BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 82,092
The Trump campaign has made Pennsylvania a centerpiece of its legal efforts in hopes of prying its 20 Electoral Votes away from Joe Biden. The state was a focus of pre-election concern amid its vastly expanded mail-in ballots, court rulings about the state accepting mailed ballots after Election Day, and predictions voters would mishandle mail votes or fail to put their ballots inside a security sleeve before returning it.
The Trump campaign has raised broad public allegations of fraud and irregularities, while filing suits focused on restrictions placed on election observers – without immediate success.
Amid a series of chaotic moves among Trump’s legal team, the president tasked personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani with overseeing his efforts. The former New York mayor appeared in federal court Tuesday, Nov. 17. He wove together a sweeping claim of a fraud conspiracy allegedly carried out by Democrats, saying there was a ‘widespread nationwide voter fraud.’ He added: ‘They stole an election.’ But Giuliani also acknowledged to the federal judge Matthew Brann that, ‘This is not a fraud case.’ The Trump campaign had shaved numerous allegations from its initial filing, now arguing that there had been constitutional violations because some counties allowed voters to ‘cure’ their mail-in ballots while others did not. ‘This is just disgraceful,’ said Mark Aronchick, representing the Allegheny County Board of Elections, in the county that includes Pittsburgh.
Even as Giuliani was in court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against the Trump campaign, 5-2, after the Trump camp argued that election observers weren’t allowed close enough to observe the electoral count and did not get ‘meaningful access.’ The 5-2 decision ruled that Pennsylvania counties could determine the particulars of election observers, and that state law only required they be ‘in the room’ when votes are counted. Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis blasted the ruling and said ‘We are keeping all legal options open to fight for election integrity and the rule of law.’
Even the two dissenting justices in the state’s highest court wrote that the idea of tossing out ‘presumptively valid’ ballots based on ‘isolated irregularities’ was ‘misguided.’
On Monday after Election Day, the Trump campaign filed their big shot at overturning all mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, claiming that Democratic and Republican counties did not administer them in the same way; instances of fraud; and that poll watchers could not see them being counted. On that basis, they say, the results should not be certified on November 23.
The case faces an uphill struggle. The largest law firm involved in it, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, quit.
The Supreme Court has already allowed mail-in ballots to be issued in Pennsylvania, and the claim of poll watchers not seeing them being counted had failed before when a Trump agreed that a ‘non-zero number’ of Republicans had observed the count in Philadelphia.
The new suit provided no actual evidence of fraud. It did include a claim by an Erie mailman that he had heard his supervisors talking about illegally backdating ballots; he was said to have recanted that claim when questioned by U.S. Postal Inspectors.
Trump’s campaign then filed a motion to intervene in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a decision from the state’s highest court that allowed election officials to count mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday’s Election Day that were delivered through Friday after Election Day.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on the Friday night before Election Day ordered county election boards in the state to separate mail-in ballots received after 8 p.m. EST on Election Day.
Pennsylvania election officials have said those ballots were already being separated.
The justices previously ruled there was not enough time to decide the merits of the case before Election Day but indicated they might revisit it afterwards.
Alito, joined by fellow conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, said in a written opinion that there was a ‘strong likelihood’ the Pennsylvania court’s decision violated the U.S. Constitution.
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar has said late-arriving ballots are a tiny proportion of the overall vote in the state.
Rudy Giuliani unveiled a ‘witness’ to his claims – a Republican poll watcher – at his infamous press conference outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping. But the man, Daryl Brooks, has not been included in any legal papers. He was previously convicted of exposing himself to underage girls.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 9,543. RECOUNT IS LEGALLY IMPOSSIBLE
Trump’s campaign said the Saturday after Election Day it had sued in Arizona, alleging that the state’s most populous county incorrectly rejected votes cast on Election Day by some voters.
The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Maricopa County, said poll workers told some voters to press a button after a machine had detected an ‘overvote.’
The campaign said that decision disregarded voters’ choices in those races, and the lawsuit suggested those votes could prove ‘determinative’ in the outcome of the presidential race.
It is a modification of an earlier suit which was submitted and then withdrawn claiming that Trump voters were given sharpies to mark their ballots and claiming this made them more prone to error. The ‘sharpie-gate’ claims have no basis in fact, Arizona’s secretary of state says.
On Thursday Nov. 12, a judge savaged the affidavits produced to back the case as ‘spam’ and a Trump lawyer said they were not alleging fraud in any form.
On Nov. 13th, lawyers for the Trump campaign dropped a lawsuit seeking a review of all ballots cast on Election Day amid the daunting vote margin. The Biden camp had called the suit ‘frivolous’ and a ‘waste of time.’
Amid the setbacks, the state GOP asked a judge to bar Maricopa County from certifying the election results. A judge was scheduled to hear the motion Wednesday, Nov. 18, with a looming Nov. 23 deadline for state certification of election results. An audit in the vote-rich county found not ballot discrepancies there.
One claim that President Trump blasted out to his Twitter followers alleging that Dominion voting machines and software were part of a nationwide scheme to ‘delete’ Trump votes and ‘switch’ votes from Trump to Biden never made it into legal filings by his campaign lawyers.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 33,596
A voter, a member of the media and two candidate campaigns sued Nevada’s secretary of state and other officials to prevent the use of a signature-verification system in populous Clark County and to provide public access to vote counting.
