(The Center Square) – An impatient nation continued to wait on Pennsylvania on Saturday as the state that could decide the presidency continued to slowly count ballots cast in Tuesday’s election.
Former Vice President Joe Biden continued to teeter on the brink of capturing the White House, certain of surpassing the threshold needed to clinch a majority of electoral votes if Pennsylvania was to be called in his favor.
Meanwhile, allies and supporters of President Donald Trump were heartened by a ruling from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samual Alito late Friday that directed Pennsylvania election officials to set aside and count separately any ballots that had arrived after Nov. 3. Election officials insisted that they were already doing so, in accordance with previous court rulings that allowed mail ballots that had been postmarked by Nov. 3 to be counted.
Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, in a statement Saturday morning, hailed Alito’s decision and accused Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar of improperly moving forward with the late-arriving ballots.
“The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed what we have been saying – Secretary Boockvar changed the rules for the counties after telling the Court that ballots would only be segregated,” said Corman, R-Bellefonte. “The Court said it was not aware [of] the Secretary’s original guidance, which had an ‘important bearing on the question whether to order special treatment of the ballots in question had been modified.’”
Corman, along with Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, called on Boockvar to resign Tuesday night, accusing her of giving inconsistent guidance to local officials and in some cases violating court orders and election code.
Boockvar fired back, saying that Corman and Scarnati and their counterparts in the state House of Representatives should resign for failing to pass legislation that would have allowed the state’s vote counting to be completed much more quickly.
“I have no intent to resign and I disagree with everything they said in their release,” Boockvar said late Tuesday. “They don’t like the late counting of ballots because they don’t like anything that allows more voters to be enfranchised, so let’s be clear about that.”
As of 8 a.m. Saturday, Biden held a lead of about 29,000 votes over Trump in Pennsylvania, out of about 6.3 million cast. Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen was a distant third with just over 77,000 votes received.
TV news organizations and other media outlets have differed in addressing the state of the electoral vote count, but all the major ones agree that claiming Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes would be sufficient to push Biden over the 270-vote threshold and make him the president-elect.
Trump, meanwhile, needed to come from behind to win not only Pennsylvania but also Georgia, where he trailed by a smaller margin, and some combination of North Carolina, Nevada and Alaska, the remaining uncalled states. Some news organizations considered Arizona to still be in doubt as well, while others considered it to have been called for Biden.
By Dave Lemery | The Center Square
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Reposted with permission