ORLANDO, Florida — Following a legal blow from the Supreme Court over a lawsuit that contended Pennsylvania’s no-excuse, mail-in balloting system was a violation of the state Constitution, Republican Rep. Mike Kelly sees little chance that the election environment will change in time for the 2022 election cycle.
“We violated our own state, federal constitution by doing what we did, and it was just — it’s appalling. And the fact that the Supreme Court won’t take it up, again, people are losing faith in our system and saying, ‘So, even though we have all these things in place to safeguard this, if they won’t even look at it, how are we safeguarded?’” Kelly told the Washington Examiner of the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss his case.
Former President Donald Trump lost the state of Pennsylvania to President Biden during the 2020 election by 1 percentage point of the ballots cast (or 80,000 ballots).
Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled state legislature, following the election, drew up a bill to amend the state’s constitution and give the legislature the power to end a disaster emergency declared by the governor.
The COVID-19 pandemic was often used as a reason by different state governors as a means to change how the elections were run in 2020 by mandating mail-in ballot procedures, as well as allowing extended periods for late ballots that arrived after election night.
Kelly said he wishes that the state legislature took these steps earlier and is not certain how effective the attempt to curb Gov. Tom Wolf’s powers will be.
“It’s almost a fool’s errand, what they’re talking about. The time to step up to it was not coming up this year or the next year, but it was back in October of 2019 when they actually let this piece of legislation go by,” he said. “What they thought were safeguards to put into it, Gov. Wolf completely eliminated a week before the election, some cases.”
Kelly added, “The legislature is going to try to do something. I don’t think that with this governor. They have to work with him. I don’t see what in the world they will think is going to be different in the way he handles himself. Nice attempt. I think it fails.”