Time is running out for United States President Donald Trump and his legal team to challenge the results of the U.S. election, and many of his lawsuits alleging voter fraud and widespread irregularities are falling short.
So far, Trump’s campaign has pursued legal action against six states that voted in favour of president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris. Here’s how those lawsuits are going.
The most recent blow to Trump’s attempts at salvaging his failed campaign for re-election came late Saturday when Pennsylvania U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann struck down Trump’s request to throw out almost seven million votes amid baseless allegations of voter fraud and widespread irregularities.
“This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together,” the Republican judge wrote, adding that the court had been presented with “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations” without evidence.
“In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state.”
Trump had sought to prove Pennsylvania’s election had been mishandled after certain counties — primarily Democratic areas like Philadelphia — identified rejected ballots so the voter could “cure” them, claiming other voters in Republican counties were not given the same opportunity.
The ruling dashes Trump’s chances of securing a key battleground state worth 20 electoral college votes.
The lawsuit was led by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who filed an expedited appeal to the Third Circuit on Sunday.
“Although we fully disagree with this opinion, we’re thankful to the Obama-appointed judge for making this anticipated decision quickly, rather than simply trying to run out the clock,” Giuliani said Saturday in a joint statement with senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis.
The Trump campaign team has requested the votes be recounted again in the state of Georgia, days after Biden was certified as the election winner on Thursday.
Georgia election officials declared Biden the winner following a statewide manual audit of the votes that confirmed the president-elect’s lead over Trump by 12,780 votes. The state accounts for 16 electoral college votes.
Trump’s legal team requested the recount on Saturday.
“Because the margin is still less than 0.5 per cent, the President can request a recount after certification of the results,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Friday in a statement to CNN.
Unlike in a manual audit, where all the votes are recounted by hand, Raffensperger said this recount will be conducted by rescanning all paper ballots.
Judges in Arizona said they’ve found no evidence of voter fraud, refusing to block certification of election results, which declared Biden the winner. They certified the results on Friday.
Judges have dismissed several cases on behalf of the Trump campaign requesting to block certification in Maricopa, the state’s largest county, none of which have been successful.
The votes were recounted by hand three times in Maricopa, once on Nov. 4, again on Nov. 7 and the last conducted Nov. 9, according to Arizona’s summary of its hand-counted audits for 2020. The Republican Party’s request to block certification was denied after no discrepancies were found.
A judge dismissed another case on Nov. 13 that asked for the manual inspection of ballots in Phoenix, claiming that even if the results were overturned, they still wouldn’t give Trump the votes he needed to retake the state.
Voting recounts in Milwaukee and Dane, Wisconsin’s two largest Democratic counties are underway.
Both counties’ canvassed results showed Biden initially won the state by 20,608 votes.
The Trump campaign has alleged a variety of claims without evidence, insisting the state issued at least 60,000 absentee ballots to voters who didn’t apply for them and that missing information was added to returned absentee ballots — despite Wisconsin Elections Commission guidance that clearly states clerks can fix certain missing components on absentee ballot envelopes if they have reliable information.
“The people of Wisconsin deserve to know whether their election processes worked in a legal and transparent way,” Wisconsin attorney Jim Troupis, who is working with the Trump campaign, told the Associated Press.
However, Biden campaign spokesman Nate Evans maintained that “a cherry-picked and selective recounting of Milwaukee and Dane County will not change these results.”
Since the recount began on Friday, Wisconsin election officials have accused multiple Trump representatives of trying to obstruct the recount.
There have been at least six lawsuits filed in Michigan by the Trump campaign, the Associated Press said.
Trump had extended an invitation to Republican Michigan lawmakers on Friday in an effort to get legislators to overturn the popular vote, which heavily favoured Biden to win, but they maintained that election laws would be followed.
Wayne County — Michigan’s largest county, where Detroit is located — voted to certify Biden’s win on Tuesday after initially voting to block the election results.
In its ruling, the court accused the Trump campaign of “seeking to disenfranchise Black voters,” by perpetuating debunked claims of voter fraud, and “pressuring state and local officials in Michigan not to count votes from Wayne County, Michigan… thereby disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters.”
To that, Wayne County said “no more.”
According to unofficial results released by the AP, Biden beat Trump in Wayne County by more than a 2-1 margin, winning by 146,000 votes.
Nevada rejected a state lawmaker’s request to block Biden’s certification on Friday, and lawmakers will face a Trump challenge on Dec. 1.
The Trump campaign had filed baseless claims that dead people had voted in Nevada, that voters in the state’s Indigenous territories were given illegal bribes and that Republican election observers weren’t allowed to witness key processing points, asking a judge to either block the election results or declare him the winner.
Another lawsuit asking Nevada to stop its ballot count was withdrawn after both Trump’s legal team and the Republican Party requested it be dismissed after reaching a settlement to allow more observers at a Clark County vote processing facility on Nov. 11.
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