At a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Wednesday to examine “irregularities” in the 2020 presidential election, former federal attorney General Ken Starr testified that Pennsylvania broke the law by making the last changes to its election laws before the election
On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held its first congressional hearing to examine “irregularities” in the 2020 presidential election. Former federal attorney General Ken Starr testified that Pennsylvania broke the law by making final changes to its election laws before the election. He also notes that mass mail-in ballots are fertile ground for fraud.
Starr, a former federal Circuit judge, told the hearing: “The principle here is… [The Constitution] is very clear that it is the prerogative of state legislatures to determine these rules and laws.” “I have to say that [the legislature’s power] has been blatantly violated in Pennsylvania and even elsewhere.”
In his testimony, he wrote that under the Constitution, it is up to the states, through their legislatures, to conduct proper checks and balances to maintain the integrity of the voting process (and the number of votes).
As the U.S. Supreme Court succinctly put it, “trust in the integrity of our electoral process is essential to our participation in the functioning of our democracy,” Starr said. “Ballot fraud expels honest citizens from the democratic process and breeds distrust in our government.”
He also testified that the Pennsylvania judge required polling observers to be present (within six feet) to effectively observe the vote count. Philadelphia’s election officials, in defiance of state court orders, violated this integrity measure beyond question, abandoning a crucial integrity safeguard that ensured the ballot process.
Starr said dozens of Trump campaign petitions have been dismissed not because of the cases themselves, but because prosecutors are not qualified to dismiss, and he believes at least the Supreme Court should hear the cases.
Starr, who investigated former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, was part of Trump’s legal team at his impeachment trial in the Senate.
Starr: It’s illegal to change election laws in Pennsylvania without the legislature’s approval
“I think it’s possible,” Mr. Starr said in response to a question from Senator Rand Paul about whether a future court would decide that It was “wrong” for Pennsylvania and other secretaries of state to vote on “changes of law” without the legislature’s approval.
At the hearing on Wednesday, Mr. Starr cited the Supreme Court’s 2000 decision in Bush v. Gore. “Bush v. Gore supported the [basic] claim” that the US “cannot change electoral law after the fact”.
In Bush v. Gore in 2000, the Court ruled 7-2 that the Florida Supreme Court’s decision requiring a statewide count violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
Pennsylvania’s No. 77 was under scrutiny by Republican state lawmakers, who in a lawsuit claimed it violated the state constitution. Bill 77, signed into law by Democratic Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania on October 31, 2019, allows the state to vote by mail without conditions. However, Bill 77 was enacted without due legislative process.
In the Supreme Court case, Republicans argued that “Proposition 77, the most sweeping and fundamental change to date in Pennsylvania’s voting law, is unlawfully applied” and an “unlawful attempt to violate state absentee voting restrictions.”
Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania and other Republicans complained to the Supreme Court that Wolff and other state officials did not follow the process necessary to amend the state constitution, which requires strong support from state lawmakers.
Lawyers representing Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, and Gov. Wolf both said the law was necessary because of the communist virus. They also argue that “it is too late to invoke the United States Constitution” after the November 3 election.
In early November, Starr argued that a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that allowed the election commission to count postal ballots delivered after election day if they could be received up to three days later was “unconstitutional.”
‘What happened in Pennsylvania in recent weeks is constitutionally bizarre,’ Mr. Starr said at the time. Governor Wolf tried to push his reforms and ideas through the Pennsylvania legislature. He failed. Then he went to the state Supreme Court, which voted to accept what Governor Wolff had done.
To comment on fraud arising from the heavy use of postal ballots
Starr described the 2020 election as the “unprecedented use of postal voting.” He added: “It could happen again.”
Similarly, a law passed by the State legislature on the deadline for receiving mail-order ballots was officially enacted but completely ignored, he wrote in his testimony. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito strongly accused the Pennsylvania Court of running counter to state law in extending the mail-in deadline.
In his testimony, Mr. Starr wrote that the Jimmy Carter-James Baker commission, set up after the 2000 election, issued warnings about the use of mail-in ballots. They warn that this method of voting provides fertile ground for fraud.
At the end of his testimony, Mr. Starr quoted Texas Governor Greg Abbott saying a week after the election that all Americans, regardless of party or independent, must have confidence in the accuracy and transparency of our elections. That can and must be done.
Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, is the committee chairman hosting the hearing. “We have had cases of fraud, and we know that a large percentage of the American public does not believe this was a legitimate election at all,” he said in an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday. This is not sustainable for our country.
“We have to have confidence in this election, and we have to restore that confidence. One way is to point out problems through oversight hearings. So things can be put right and managed properly in the next election.” He said.