By MARSHA MERCER
President Donald Trump
beamed like a proud papa and Republicans cheered at Amy Coney Barrett’s
swearing-in show on the White House lawn Monday night.
The president and
Senate Republicans had successfully rushed Barrett through the confirmation
process as an associate justice on the Supreme Court before the election.
In one fell swoop, they
bolstered their standing with GOP voters and took out an insurance policy in the
event a razor-thin presidential election prompts legal challenges.
know Trump has long sown distrust in the electoral process and has laid the
groundwork to contest the results if Democrat Joe Biden wins.
As in 2016, Trump
refuses to say he will accept the election result, repeatedly claiming the only
way he can lose is if it is rigged or stolen.
On Sept. 23 Trump
told reporters he wanted nine justices in place because they may need to decide
the election. He has appointed three justices, cementing a 6 to 3 conservative
Armies of lawyers on
both sides are suiting up for post-election battle.
evidence, Trump continues to insist mail-in voting is ripe for Democratic fraud.
Trailing in the polls in several battleground states, he is unwilling to let
election officials take the time necessary to count mail-in ballots.
require ballots to be mailed by Election Day, but several allow days or weeks
for the postal service to deliver them and election officials to tally the votes.
In Virginia, mail-in
absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by
noon Nov. 6. Voters who haven’t mailed their ballots can hand-deliver them to
their polling place on Election Day. Virginia results will be certified Nov.
On Election Night in some
states, including Virginia, localities will report in-person Election Day
results first. Since Trump voters are likely to vote in person and Democrats by
mail, Trump could take an early lead but lose it when absentee and mail-in
ballots are counted.
That’s why Trump’s
insistence “Must have final total on November 3rd” is self-serving
and just plain wrong.
“It would be very, very
proper and very nice if a winner were declared on Nov. 3rd, instead of counting
ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate,” he told reporters
Everyone wants election
results as soon as possible, but we all need patience so the process works
A week before Election
Day, more than 64 million Americans had already voted, with about half of
the votes in the dozen or so competitive states that will decide who wins the
Electoral College, The New York Times reported.
So how could the election
come down to nine justices in black robes?
Many younger voters won’t
remember 2000, the too-close-to-call presidential race in Florida and the recounts,
lawsuits and intense scrutiny of “hanging chads” that followed.
Democrat Al Gore won
the popular vote nationwide, but the Electoral College is what counts.
With Republican George
W. Bush ahead in Florida by only 537 votes, the dispute went to the Supreme
Court, where a 5 to 4 vote on Dec. 12 halted the Florida recounts, essentially delivering
the state’s 25 electoral votes and victory to W. The five justices who ended
the Florida recount were nominated by Republican presidents. Democrats cried
Trump now hopes the
court will smile on him. His campaign and the Republican party challenged ballot
deadline extensions in several battleground states that were favored by
Democrats because of coronavirus concerns.
Before Barrett joined
the court, justices blocked a deadline extension in Wisconsin, where a federal
judge had said mail-in ballots could be counted for six days after Election Day
if they were postmarked by then. The justices said counting must end Election
But the highest court Wednesday
rejected GOP requests to overturn ballot extensions in two other key states, Pennsylvania
and North Carolina, where the extensions came from the state Supreme Court and
state elections officials, respectively.
Barrett, whose first
day on the job was Tuesday, had not had time to review the cases and did not
Voters, the time for
dilly-dallying is over. In Virginia, in-person absentee voting ends Oct. 31. You can still vote Tuesday. Just do it.
©2020 Marsha Mercer. All rights reserved.