Trumpworld’s various claims of fraud in mail balloting have been debunked by fact checkers, Republican elections officials, and even Trump’s own intelligence officials. But the president’s son has now explicitly declared that millions of late-counted ballots will be fraudulent.
An interesting two-tiered dynamic has developed here. Even as Trump, his son, and other propagandists keep making such claims, Democrats are quietly winning court battles that are disabling ways that Republicans will concretely seek to get them invalidated and thus suppress those votes.
For instance, state courts have now ruled in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan that mail ballots that are postmarked before Election Day but arrive after will still be counted (the length of each extension varies by state). That’s big: It eliminates a key way that numerous mail ballots, if held up by postal delays, might get tossed out in three swing states that will help decide the election.
So you might be tempted to think that even if Trump rages that late ballots must not count, they will be counted anyway. And to some degree, it doesn’t matter what the president says about the votes — what matters is who wins in the electoral college.
But election law expert Rick Hasen notes that this is still a dangerous development, especially when you consider various legal possibilities.