Judge forbids Virginia from counting late ballots without postmarks in future elections
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January 27, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Virginia officials broke the law by issuing a rule to accept non-postmarked ballots three days after the November election, Virginia Circuit Court Judge William Eldridge has ruled.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Eldridge’s ruling stems from a legal challenge brought against a guidance the Virginia Board of Elections adopted last August. The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) sued in October, successfully getting Eldridge to block the law from going into effect last fall. This latest ruling ensures that late ballots will not be counted in future Virginia elections, as well.
Virginia law states simply that “any absentee ballot returned to the general registrar after the closing of the polls on election day but before noon on the third day after the election and postmarked on or before the date of the election shall be counted.”
“This is a big win for the Rule of Law,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said of the ruling. “This consent decree gives [plaintiff Thomas Reed, a Frederick County, Virginia, election official] everything he requested — a permanent ban on accepting ballots without postmarks after Election Day [—] and is a loss for the Virginia bureaucrats who said ballots could come in without these protections.”
But while the ruling resolves the matter of late ballots in Virginia for the time being, millions of Americans still have questions about the validity of the 2020 election, due to both widespread reports of fraud allegations and administrative changes to voting rules that were never fully litigated in other states.
“I’ve reviewed hours upon hours of public hearings. I have read almost all of the lawsuits that are out there. Most of them were dismissed on legal process grounds,” says New Mexico State University professor of business law David Clements. “In fact, I’m in possession of 574 pages of sworn affidavits, forensic reports, all of which would make its way in a court of law under the rules of evidence in a federal or state court.”
But “the courts have done what they always do,” Clements laments. “When you have political matters, they want them to be decided politically, not in a courtroom, but through the elections, through the state legislatures … We have judges who are cowards, we have politicians that are cowards, and that’s the reality.”
At PJ Media, Adams notes that PILF’s legal victory in Virginia was an outlier: “By and large, the Democrats succeeded in tossing out state laws related to absentee ballot verification, deadlines and a whole range of laws all in the name of COVID. By and large, GOP efforts in court failed. It was a courtroom bloodbath that created vulnerabilities across the system.”