Today, voters in four battleground states went to court with emergency filings to challenge the management and monitoring of unattended ballot drop-boxes that pose a serious threat to properly cast ballots via the comingling of proper ballots with improperly cast ballots.
Since most ballot drop-boxes are unattended, and there have been no official protocols for the management of the ballots from these boxes immediately after the polls close, these voters in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are requesting the courts provide immediate access to security camera video footage for each drop-box in these battleground states. “Transparency is a key to honest and fair elections,” explained Phill Kline, Director of the Amistad Project of The Thomas More Society, the public interest law firm representing the voters filing suit.
The proposed emergency orders also demand that these jurisdictions segregate ballots from each drop-box and from all in-person ballots in ballot counting rooms to preserve all legal remedies in these lawsuits that will be adjudicated after Election Day.
“Without such action,” explained Kline, “late ballots may spoil the properly cast ballots through comingling. We are dealing with unprecedented and late changes to election procedures and the United State Supreme Court has recognized the wisdom of segregating the ballots based on the time and date of receipt to preserve election integrity and to protect properly cast ballots.”
Kline is referring to Justice Samuel Alito’s statement, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch in Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Bookvar in which Alito invites a “request for this Court to order that ballots received after election day be segregated” to allow for a court to properly fashion a remedy later.
“To further guarantee that safe and legal voting practices are followed, we have filed for emergency orders in the four battleground states to request immediate access to the video monitoring of all ballot boxes and that these ballots be kept separate from all other ballots in the ballot counting rooms,” Kline added.
Amistad has also expressed concern that private monies provided by the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) largely funded by Mark Zuckerberg have also created disparity between voters. For example, CTCL has funded over 100 dropbox locations in all eight Pennsylvania counties that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, providing approximately one dropbox for every 24,000 voters who live in close proximity. CTCL, however, has only provided funding to 30% of the counties carried by President Trump in 2016, providing one drop box for every 75,000 voters in Pennsylvania’s other 59 counties in areas where voters are geographically dispersed.
“Government shouldn’t play favorites in an election,” Kline said, “and Mr. Zuckerberg shouldn’t facilitate such partisan action by government,” he concluded.
The plaintiffs in these emergency actions include the Minnesota Voters Alliance; the Election Integrity Fund (Michigan); several state legislators and congressional candidates in Pennsylvania; and the Wisconsin Voters Alliance.