National: Confrontations in swing states escalate as Trump continues to attack the election process. | Nick Corasaniti, Jim Rutenberg and Kathleen Gray/The New York Times

President Trump’s false accusations that voter fraud denied him re-election are causing escalating confrontations in swing states across the country, leading to threats of violence against officials in both parties and subverting even the most routine steps in the electoral process. In courtrooms, statehouses and election-board meetings across the country, the president is increasingly using the weight of his office to deliver his message to lower-level election workers, hoping they buckle. It has not worked. The extraordinary assault on the voting system by the president and his allies has taken on added intensity as the deadlines for certifying results in several states approach. Once certified, the final tallies will further complicate Mr. Trump’s attempt to overturn his loss. Here is a look at some of the states where tensions are rising and local officials are receiving threats of violence.

Full Article: Confrontations in swing states escalate as Trump continues to attack the election process. – The New York Times

National: As defeats pile up, Trump tries to delay vote count in last-ditch attempt to cast doubt on Biden victory | Amy Gardner, Robert Costa, Rosalind S. Helderman and Michelle Ye Hee Lee/The Washington Post

President Trump has abandoned his plan to win reelection by disqualifying enough ballots to reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s wins in key battleground states, pivoting instead to a goal that appears equally unattainable: delaying a final count long enough to cast doubt on Biden’s decisive victory. On Wednesday, Trump’s campaign wired $3 million to election officials in Wisconsin to start a recount in the state’s two largest counties. His personal lawyer, ­Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has taken over the president’s legal team, asked a federal judge to consider ordering the Republican-controlled legislature in Pennsylvania to select the state’s electors. And Trump egged on a group of GOP lawmakers in Michigan who are pushing for an audit of the vote there before it is certified. Giuliani has also told Trump and associates that his ambition is to pressure GOP lawmakers and officials across the political map to stall the vote certification in an effort to have Republican lawmakers pick electors and disrupt the electoral college when it convenes next month — and Trump is encouraging of that plan, according to two senior Republicans who have conferred with Giuliani and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter candidly. But that outcome appears impossible. It is against the law in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin law gives no role to the legislature in choosing presidential electors, and there is little public will in other states to pursue such a path.

Full Article: As defeats pile up, Trump tries to delay vote count in last-ditch attempt to cast doubt on Biden victory – The Washington Post

G.O.P. faces outcry in Michigan after refusing to certify vote: ‘You could see the racism.’ | Kathleen Gray, Jim Rutenberg, Nick Corasaniti and Glenn Thrush/The New York Times

Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit on Wednesday accused President Trump’s allies in Michigan’s most populous county of racism after they initially refused to certify the election results over slight discrepancies in majority-Black precincts — while ignoring similar problems in heavily white areas. The complaint echoed accusations against Mr. Trump and his allies around the country, charging Republicans with preying on ugly racist stereotypes to cast doubt on Black voters in their last-ditch effort to overturn a legitimate election that Mr. Trump lost decisively. Republican election board members in Wayne County, which contains Detroit and its inner suburbs, refused to certify the county’s election results in a nakedly partisan effort to hold up President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory over Mr. Trump. Hours later, they reversed themselves after an outcry from state officials and Detroit residents who accused them of trying to steal their votes. “You could see the racism in the behavior last night,” Mr. Duggan said at a news conference on Wednesday. “American democracy cracked last night, but it didn’t break. But we are seeing a real threat to everything we believe in.” The Rev. Wendell Anthony, the head of Detroit’s N.A.A.C.P. chapter, said the Trump campaign’s attempts to discredit the election in cities with large Black populations like Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta fit a racist pattern of stoking divisions and undermining democratic institutions.

Full Article: G.O.P. faces outcry in Michigan after refusing to certify vote: ‘You could see the racism.’ – The New York Times

National: Trump’s effort to overturn the election results may be inept. But it’s still a scandal. | Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Carrie Dann and Melissa Holzberg/NBC

Forget Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Or Trump’s impeachment for asking Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Arguably the biggest political scandal we’ve ever seen in this country is playing right before our eyes: President Trump and his allies are trying to reverse the election results of a contest he lost. It doesn’t look like the scheme is going to work. The Wayne County (Detroit) Board of Canvassers last night certified its election results after its two Republican members initially withheld support. (Biden won Wayne County, 68 percent to 31 percent, and the state of Michigan by 148,000 votes.) But being unsuccessful doesn’t erase the magnitude of the scandal — or the fact that the president of the United States has cheered it on every step of the way.

