Speculation and misinformation persist concerning the objection to the 2020 electoral votes. Contrary to popular belief (or reporting), few have “moved on.”
My objection on the floor of the U.S. House followed the letter of the law, along with the traditions and role of Congress in these matters. Objections to the electoral vote, after all, aren’t unique to the 2020 election – Democrat Members of Congress objected the last three times a Republican won the Presidency, without eliciting a peep from media elites.
Many Pennsylvanians have deep concerns about the integrity of the 2020 election. For months, I received thousands of calls, letters, and emails from constituents expressing concerns about the election, specifically about mail-in voting. Every Pennsylvanian must have faith that our elections are free, fair, and secure.
Ultimately, the Constitution is a piece of paper that cannot defend itself, which is why I swore an oath to uphold and defend it.
The Constitution clearly states that, “the times, place and manner of holding elections shall be prescribed by the legislature…” – not the courts, the governor, or other bureaucrats.
I objected to the electoral votes because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Governor Tom Wolf repeatedly refused to abide by the Constitution.
With this firmly in mind, I objected to the electoral votes because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Governor Tom Wolf repeatedly refused to abide by the Constitution. The following unconstitutional actions lead to confusion, at best, and to malfeasance at worst — and clearly tipped the scales towards the party that captured Pennsyvlania’s electoral votes.
- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, on which Democrats hold a 5-2 majority, extended the deadline to receive mail-in ballots for three days after the election, despite the Pennsylvania Legislature already providing mail-in voting guidelines. No extension beyond election day was needed, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to make this decision.
- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court allowed unmonitored “drop boxes” to collect mail-in ballots despite state law clearly stating that you must authenticate your vote whether you vote in person or (now) vote by mail. Drop boxes allowed one person to submit an infinite number of ballots, with no means to validate a voter’s existence or registration. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to make this decision – which created two separate classes of voters.
- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court prohibited the use of signatures to authenticate mail-in ballots. Voters’ signatures are authenticated when they request an absentee ballot or vote in person — so why not when they submit mail-in ballots? Again, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling created two separate classes of voters, and two sets of rules: those who were authenticated and those who weren’t, which violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.
- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Alito authored a ruling against “co-mingling” (opening, counting, or separating from the envelope) ballots received after election day; they had to be segregated. Six days before the election, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar directed county boards of election not to co-mingle ballots; two days before the election she sent new guidance — which defied Justice Alito’s ruling – to open and count all ballots as soon as they were received. Boockvar’s rogue guidance to co-mingle made it impossible to determine which ballots were received before 8 p.m. on election day and, worse yet, not all counties followed her guidance. This, again, led to two sets of rules, unreliable results, and another violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.
- On the eve of the election, Boockvar directed county boards of election to allow ballot “curing” – a process by which a mistake on a ballot may be fixed rather than rejected. In this election, curing was allowed in some counties/precincts, but not in others. Once again, this led to two sets of rules and yet another violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.
- The Pennsylvania Legislature asked the governor to convene a special session before election day to address these – and other – election concerns. Gov. Wolf refused any opportunity for debate or discussion, hence providing no redress for people concerned about the integrity of the election.
Every citizen must have faith and confidence in the integrity of our electoral system. Sadly, the unconstitutional actions of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Gov. Wolf have eroded that trust for many. In fighting to preserve this sacred undertaking, my objection to the certification of the election was to facilitate debate on the issue of election integrity and restore that trust. I requested only an investigation – an objective, legal and independent one.
With the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court effectively shutting the door on a substantive judicial review of these unconstitutional acts, our election laws remain – as Justice Thomas accurately stated in his dissent – “hidden beneath a shroud of doubt.” This makes the pursuit of integrity more important than ever.
Under our system of representative self-government, the People mutually pledge to be bound by the results of an election until the next election is held. When the accuracy and integrity of our election results are in question, our entire constitutional order is threatened. That is why I will never cease to represent my constituents’ voices or to defend the Constitution in the fight to preserve our Republic, as it stands.
Congressman Scott Perry is a combat Veteran with more than 38 years of uniformed service who proudly serves more than 720,000 Americans in Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District, comprised of Dauphin County and parts of York and Cumberland Counties.