Election 2020

SCOTUS Gives a Victory to South Carolina Ballot Integrity

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The U.S. Supreme Court will allow a South Carolina ballot integrity measure to be included in the November 3 election. That law, which requires a mail-in ballot to be signed by the voter and a witness is a common practice throughout the United States. It’s just another layer of ballot security and no one thought about challenging it — until it could be challenged.

Democrats say the requirement is “dangerous” because there’s a pandemic going on and that it would discourage people from voting.

Associated Press:

State Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick cheered the decision. “Despite the Democrats’ efforts to hijack a pandemic and use it to meddle with our election laws, they’ve lost,” he said in a statement. “We’re pleased the Supreme Court reinstated the witness signature requirement and recognized its importance in helping to prevent election fraud.”

State Democratic Party Chairman Trav Robertson expressed disappointment with the decision. “Our hope is that no one gets COVID-19 trying to find a witness. We are disappointed but elections have consequences,” he said in a statement.

What? Are people going to go door to door to find someone to sign their ballot? What’s the Democrat talking about? Sheesh.

South Carolina has had a witness requirement for absentee voters since 1953. Under the current law, voters returning mail-in ballots swear an oath printed on the return envelope that confirms they are eligible to vote and that the ballot inside is theirs, among other things. The oath has to be witnessed by one other person who has to sign below the voter’s signature and write their address.

The requirement had been stricken before the primary in July. SCOTUS ruled that any ballots received without signatures within two days of the order are valid.

The Supreme Court ordinarily doesn’t give reasons for its decision when the case comes before them on an emergency basis. But Justice Kavanaugh gave some sound reasons based on constitutional grounds.

As is typical when the Supreme Court acts on an emergency basis, the justices did not explain their decision. But Justice Brett Kavanaugh, writing only for himself, said he agreed with it for two reasons. He said it wasn’t for a court to second-guess the lawmakers’ decision to retain the witness requirement during the pandemic. And he said that for many years the Supreme Court has “emphasized that federal courts ordinarily should not alter state election rules in the period close to an election.”

Three other justices — Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch — would have required ballots that have already been returned to have a witness signature to count.

Are there to be no ballot security measures at all? Democrats have challenged every effort by state election officials to true the vote. Their usual argument is that it makes it “harder” to vote. Also, people will get sick if they have to follow these restrictions. If people have to risk their lives to vote, maybe we should cancel the election and hold it when it’s “safer.”

Democrats won’t be satisfied until they get to fill out the ballots and hand them in themselves. Or vote by proxy at polling places, casting ballots for dozens of people at a time. Then, we’ll have true democracy.

I agree it should be easy to vote, but does it have to be so easy that it’s also easy to game the system?

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