Full Article: Trump’s effort to overturn the election results may be inept. But it’s still a scandal.

‘Pathetic’ Trump denounced over Krebs firing as campaign presses for recounts | Maanvi Singh, Sam Levine, Martin Pengelly and Joan E Greve/The Guardian

Donald Trump was condemned by opponents on Wednesday for firing the senior official who disputed his baseless claims of election fraud, as the president pressed on with his increasingly desperate battle to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. The president’s election campaign team continued to press for recounts and investigations in battleground states where Biden has already been declared the winner, including a new request in Wisconsin for a partial recount. And there was uproar over his decision late on Tuesday, announced by tweet, to fire a federal official in charge of election security who dismissed his claims of widespread voter fraud. The firing of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa) director, Christopher Krebs, was “pathetic and predictable from a president who views truth as his enemy”, senior House Democrat Adam Schiff said. Officials have declared 3 November’s contest between Trump and Biden the most secure US election ever.

Full Article: ‘Pathetic’ Trump denounced over Krebs firing as campaign presses for recounts | Donald Trump | The Guardian

National: GOP senators blast Trump’s firing of election security official: ‘A terrible mistake’ | Allison Pecorin and Lauren Lantry/ABC

In a rare instance of breaking ranks, GOP senators on Wednesday roundly criticized President Donald Trump’s firing of Chris Krebs, a top election security official who publicly contradicted his claims of voting fraud. “I thought this was a terrible mistake,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine said. Krebs, a political appointee as head of the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency, was highly respected on both sides the political aisle. His dismissal came after he tweeted that the 2020 election was “the most secure election in American history.” “I don’t agree with it,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., told reporters. “I think he’s kept us very well informed. He’s been very professional.” “I was very disappointed when I found out that he had been terminated,” said Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who frequently defends Trump, said while the president has the right to choose his own people, firing Krebs “adds to the confusion and chaos.”

Full Article: GOP senators blast Trump’s firing of election security official: ‘A terrible mistake’ – ABC News

Secretaries of state react to CISA Director Krebs’ firing | Benjamin Freed/StateScoop


Some secretaries of state were quick to denounce Trump’s move, which came two weeks after Election Day, a period during which Krebs frequently promoted CISA’s “Rumor Control” website, designed to push back on waves of rumors and misinformation about how the presidential election was conducted, with many of those baseless claims about widespread fraud being pushed by Trump himself. “It’s a dark day when Director Krebs has been fired by tweet for adhering to the truth,” Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos wrote on Twitter. “We have enough work fending off election disinformation campaigns from foreign bad actors without having to fight those same battles within our own government.” And Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill said Krebs’ “ouster is bad for our country’s election cybersecurity, for our national security, and for the goal of free and fair elections untainted by the interference of foreign adversaries.” In a direct message to StateScoop, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson wrote that the White House’s dismantling of CISA’s leadership — along with Krebs, the White House has also dismissed his deputy, Matt Travis, and CISA’s assistant director for cybersecurity, Bryan Ware — will “immediately, negatively impact our national security and Americans’ safety.” “Chris Krebs spoke truth to power, the 2020 elections were safe, secure and legitimate,” California’s Alex Padilla said. Condos, Merrill, Benson and Padilla are all Democrats. Yet in sticking up for a political appointee hired — and now fired — by a president of the opposing political party, they also cited what they described as a nonpartisan approach toward election security. “[Krebs] is the ultimate, consummate professional and leaders on both sides of the aisle appreciate his integrity, experience, and commitment to democracy,” Benson said.

