The legal avenues for Trump are tight, but the vote by mail and the censorship of the media are Molotov cocktails on US democracy

Uphill path, but first good news for Trump from the Supreme Court on the Pennsylvania case.
Disturbing is the decision of the US networks not to broadcast the president's press conference. Those who accuse Trump of spreading fake news and conspiracy theories on fraud are the same ones who have fueled the Russiagate hoax for three and a half years.
The conviction of the Gop to save the majority in the Senate risks being a mirage …

With Biden overtaking in Georgia and Pennsylvania, early media, including the Associated Press , called the Democratic candidate's victory and his election as president of the United States. But all this eagerness to declare him president and kick Trump out of the White House is insane and suspicious, at least it shows the bias of the impatient. It is not clear why he is expected to "concede", when other "respectable" media are still waiting to call Biden's election. In fact, Arizona is still behind in the ballot, in Georgia the margin is very narrow, there will be a recount, and last night a first step by the Supreme Court in favor of Trump on the situation in Pennsylvania arrived: Judge Alito ordered that "All mailing forms received after 20:00 on November 3 must be separated and kept in safe and sealed containers, separate from other forms"; and “the votes, if counted, must be counted separately”.

At this point, therefore, the only way forward by the outgoing president seems to be that of the legal battle, as he himself announced yesterday, anticipating the speech that Biden gave that night:

"Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning! "

But the legal one is a very narrow path, both for the difficulty of demonstrating systematic fraud, despite the opacity of the ballot and the unreliability of the vote by post, and for the too many states involved. It's not like it was in 2000, when only Florida was at stake. Lawyers for the outgoing president would have to prove that tens of thousands of ballots are not postmarked, or have been manipulated, or that thousands of deceased or non-resident voters are among the voters, or that software errors such as happened in a county in Michigan have been repeated in dozens of counties. This in a few days and in at least three states (including Pennsylvania and Georgia), given that overtaking in Arizona is becoming less and less probable, and provided that in the meantime North Carolina does not escape, where the counting of votes by mail does not it will end before 12 November. It must be said that that of Pennsylvania is a separate case, here the appeal of Trump's lawyers could aim to have all the votes sent by mail that arrived after the closing of the polls declared invalid, but we will deal with it later.

Furthermore, the GOP is already showing signs of letting up and the Supreme Court is not at all so "Trumpian", as too many on both the right and left take for granted. Trump has appointed three excellent “originalist” judges, three have been appointed by the two Bushes, and three by Obama and Clinton.

The feeling, interpreting the statement by the Republican leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell yesterday, is that the GOP is satisfied that the president is granted the right to lodge his appeals and obtain his verifications, but that it is not supporting him in his complaint. of "election stolen".

“This is how it must work in our great country: every legal vote must be counted. All votes cast illegally must not be counted. All parties must comply with the process. And to apply the laws and settle disputes, there are the courts. Thus the votes of the Americans decide the result ”.

The wait-and-see attitude of the GOP is also due to the belief that it has saved the majority in the Senate. A belief that, however, risks turning out to be a mirage. They are currently ahead: there should be 49 senators with Alaska. Two more seats are needed and the GOP candidates are ahead in the two races in Georgia and in North Carolina. But all are at risk. In Georgia, in fact, the counting of the usual votes by mail forces Senator Perdue to run for 0.2 percent (!). With Dem's enthusiasm for snatching the state from Trump and voting by mail, he risks losing him. In North Carolina, as mentioned, the counting of the votes by mail will not end until November 12 and Tillis' margin of advantage (1.8 percent) can not leave you quiet.

In short, the majority in the Senate, the flag that should make the electorate forget Trump's defeat, is still at risk. The GOP should take a less passive attitude on suspected fraud.

Even if decisive frauds may not have occurred, Trump has the right to appeal, given the very narrow margins, the dynamics of the counting in some decisive states and the opacity of the postal voting system. It is also odd that those who have given lessons to Trump and accused him of conspiracy theories are those, Democrats and left-wing media, who for three and a half years have fueled the Russiagate hoax. Those who accuse him of making "unsubstantiated" allegations of fraud, going so far as to censor his press conference on Thursday night, are the same ones who in turn accused him, without a shred of proof, of stealing the 2016 election thanks to the Russians and being a Putin "puppet" .

