A ruling last week by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court all but guaranteed that we will not know the results of the 2020 presidential election on the night of November 3. In response to challenges from the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, the court extended the deadline for acceptance of absentee ballots to three days after Election Day. That’s a prescription for trouble, because if this year’s primaries — in which more than half a million mail ballots were rejected — tell us anything, it’s that in-person voting remains the smartest way to go about presidential elections.
Students of American political history can remember the controversy surrounding the 1960 presidential contest, when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, to the benefit of John F. Kennedy, allegedly withheld votes on Election Night. Sixty years later, Pennsylvania is setting itself up for its own “count votes until you win” scenario.