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Kentucky AG Cameron Joins Fight Against Pennsylvania Ballots

Attorney General Daniel Cameron at the Republicans' 2019 Election Party
Attorney General Daniel Cameron at the Republicans' 2019 Election Party

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has joined other Republican attorneys general in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate some mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit is unlikely to change the outcome of the election in Pennsylvania, which tipped the scales of the presidential election in favor of Joe Biden over the weekend. He won the state by about 45,000 votes.

Cameron is one of nine Republican attorneys general signing onto an amicus brief, or “friend of the court” brief, arguing that absentee ballots received after polls closed on November 3 should not count in the election.

In a statement, Cameron wrote that all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, should be concerned.

“While this did not occur in Kentucky, what happens in other states during a presidential election matters to Kentuckians because we are electing our President and Vice President,” Cameron wrote.

“Legal matters like the one involving Pennsylvania set a judicial precedent that not only affects this election, but future elections as well.”

As part of a bipartisan agreement between Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear and Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams, absentee ballots could be received by county clerks until November 6th as long as they were postmarked by Election Day.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled last month that ballots cast in the election should be counted as long as they were postmarked by Election Day and received by November 6th.

Cameron's communications director Elizabeth Kuhn said the attorney general opposes the way Pennsylvania developed its mail-in ballot extension, because it was enacted by the state's Supreme Court and not the legislature.

"In Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court violated the U.S. Constitution by unilaterally changing the deadline for receipt of absentee ballots without authorization by the state legislature," Kuhn wrote in a statement.

"The Pennsylvania court even went so far as to allow absentee ballots to be counted despite the fact that they were received after the election and contained no legible postmark. That did not occur in Kentucky."

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a fast-tracked challenge to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in October, but some Republicans now hope the high court will reconsider after the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, which solidified a conservative majority on the court.
Cameron’s former boss, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, lent support to President Trump’s election challenge on Monday.

McConnell has refused to acknowledge Biden as the winner of last week’s election, or address unfounded claims of voter fraud made by Trump.

From the Senate Floor on Monday, McConnell dismissed calls by media outlets that projected the race in favor of Biden.

“The president has every right to look into allegations and to request recounts under the law. And notably, the Constitution gives no role in this process to wealthy media corporations,” McConnell said.

McConnell is awaiting the results of two runoff elections in Georgia that will determine if he and Republicans still have control of the U.S. Senate.

The elections, which will likely become national and expensive races, take place on January 5.
Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, weighed in on the lawsuit, in response to a reporter's question during his Monday COVID-19 briefing. He said the lawsuit creates the appearance that Cameron is using state resources to contest the election because "your guy" didn't win.

"If there is an issue in a Pennsylvania election then let Pennsylvania officials deal with it," Beshear said

This story has been updated.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. Email Ryland at rbarton@lpm.org.