Supreme Court Ruling Lays the Groundwork for Potential Election Theft



On October 25 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against extending Wisconsin’s deadline for absentee ballots. Wisconsin Democrats had argued that the deadline for counting the ballots should be extended by six days, because of a flood of absentee ballots and other challenges posed by the coronavirus. A lower court had ruled in favor of the extension, but with a week to go before November 3, the Supreme Court ended it.

Wisconsin is a key “battleground” state. The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported on October 28 that more than 287,000 potential voters had not yet returned their ballots, and that about 40,000 of those were from Milwaukee, a Democratic Party stronghold. In a primary vote in April, a federal judge allowed late-arriving ballots to be counted, which added 79,054 votes – a total that is about three times the amount Trump won the state by in 2016. Frontline reported that Kenneth R. Mayer, a politics professor at the University of Wisconsin, “said it is not a matter of whether the court decision could disenfranchise voters, but how many, adding that the number could easily be in the thousands.”

Even more ominous and far-reaching was an opinion in this case by Brett Kavanaugh, a Christian fascist appointed to the Supreme Court by Trump. Kavanaugh wrote that election day mail-in deadlines are set “to avoid the chaos and suspicions of impropriety that can ensue if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after Election Day and potentially flip the results of an election.” First of all, counting all the ballots doesn’t “flip the results,” it gives the actual result. And in the conditions of a raging pandemic, and well-documented delays in mail delivery, some, even many, ballots mailed on time arriving at their destination after November 3 is inevitable.

But Kavanaugh’s justification for his ruling is completely in sync with Trump’s barrage of lies that vote-by-mail is illegitimate and that all the votes must be counted by November 3. On the same day of the Supreme Court decision, Trump tweeted: “Big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots all over the USA. Must have final total on November 3rd.” The next day he told reporters, “It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on November third, instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate and I don’t believe that that’s by our laws.”

In reality, the voting is never completely counted by the end of election day, and it’s not against the law. Already, about 46 million ballots have been cast, and it could take days or even weeks to tally them all.

But for Trump and his fascist regime, the law is what they say it is. And he’s loaded the Supreme Court with an additional three Christian fascists who completely agree with that and give the Court a fascist majority. Any attempts by Trump and the Republi-fascists to derail a full vote count in any way is utterly illegitimate and must be rejected with mass outpourings of determined and sustained nonviolent protest, in cities and towns across the country – contributing to and as part of driving out this regime.


U.S. Supreme Court Decision Could Disenfranchise Wisconsin Voters, Frontline, October 29, 2020

Supreme Court Won’t Extend Wisconsin’s Deadline for Mailed Ballots, New York Times, October 26, 2020

The radical implications of the Supreme Court’s new ruling on Wisconsin mail-in ballots, Vox, October 26, 2020

Kavanaugh’s Opinion in Wisconsin Voting Case Raises Alarms Among Democrats, New York Times, October 29, 2020

Absentee Ballot Report - November 3, 2020 General Election, Wisconsin Elections Commission, October 28, 2020

Trump questions counting late ballots as Biden preaches unity in Georgia, Reuters, October 27, 2020

Two women fill out their ballots on the first day of the state's in-person absentee voting window outside the City-County Building, Madison. In the hotly contested battleground state of Wisconsin, getting all 320,000 outstanding absentee ballots returned by November 3 is critical since the U.S. Supreme Court refused to extend the deadline. Photo: AP



Get a free email subscription to

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.