|1. Pa. Rep. Mike Kelly came closer than you think to stealing the election for Trump | Bruce Ledewitz
The people of Pennsylvania are unaware of how close U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly came to stealing the election for president in Pennsylvania, and maybe the nation, for Donald Trump.
Kelly, a Republican and Trump loyalist who represents the Mercer County-based 16th Congressional District, challenged Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting in court and then, after the attack on the Capitol, objected to the certification of the State’s electors for Joe Biden. He now claims that all he did was stand up for the rule of law.
But, looking at events as a whole, Kelly not only took advantage of ordinary voters, but also of legislators in his own party.
In 2019, a bipartisan majority in the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Act 77, creating for the first time a regime of no-excuse mail-in voting for the State.
Everyone knew that there could be a state constitutional challenge to this change. Pennsylvania caselaw from the 19th and early 20th centuries treated in-person voting as the constitutional standard, with only limited exceptions for absentees. Because of anticipated legal actions, Act 77 gave challengers six months to sue and fast tracked any such challenge directly to the State Supreme Court.
This timetable would have given the General Assembly a chance to cure any defects, perhaps in time for the 2020 primary, but at least in time for the general election.
Surprisingly, no legal challenge was brought.