Full Article: Secretaries of state react to CISA Director Krebs’ firing

National: Firing CISA chief leaves Trump unchecked to make false claims about election fraud | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post

By firing the government’s top election security official by tweet last night, President Trump showed he’s ready to remove any internal check on his baseless claims about election fraud. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Chris Krebs was dispatched after the government’s top election security official debunked on Twitter the baseless claim by Trump and his allies that the recent election was widely manipulated. Trump has refused to concede the contest to President-elect Joe Biden despite no evidence of systematic irregularities at the voting booth. “This is the first business in history where the surest way of getting fired is doing your job” Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) told me when rumors about Krebs’s firing began circulating. Krebs’s firing is part of a government effort to clean house at the Homeland Security Department agency that vouched for the security of the 2020 election. Krebs’s agency also ran a “Rumor Control” page that knocked back phony election fraud claims — including some made by the president. Following that move, acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf told Krebs’s deputy Matthew Travis that the White House was also forcing him to resign, effectively purging CISA of its top leadership, Ellen Nakashima and Nick Miroff report. The assistant director for CISA’s cybersecurity division, Bryan Ware, was forced to resign last week. Krebs shepherded the federal government from playing virtually no role in protecting elections against foreign interference before 2016 to serving as a go-to source for cybersecurity know-how, testing and intelligence. His agency was widely credited with helping to ensure the 2020 election was free of foreign interference four years after Russia upended the 2016 contest.

Full Article: The Cybersecurity 202: Firing CISA chief leaves Trump unchecked to make false claims about election fraud – The Washington Post

National: How The U.S. Fended Off Serious Foreign Election Day Cyberattacks | Tim Mak and Dina Temple-Raston/NPR

On Election Day, Geoff Brown watched lines of text flow by on monitors at New York City Cyber Command in downtown Manhattan. Brown, the head of the city’s cybersecurity operation, was plugged into a bank of virtual conference rooms, checking in with partners at the local, state and federal levels working together to monitor election systems for any security breaches or disinformation campaigns that might target the voting process. After all the waiting, after months of hardening defenses, the serious threats never came. “It was a long night. It was sort of a lonely night, perhaps, because we’re all in our own rooms in this day and age,” Brown reflected. He singled out for particular praise his counterparts at the Department of Homeland Security, especially Christopher Krebs, “who I think has done an absolute, tremendous job in their mission.” President Trump’s Tuesday evening firing of Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at DHS, which oversaw federal efforts on election security and countering voting system disinformation, highlights a broader point: After all the concerns raised about foreign adversaries hacking into systems and launching disinformation campaigns such as those that marred the 2016 presidential election, the 2020 race went smoothly on both fronts.

Full Article: Foreign Hacking In 2020 Election Averted; Domestic Disinformation Still A Threat : NPR

The dead voter conspiracy theory peddled by Trump voters, debunked | Tom Perkins/The Guardian

Late last week, Students for Trump founder Ryan Fournier declared on social media that he had unearthed definitive proof of widespread voter fraud in Detroit. He pointed to an absentee ballot cast by “118-year-old William Bradley”, a man who had supposedly died in 1984. “They’re trying to steal the election,” Fournier warned in a since-deleted Facebook post, though the election had already been called for Joe Biden by every major news network days before. But the deceased Bradley hadn’t voted. Within days, Bradley’s son, also named William Bradley, but with a different middle name, told PolitiFact that he had cast the ballot. That was confirmed by Michigan election officials, who said a clerk had entered the wrong Bradley as having voted. Though the living Bradley had also received an absentee ballot for his father, he said he threw it away, “because I didn’t want to get it confused with mine”. The false claim that the deceased Bradley had voted in the 3 November election is one of a barrage of voter fraud conspiracy theories fired off by Trump supporters across the country during recent weeks, and all have been debunked while failing to prove that widespread irregularities exist. Instead, the theories often reveal Trump supporters’ fundamental misunderstandings of the election system while creating a game of conspiracy theory whack-a-mole for election officials.

