Election workers process mail-in-ballots for the midterm elections in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Election 2022 Pennsylvania
Election workers process mail-in-ballots for the midterm elections in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Because of the way votes are counted in Pennsylvania, we are likely to see another election cycle in which things shift as the counting progresses.

In 2020, it was called “The Red Mirage” and it happened all over the country.

Due to a number of manipulative state laws, in-person Election Day votes were counted first in many states, and then early votes and mail-in votes were counted later. In Pennsylvania, mail ballots could not even be opened until the polls opened on Election Day.

Since Republican voters tend to favor going to the polls on the day of the election, the appearance at first was that Republicans held a significant lead. Then, as the rest of the ballots were opened, processed, and counted, the actual results became clear.

In Pennsylvania, this counting process, which is entirely a product of the GOP dominated state legislature, formed the basis of Trump’s election denialism. Trump hilariously called the counting of mail and early votes “big massive dumps” and even sued to try to stop the count in Philadelphia before the votes could be properly tallied. The case was quickly dismissed.

But since 2020, the process in Pennsylvania has not changed, meaning it is very likely we are about to see another election cycle in which things shift as the counting progresses.

Knowing the conditions on the ground, and knowing that election denial has morphed from a fringe ideology to the very beating heart of the GOP, we can also know for certain that election fraud and election denial claims are certainly coming.

Water is wet. Sky is blue. Pennsylvania Republicans deny election results. Unfortunately for all Americans, this outcome is as predictable as tomorrow’s sunrise.

However, this outcome is not certain everywhere. After all, some Republicans will win. And one overlooked detail in all the voter fraud conspiracy nonsense is that the people saying the entire election system is a sham never seem to care about overturning the elections they win.

But behind the weapons-grade hypocrisy and the mind-numbing fringe conspiracy claims, a real problem exists.

No matter how you look at it, the conspiracy theories and outright lies are gaining ground, and more and more, the fringe is becoming the center of a party that is shifting so far right it may soon fall off the edge of the flat earth.