Dems claim ballots 2 weeks late are good, now court rules

(Photo by Joe Kovacs)
(Photo by Joe Kovacs)

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A federal court has rejected an attempt by the Democrat party in Illinois to argue in court that mail-in ballots arriving two weeks late should be counted.

The fight is being handled by government watchdog Judicial Watch, which reported a ruling from the court said the Democrat party in Illinois will not be allowed to intervene in the case.

Judicial Watch is challenging the Illinois plan to allow officials to count mail-in ballots as long as they arrive within two weeks of election day.

The case was brought on behalf of Congressman Mike Bost and two other registered Illinois voters, and opposes state officials’ scheme to extend election day to 14 days beyond the day specified by federal law.

Judge John F. Kness said the Democrats’ participation in the case at this point would “delay” the decision.

“[The Demoocratic Party of Illinois] cannot meet its burden to show that its interests will not be adequately represented by the parties to the case. As a result, [Democratic Party of Illinois] is not entitled to intervene as of right. Separately, because allowing [Democratic Party of Illinois] to intervene would threaten to delay this time-sensitive case further, the Court, in its discretion, denies [Democratic Party of Illinois] motion seeking permission to intervene as a party under Rule 24(b). Accordingly, the Court denies DPI’s motion in its entirety,” the judge wrote.

Judicial Watch noted that the party was being represented by the Elias Law Group, “whose founding partner is Marc Elias, the controversial lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”

Judicial Watch noted federal law specifies election day as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every even-numbered year, but Illinois expanded that to include any vote that arrives for 14 days after.

The state even calls for counting ballots “without postmarks” if they arrive in that time frame.

The state itself said it got more than 266,000 vote-by-mail ballots during the last election during the 14-day period when they were late.

That means some 4% of the ballots in the state arrived after election day, and the complaint charges that violates the constitutional rights of both voters and candidates.

“By counting untimely and illegal ballots received after Election Day and diluting Plaintiffs’ timely cast and received ballots, Defendants, acting under color of Illinois law, have deprived and are depriving Plaintiffs of rights protected under the First Amendment and 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983,” Judicial Watch explained.

“The Democratic Party failed to gum up this important lawsuit for election integrity,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We are supposed to have an Election Day, not Election Weeks – or months. Illinois’ 14-day extension of Election Day beyond the date set by Congress is illegal, violates the civil rights of voters, and encourages fraud.”

Judicial Watch noted that the Delaware Supreme Court recently struck that state’s vote-by-mail and same-day voter registration plans for being in violation of the state constitution.

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