Full Article: The dead voter conspiracy theory peddled by Trump voters, debunked | US news | The Guardian

National: Giuliani peddles election conspiracy theories and falsehoods. | Linda Qiu/The New York Times

Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, has spread a litany of falsehoods and conspiracy theories in media appearances and social media over the past week. Mr. Giuliani, who has a long history of fudging the truth and who has led the Trump campaign’s largely unsuccessful legal fight over the election, has focused particularly on debunked claims of barred poll workers and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about a voting software company affecting the election’s outcome. In interviews on Fox News, Mr. Giuliani has repeatedly claimed that Democratic officials blocked Republican poll watchers from observing ballot counting in “10 different crooked Democratic cities,” including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Milwaukee, Reno, Phoenix and Atlanta. And in the counties where Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are, he has said, the lack of access affected over 680,000 votes. There’s no evidence to support any of these allegations. Mr. Trump’s own legal filings acknowledged the presence of Republican observers in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona and there were at least 134 Republican poll challengers present inside TCF Center in Detroit, a convention center where votes were counted. Mr. Giuliani has brought up Philadelphia and Pittsburgh several times. That’s because a Trump campaign lawsuit had claimed that some 682,000 ballots in those cities’ two counties were processed “when no observation was allowed” and sought to have those votes thrown out.

Full Article: Giuliani peddles election conspiracy theories and falsehoods. – The New York Times

Editorial: Trump is testing democracy. Nine out of 10 senior elected Republicans are failing. | Max Boot/The Washington Post

President Trump is cynically trying to overturn the election results based on claims of fraud that are themselves fraudulent. He is unlikely to succeed. But if he did, the United States’ 232-year history as a democracy would be finished. Now is a time of testing: Do you stand with the democrats or the autocrats? Unfortunately, most Republicans are failing this test — just as they have failed every other test during Trump’s presidency. According to Axios, only six Republican senators (out of 53), seven Republican governors (out of 26) and 10 Republican members of the House (out of 197) have thus far acknowledged that Joe Biden won. That means fewer than 1 in 10 of the most senior elected Republicans publicly stands behind our electoral system. Even fewer have followed Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) in warning that Trump’s unfounded claim of election-rigging “damages the cause of freedom.” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) has often championed freedom abroad, but now he is a threat to freedom at home. The Republican secretary of state in Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, says that the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee pressured him to throw out as many ballots as possible in a state that Biden won narrowly. (Graham denies it.) Anyone who thought that Lickspittle Lindsey would grow a spine now that he has been reelected — and Trump defeated — will be disabused of that illusion.

Full Article: Opinion | Trump is testing democracy. Nine out of 10 senior elected Republicans are failing. – The Washington Post

Alaska: Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer says no fraud found in 2020 election, but he will ask for an audit to reassure voters | James Brooks/Anchorage Daily News

The elected official in charge of Alaska’s 2020 election said on Wednesday that he has seen no evidence of fraud or illegal activity in this year’s vote. “No, we have not seen anything that looks like fraud or looks weird or looks like an irregularity,” Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer said after the Alaska Division of Elections published final unofficial results. As of 12:14 p.m. Wednesday, 360,684 votes had been counted in Alaska’s 2020 general election. That’s the most votes ever cast in an Alaska election. Election officials will now spend a week double-checking the machine-counted result. Officials expect to certify the result Nov. 25. After that, any losing candidate can request a recount. “We do not accept recount applications until the election has been certified,” said Tiffany Montemayor, the division’s public relations manager. Meyer said on Wednesday that although he cannot request a recount, he intends to take the extraordinary step of asking officials to count all Ballot Measure 2 votes by hand. “It’s never been done,” Meyer said. That hand audit would take place after the results are certified.

Full Article: Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer says no fraud found in 2020 election, but he will ask for an audit to reassure Alaskans – Anchorage Daily News

Arizona Judge Expresses Skepticism of GOP Maricopa Recount Suit | Erik Larson/Bloomberg

An Arizona judge expressed skepticism about a Republican lawsuit seeking to force the state’s biggest county to re-do a hand recount of some ballots despite having no evidence of voter fraud or software errors. The Arizona Republican Party sued Nov. 12 claiming Maricopa County’s state-mandated hand count of a sample of ballots — to audit voting machine accuracy — must be repeated because officials sampled votes from 2% of polling places, called vote centers, instead of 2% of precincts. Maricopa County, which includes the city of Phoenix, favored President-elect Joe Biden in the election, helping make him the presumptive winner of the state over President Donald Trump by more than 10,000 votes. Judge John Hannah said at a Wednesday hearing in Phoenix that he was “having a hard time” understanding why the GOP waited so long to challenge the audit details given that they had a representative involved with the process more than two weeks before the election, during early voting. “This audit process effectively started before the election,” Hannah said. “They waited until after the election, until they knew how the vote had apparently come out before they filed” the lawsuit. All Arizona counties need to report their results in time for the state to certify the election by Nov. 30, and Democrats argue the suit intentionally puts that deadline at risk. Hannah said he’d issue a ruling as soon as Thursday morning.

