PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On Friday, election boards across Pennsylvania will begin processing and tallying votes that have come in since Wednesday.
Those are the votes that could wind up getting thrown out and that’s just one of the legal issues taking place right now.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Ohio: Fraudulent Claims Overwhelm Pandemic-Related Unemployment Programs
So how long will this legal wrangling take place?
For a while – that’s the quick answer.
However, the courts are aware of the need to expedite these cases.
Bob Daley from Robert Pierce & Associates has been dealing in election law lately and says making a claim and filing a suit is easy.
Proving harm, though, that’s a bit more complicated.
“Generally speaking, when you go to court, you need to have a legitimate basis, if the campaign feels as a legitimate basis, then you shouldn’t criticize,” he said. “Now, of course, President Trump has been saying for months that he’s going to the courts if the election comes out the wrong way.”
At the end of the day, courts are neutral arbiters and they will make a decision whether or not there’s any validity to President Trump’s claims.
“The President has said for a long time that the idea of mailin ballots is fraught with the possibility of fraud and corruption,” Daley said. “How much proof do they have to have to be able to go to court with that?”
Daley says proving fraud is a really hard case to win when it comes to elections.
“Well I think that’s an extremely difficult burden,” Daley explains. “If you look at a state, let’s say Pennsylvania is hypothetically decided by 50,000 votes, you don’t need to show spread, you need to show fraud sufficient to make a difference in this 50,000 votes in my reading and of the lawsuits thus far. They don’t contend there’s that kind of widespread fraud. You’ll see some instances where they’re talking about 50 balance here where that were maybe put on the wrong pile. But something in the neighborhood of 50,000 votes you just didn’t see.”READ MORE: Mon Wharf To Be Closed After Flood Advisory Issued
On Twitter, the president said that “any vote that came in after Election Day will not be counted.”
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So what does that mean for the validity of mail-in ballots here in Pennsylvania?
It was determined that ballots postmarked by Tuesday but have arrived since then will be counted.
“The issue has been before the Supreme Court of the United States on two separate occasions,” Daley said. “The Supreme Court of The United States has decided not at this point to interfere with what the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said about that.”
Meanwhile, the Republicans are arguing they have to be in by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day and the Supreme Court had indicated they might have been willing to hear the case again.
Daley doesn’t believe that the number of late-arriving ballots would be enough to be an outcome changer in Pennsylvania.
“I just don’t think there will be enough of them,” he said.
Now, will this slow down the outcome or even Inauguration Day come January 2021?
“I don’t think so,” Daley estimated. “The electoral college will meet in December like the electoral college does every four years, and they will vote. The electors will vet, in accordance with what their state law tells them to. Bush v. Gore is a great example of that. The fight was hard. It was long and it went all the way to the Supreme Court of The United States. Nonetheless, it was decided in time for the electors to vote and in courts while the wheels of justice in general turn slow, they can act very quickly when they need to.”
Daley explained the political parties cannot take their case directly to The Supreme Court, it must first go through a federal district court first so there’s a ruling for SCOTUS justices to consider and that of course takes time.MORE NEWS: Neville Island Bridge Lane Restrictions To Take Effect Monday
From a voter’s standpoint – the worst-case scenario is your vote getting thrown out.