(The Center Square) – A technical error left the Green Party’s presidential candidate off the ballot in Pennsylvania, handing former Vice President Joe Biden yet another competitive edge against President Donald Trump, Senate Republicans said on Monday.
It’s tactic long used by the Democratic Party, the GOP legislators said, to keep liberal voters aligned behind their own candidate. In 2016, when Trump beat Hillary Clinton by just 44,000 votes, the Green Party candidate earned more than 49,000.
This year, Green Party candidates on down ballot races for Attorney General, Auditor General and Treasurer garnered vote totals of 68,460; 76,072 and 79,389, respectively.
“It doesn’t take a degree in political science to know a Green Party candidate on the ballot would have hurt Joe Biden far more than Donald Trump,” said Charlie Gerow, CEO of Quantum Communications and first vice chairman of the American Conservative Union, in an op-ed for Lehigh Valley Live published Nov. 24. “Not only would hard-left followers of Bernie Sanders have had a soft place to land, the messaging of the campaign would have changed.”
On Sept. 19, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins failed to follow the state’s election procedures because he faxed the required affidavit rather than providing an original copy. He was kept off the Nov. 3 ballot as a result.
Senate Republicans included this decision, along with several others from the court – such as dismissing Republican challenges to ballot curing, drop boxes, treatment of poll watchers and disregarding signature verification – in a news release detailing the steps the majority party has taken to preserve the election’s integrity and investigate the “irregularities” that occurred last month.
“How much electoral math would have changed would be a long and likely inconclusive discussion,” Gerow said. “This much is for sure, it would have been a much different race. The court knew that.”
Brendan Welch, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania, disregarded the argument as a waste of time. Democrats, including Gov. Tom Wolf, have characterized Republicans’ efforts to “undermine” the election results as a disturbing attempt to disenfranchise millions of voters.
“Joe Biden won Pennsylvania and the presidency because Republicans in Harrisburg, Washington and across the country are more committed to pointless and baseless fights like this than doing the work to help struggling families and businesses through our greatest health and economic crisis in a century,” he said.