Friday, November 13, 2020

Illegalities In PA Pre-Canvassing Were A Thing

Shipwreckedcrew has been combing through the pleadings in the PA election litigation online--so the rest of us don't have too. He has discovered something rather interesting:

NAACP Motion to Intervene in PA Lawsuit Presents Evidence That State/County Officials Violated PA Election Laws

Here's what happened.

Under PA law, no pre-canvassing can take place before 7AM on Election Day. Pre-canvassing?

“Pre-canvassing” of mail-in ballots is defined in Pennsylvania election law as allowing ballot envelopes to be opened, the ballot removed, and the votes tabulated. The difference between “pre-canvassing” and “canvassing” is that the Election Board may not make any public announcement of the results of pre-canvassing.


The importance of this is that "pre-canvassing" is unofficial, and the results of pre-canvassing are not allowed to be disclosed to anyone.

What happened when the NAACP and other Dem interest groups filed their motion to intervene is that they disclosed that, not only did "pre-canvassing" take place before 7AM on election day, but ballot defects and voter identities were systematically disclosed to third parties--like labor unions--who then contacted the voters to have them file "provisional ballots" to remedy the defects. Those would presumably have been Biden voters. This was occurring in seven counties, which went heavily for Biden. One assumes that the election officials took note of what presidential box was checked on the defective ballots and ... acted accordingly. Nice to have the election officials watching your back, right? The problem, however, is that all this conduct was totally illegal.

SWC provides examples that he gleaned from the motion, which show that some persons received multiple contacts from the third parties to get their behinds in to vote provisionally. What should be the effect of this? SWC explains:

These declarations establish as a factual matter that the allegations of the complaint are true — the remaining question is simply how extensive were these violations?  That is a question that can only be answered through discovery.

The seven County Boards are going to be forced to produce information about the number of ballots that were rejected, the reasons for the rejection, and the rate of rejection in terms of the total number of mail-in ballots received.  That rejection rate is then going to be compared to the rejection rates of counties all across Pennsylvania.  If the rejection rate is substantially lower in the seven counties named as defendants, the election officials in those counties are going to have to explain their application of the election laws in rejecting ballots.

It's impossible to predict at this point what effect this will have, but unquestionably every little bit helps.


  1. More "glitches" in the most secure and above board election ever.

    1. This election just keeps defying all the odds.

  2. In a similar vein, Margot Cleveland discusses disregard for election law, with reference to something from National Review's Jim Geraghty. Cleveland expresses that she respects Geraghty "immensely" and isn't trying to "pick on" him. Can't say I share Cleveland's opinion of him, and frankly his exceptionally ignorant and misleading take strongly suggests he needs to find another beat. One he's spent a lot of time on and about which he has more knowledge than a clueless layman. Like, maybe, navel gazing.

    "Partisans Cheating By Ignoring Election Law Is A Problem As Big As Vote Fraud"


  3. Looks like cheating happened in every way possible in small amounts, will all these different ways be looked at or will time run out? To what extent does the cheating have to get to for something to happen? I'm seeing numerous accounts of people say this and that happened, but what does it take to go to the next step, if any?

  4. Perhaps the error was a person accidentally voted for Trump.

    So a “helpful” person would make sure the votes for the “approved” candidate.

    I wonder how often that happened with “cured” ballots.