place by four Democrat Party Judges.  Judges in Pennsylvania run for election to the Court with their party affiliation listed on the ballot.   The Pennsylvania Legislature, with both Houses controlled by GOP majorities, refused to make the changes imposed by the Court.

And you, Tom Ridge, stand up and applaud.

Tom Ridge would have been an important piece of a John McCain Presidency.  John McCain lost and his “wing” of the GOP atrophied to a point of near irrelevance — Tom Ridge included.

It should be just as important to the old order of the GOP such as Ridge that the Democrat Party has made no effort to hide the radical left-wing neo-Marxism plans they have for the country should they gain control of the Presidency and Congress.  No matter how bad he might think the “illness” of a second term of a Trump Presidency might be, Ridge is a dangerous moron for being willing to drink hemlock as the cure.  The Democrats are happy to have support from “Republicans” like him.


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