Former independent counsel Ken Starr recently testified at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the state of Pennsylvania committed flagrant violations of election laws by changing them just prior to the 2020 presidential elections. Starr said that it is only the state legislatures who have the right to determine election rules and laws.
However, the Secretary of State in Pennsylvania and possibly other states made such changes without getting approval from the legislature. He believes that there is a high possibility of courts ruling such acts of the secretaries of states are wrong. Starr also highlighted the “unprecedented use of mail-in ballots” during this election.
In an interview with Fox News in November, Starr called the Supreme Court’s ruling for Pennsylvania to allow mail-in ballots postmarked by Nov.3 (election date) to be received up to three days later a “constitutional travesty.”
“Governor [Tom] Wolf tries to get his reforms, his vision, as he was entitled to do, through the legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania… He failed. He then goes to the state Supreme Court, which by a divided vote, accepted the substance of what Governor Wolf was doing, and then added thereon nooks and crannies as well,” Starr said in the program.
In 2019, Pennsylvania enacted Act 77. It made voting through the mail, without an excuse, legal. Governor Wolf argued that it was a necessary provision to “modernizing our election” and to make voting convenient for millions of people. However, Republicans strongly resisted Act 77. A lawsuit was filed arguing that Wolf and other officials of the state had violated the Constitution by allowing mail-in ballots without excuse.
Violations of election laws in the state of Pennsylvania
In addition, there have been many other violations of election laws in the state of Pennsylvania. The Secretary of State, for example, unilaterally removed signature verification mandated for mail-in ballots.
The Secretary of State instructed officials in Democrat majority counties to remove the ballots before 7 a.m. on Election Day with the excuse they were curing the ballots. Pennsylvania election officials failed to adhere to a promise made to the U.S. Supreme Court that required them to segregate ballots received on Election Day after 8 p.m. It then became impossible to identify these ballots.
The Pennsylvania state legislature supported the Texas lawsuit. The leadership in both the Senate and the House filed an amicus brief agreeing with Texas’ position that Pennsylvania’s election laws were not followed during the presidential race. Trump Attorney Jenna Ellis believes that this is a smart move for the President and Republican supporters.
“That gives them the basis through their investigations, their findings, all of the testimony and evidence presented by the mayor and myself at that hearing, for Pennsylvania to reclaim under Article II Section 1.2 of the U.S. Constitution, they can reclaim their authority to select the slate of delegates… And so they have every opportunity to call themselves back into an electoral session for the purpose of voting on which slate of delegates they’re going to send. So that is what should happen in each of these six states prior to Jan. 6,” Ellis said on the program. On Dec. 14, Pennsylvania was one of the states to cast alternative votes in support of President Trump.