A federal judge rejected the request, saying there was no evidence the county was doing anything unlawful.
Trump campaign officials have also claimed evidence that thousands of non-residents have voted but have not sued.
The Trump campaign filed a new lawsuit Tuesday Nov. 17, two weeks after Election Day, claiming irregularities, suing on behalf of Trump electors in Carson City. The campaign claimed 15,000 people voted despite moving out of state. Following earlier claims some people labeled ‘out of state’ were found to be military voters stationed outside of Nevada. It revisited allegations that a machine used to verify signatures was not reliable. The suit asks a judge to either declare Trump the winner or nullify the results and prohibit the appointment of state electors. It also states that 500 provisional ballots got included in totals without being resolved.
One suit targets a Democratic elector who says she is a homeless veteran, seeking to avoid the state’s electors to Trump and disregard the vote.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 14,028
The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in state court in Chatham County that alleged late-arriving ballots were improperly mingled with valid ballots, and asked a judge to order late-arriving ballots be separated and not be counted.
The case was dismissed on November 5, finding there was ‘no evidence’ ballots referenced in the suit came in after the state’s deadline, and no evidence Chatham County failed to comply with the law.
The two Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, called for the GOP Secretary of State to quit claiming there were election irregularities Monday. They offered no evidence and he scoffed: ‘That’s not going to happen.’
A suit by Atlanta attorney Lin Wood, who supports Trump and who represented Richard Jewell in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bomb case, is seeking a court order to prevent Georgia from certifying its results, and calling for mail-in ballots not to be included in totals. He is seeking to throw out a March 6, 2020 consent agreement reached by the Georgia secretary of state and the Democratic Party. The decree put in place procedures for verifying ballot signatures.
A group of four voters voluntarily withdrew their suit after arguing in a complaint to exclude votes from eight counties, saying ballots were cast illegally.
Three Trump campaign claims of dead people ‘voting’ in Georgia turned out not to be true.
Georgia undertook an automatic recount due to the closeness of the margin, and conducted a hand count as part of an audit. Officials were expecting to announce the result Nov. 18. Although the count uncovered additional tranches of ballots, it was not expected to change the result.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 148, 152
On Monday Nov. 9 Trump filed a federal case alleging fraud and then later a separate demand that the votes are not certified on November 23.
In the first case, one witness – possibly misgendered by the Trump lawyers – claimed that they had been told by another person that mysterious ballots arrived late on vehicles with out of state plates and all were for Biden; that they had seen voters coached to vote for Biden; and that they were told to process ballots without any checks.
It also included poll watchers and ‘challengers’ who said they could not get close enough to see what was happening.
A federal judge has yet to issue any response on when and how it will be looked into. The Trump campaign also filed the same case again to the wrong federal court on Thursday Nov. 12 for no apparent reason.
Trump’s campaign last Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Michigan to halt the vote count in the state. The lawsuit alleged that campaign poll watchers were denied ‘meaningful access’ to counting of ballots, plus access to surveillance video footage of ballot drop boxes.
On Thursday 6, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens dismissed the case, saying there was no legal basis or evidence to halt the vote and grant requests.
The Trump campaing also asked a court to stop canvassing boards in Michigan and in Wayne County, which includes Detroit, from certifying the results.
A week after filing its federal case, the Trump campaign had yet to serve Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson with a copy of its complaint.
U.S. District Judge Janet Neff gave the campaign a Nov. 17 deadline or face dismissal ‘for failure to diligently prosecute this case.’
There was drama the evening of Nov. 17 when two Republican officials refused for a time refused to certify the results from Detroit. They backtracked hours later in the face of outrage and accusations of racism. President Trump hailed them online for their ‘courage’ Tuesday night, but they flip-flopped minutes later and agreed to certify the result. The initial refusal had been seen as a first step towards Trump having the Republican-held Michigan legislature ignore the election results and seat its own Electoral College electors who back Trump, in a bid to force a contested election into the Congress.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 20,565
On Nov. 18th, the Trump campaign paid $3 million to get a partial recount in two Wisconsin counties, Milwaukee and Dane, that went heavily for Joe Biden. The request came hours before a deadline Wednesday.
The race was close enough, with a difference of more than 20,000, that Trump could request a recount, but was required to pay. Counties must complete their work by December 1.
Past recounts have had only marginal impacts on the final count. A recount of the 2016 presidential election netted Trump just 131 additional votes, with a victory margin of 23,000. That recount was requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and opposed by Trump.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
The U.S. Postal Service said about 1,700 ballots had been identified in Pennsylvania at processing facilities during two sweeps on Thursday after Election Day and were being delivered to election officials, according to a court filing early Friday.
The Postal Service said 1,076 ballots, had been found at its Philadelphia Processing and Distribution Center. About 300 were found at the Pittsburgh processing center, 266 at a Lehigh Valley facility and others at other Pennsylvania processing centers.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington is overseeing a lawsuit by Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates.
Sullivan on Thursday ordered twice-daily sweeps at Postal Service facilities serving states with extended ballot receipt deadlines.