"We have no doubt that when the vote is over, we will be winners," Biden said. "If you count the legal votes, I win easily," Trump retorted. There are not many differences between these statements, except that Biden does not distinguish between legal and non-legal votes, and was the first to effectively claim victory on the night of November 3. But clearly the media pretend to be scandalized only by Trump: irresponsible, arsonist, he has not yet conceded! Forgetting that in 2000 Al Gore gave his concession speech on December 13 …

The decision of some US networks, applauded by almost all our mainstream journalists, to disconnect the line at Trump's press conference, because "he is telling lies, we will not broadcast them", is disturbing. Admitted and not granted, Trump is not the first politician, and he will not be the last, to say false or inaccurate things pro domo sua . If the media were to turn off the microphone to any politician who is saying something they believe to be false or inaccurate, there would be very few, perhaps none on the air. The media watchdog role is not exercised by obscuring and extinguishing the voices, much less those of a democratically elected president. Their first task is to report, not only the claims that are believed to be "true", but everything that is of public interest. Eventually it occurs and is contested later, not preventing its audience from hearing what the president of the United States has to say.

While the networks and social media censor President Trump, nobody asks the only question that matters: why does it take days (now we are over 72 hours) to count a few hundred thousand votes, in some cases tens of thousands, if Are those votes already where they should be by now, three days after the polls have closed?

It is not just a question of slowness in the scrutiny, of the long times, it is the stop and go of the count in many states and large cities with a majority of Dems, to arouse suspicion. The packs of votes that arrive in waves in the polling stations hours and days after the closing of the voting operations.

The inherent unreliability of the "universal" postal vote is undeniable, as Attorney General William Barr explains very clearly in this September 2 interview .

The bipartisan commission chaired by Jimmy Carter and James Baker, Barr recalled, said in 2009 that voting by mail is "fraught with the risk of fraud and coercion", and so did networks, press and academic studies. "The narrative changed when this administration came along." There has been no widespread fraud in the past because voting by mail is not yet as extensive as it is proposed today. Barr then explained the difference between absentee ballots , requested by people from a specific address, and voting by post, in which ballots are sent indiscriminately, without the need to apply, to those registered on the electoral roll, which everyone knows to be inaccurate. . The people who propose to adopt this method, Barr warned, are "playing with fire."

Having made voting by post universal in many states has in fact radically changed the voting system for the presidential elections, benefiting the Democratic Party, which in fact had been pushing for it for years. Cheating or not, it is having sent en masse to all citizens entitled to the card at home that has pushed the turnout to record levels. A phenomenon already seen in the 2016 elections and in the 2018 midterms .

Under the pretext of Covid , a Pandora's box has been opened which risks undermining the credibility of the electoral process. In fact, voting by post does not protect freedom and secrecy, there is no real guarantee as to who has filled in and posted the card, it lends itself to heavy "environmental" conditioning and the exchange vote, to loss and discovery, votes attributed to people deceased for years. Let's be honest: if someone in Italy proposed to extend the vote by mail from Italians abroad (where irregularities are proven) to the whole country, to avoid gatherings at the seats, he would be immediately accused of wanting to favor the patronage vote, the swap vote , corruption and mafias.

But the inherent unreliability of postal voting is not in itself sufficient to prove systematic fraud in court.

Unlike the case of Pennsylvania.

It was even played with the words of President Trump, who clearly when he asked to "stop counting the votes" was not referring to valid votes, but to those cast illegally, that is, beyond the terms permitted by law, as in Pennsylvania.

On the Pennsylvania situation, the Republicans had already filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, which refused to express itself urgently before the elections, but had not rejected the case, which therefore remains open.

In 2019, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a law called "Act 77" to allow all voters to vote by mail, but (using Chief Justice Alito's words) "unambiguously required that all ballots by mail were received by 20:00 on election day ”. The exact text:

"No absentee ballot under this subsection shall be counted which is received in the office of the county board of elections later than eight o'clock PM on the day of the primary or election".


Act 77 also provided that if this part of the law were invalidated, the liberalization of voting by post would also be canceled.

"Sections 1, 2, 3, 3.2, 4, 5, 5.1, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 of this act are nonseverable. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remaining provisions or applications of this act are void ".

But an order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled, in total contradiction to the law, that 1) ballots by mail can be accepted up to three days after the vote, if the postmark is on or before the vote day, and 2 ) Cards sent by post without postmark or with illegible stamp must be accepted if received by the same date.

In practice, with the excuse of Covid , the Court rewrote the law, creating new rules on the timing and methods of conducting the vote, which by the Constitution are up to the Legislator. If the Supreme Court overturns the order, it is likely that any votes that arrived in the Pennsylvania polling stations after 8 p.m. on November 3, those that allowed Biden to overtake Trump, are likely to be invalidated. We'll see… Last night, meanwhile, the Supreme Court order we mentioned at the beginning arrived on the Pennsylvania case.

The post The legal avenues for Trump are tight, but the vote by mail and the censorship of the media are Molotov cocktails on US democracy appeared first on Atlantico Quotidiano .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL on Sat, 07 Nov 2020 03:45:42 +0000.