Building on weeks of criticizing the Trump Campaign’s evidence of irregularities and fraud, this week the legacy media will cite Dec. 8 as the deadline to finalize the election results.
The Amistad Project, which has been involved in numerous lawsuits, combated these claims over the weekend in a white paper that posits from a constitutional standpoint the only deadline that actually matters is Jan. 20. Electoral College deadlines, Dec. 8 and 14, are arbitrary and a direct impediment to states' obligations to investigate disputed elections.
Amistad’s white paper discusses the background of Electoral College deadlines for the selection of electors, the assembly of the Electoral College, and the tallying of its votes. It points out that these dates come from a 1948 federal statute, the only constitutionally-set date is the assumption of office by the President on Jan. 20. In the context of the 2020 election, with active challenges, the paper maps out how Electoral College deadlines will prevent states from fulfilling their constitutional obligation to hold free and fair elections.
Phill Kline, Director of The Amistad Project said, based on work done to support their litigation, they found state and local officials brazenly violated election laws in several swing states. He says these active challenges mean “it is impossible for those states to determine their presidential electors in line with the arbitrary deadline set forth via federal statute in 1948."
For example, in Arizona, Amistad’s legal suit via the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and for the County of Maricopa Case No. CV 2020-096490, claims, state and county officials failed to enforce the state law, allowing private companies to direct federal election administration. They accepted grants worth millions of dollars, which gave some voters in the state access to advantages that were unavailable to voters in other parts of the state. Gaps in the chain of custody of ballots through the use of mobile drop boxes located in unsupervised public domains, failure to guard against double voting, and failure to enforce the state law against allowing people to vote using an address where they no longer live, call into question whether the election was conducted in the free and fair manner mandated by the constitution.
In Case No. 162286, Michigan Supreme Court, Amistad says Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson gave private activist organizations direct access to the state’s voter files when files are only supposed to be accessed by election clerks. They say state law was also violated when she decided, unilaterally, without legislative approval, to send absentee ballot request forms to every household in the state. They further claim that Michigan election officials did not provide meaningful observation of the vote-counting process, a violation of the Michigan Constitution, as well as state statute. “The refusal to allow observers to oversee the process resulted in significant abnormalities. Data experts identified more than 500,000 potentially fraudulent ballots.”
Amistad has filed similar claims in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In each state, the number of potentially fraudulent ballots far exceeds the margin separating the leading presidential candidate. Amistad is asking for more access to ballots, ballot envelopes, surveillance video of counting centers, and dropbox logs or video of dropbox locations, etc. as forensic examination will determine the validity of the ballots.
“Although federal law sets Dec. 8, 2020, as the date on which determinations of electors made pursuant to state election law automatically become official, the law does not require electors to be designated by that date in order to be counted.” The U.S. Constitution places ultimate authority for designating presidential electors in the hands of state legislatures. The people's elected representatives must judge the relevant facts and appoint an appropriate slate of electors, subject only to the sole deadline set forth in the U.S. Constitution:12 p.m. on Jan. 20, 2021.
Historic purpose of Electoral College dates
Historically, the purpose of electoral college dates was to allow enough time for the presidential transition of power, and over time, the date that electors are appointed or convene to vote, has changed. Moreover, there is precedent for delaying/changing election deadlines in the event of unclear or questionable results or other circumstances such as 1789 or the election of 1876.
Additionally, deadlines were previously created for the convenience of travel, just like Election Day was made the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November to let farmers finish with the fall harvest. In short, these dates are moot in the age of internet and fast transportation when electors no longer have to ride horses to Washington, D.C. to vote.
The Amistad white paper concludes that the Electoral College dates should not interfere with state legislatures effectively investigating the management of the election. “We have, and must have, time to get it right.”
Carol King received a first-class Bachelor of Arts in History and Politics from Stirling University, along with an exceptional commendation for a study on U.S. public opinion and foreign policy. She also completed a year of study at the University of London before taking up a Graduate Proctor Fellowship at Princeton University. She further completed a Master of Philosophy in American Politics at Dundee University. She is currently focused on bringing her wealth of knowledge to UncoverDC as a writer.