Full Article: Arizona GOP Seeks Recount in Phoenix Area Despite ‘Zero’ Errors

Arizona GOP pressures counties to delay certifying vote | Jacques Billeaud and Bob Christie/Associated Press

The Arizona Republican Party is pressuring county officials statewide to delay certifying their election results despite no evidence of legitimate questions about the vote count that shows Democratic President-elect Joe Biden won the state. The GOP also is seeking a court order to postpone the certification in Maricopa County — the state’s largest by population — that’s expected Thursday or Friday before a Nov. 23 deadline. In northwestern Arizona, Mohave County officials postponed their certification until Nov. 23, while other counties press ahead. “The party is pushing for not only the county supervisors but everyone responsible for certifying and canvassing the election to make sure that all questions are answered so that voters will have confidence in the results of the election,” said Zach Henry, a spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party. The party has filed a legal challenge seeking a hand-count of a sampling of ballots in Maricopa County and a court order prohibiting it from certifying results until the case is decided. “This case is about delay — not the adjudication of good faith claims,” lawyers for Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said in a court filing. Jack Wilenchik, a lawyer representing the GOP, said at a court hearing Wednesday that the lawsuit’s purpose is to determine whether voting machines have been hacked.

Full Article: Arizona GOP pressures counties to delay certifying vote

Georgia: Lindsey Graham faces ethics complaint over call to Georgia official | Christal Hayes/USA Today

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch ally of the president, is the target of an ethics complaint after his controversial phone call with a key election official in Georgia over how the state counts ballots. Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger accused Graham earlier this week of pressuring him to find ways to exclude or invalidate legally cast absentee ballots and reverse Trump’s loss in the state, an accusation the South Carolina Republican called “ridiculous.”  Graham said he had also spoken with Arizona’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey and was briefed about the process in Nevada, both swing states that helped Joe Biden beat President Donald Trump for the White House. The senator’s contact with other states over election counting efforts came as  Trump and his campaign have lodged multiple lawsuits over baseless voter fraud allegations in a longshot attempt to overturn the election results. A complaint filed Wednesday to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics asks the panel to investigate Graham’s phone call with Raffensperger, whether Graham suggested not counting all legal votes and whether he had threatened election officials, who are in the midst of a recount, with a Senate investigation. The complaint was filed by Walter Shaub, a former top ethics watchdog for the federal government under President Barack Obama; Richard Painter, the top ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush; and Claire Finkelstein, who heads the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law. “If these allegations are true, Senator Graham’s conduct constitutes an abuse of office and conduct unbecoming of a senator,” the complaint states.

Full Article: Lindsey Graham faces ethics complaint over call to Georgia official

Florida: Did mail delays lead to more late-arriving ballots? The opposite, counties say | Aaron Leibowitz/Tampa Bay Times

Florida voters had plenty of reasons to question the reliability of voting by mail in the Nov. 3 election. The U.S. Postal Service was delivering ballots at delayed speeds, and thousands of ballots were flagged for signature issues that disproportionately affect young and minority voters. With people voting by mail in record numbers due to COVID-19, rejected ballots had the potential to become Florida’s “hanging chads” of 2020. But that hasn’t come to pass. In fact, early data from some of the state’s largest counties suggests efforts by local elections supervisors, voters and advocates helped drive down the number of ballots received after Florida’s 7 p.m. Election Day deadline. In Miami-Dade County, elections officials told the Miami Herald that, as of Monday, 648 ballots had arrived after the deadline, meaning they won’t count in the general election. In the August primary, even though about 250,000 fewer mail ballots were cast, 4,691 ballots arrived after the deadline — more than seven times as many as in November. Suzy Trutie, the deputy supervisor of elections for Miami-Dade, said she attributes the low number of late ballots to the department’s education efforts about sending in ballots with time to spare. She also pointed to the use of drop boxes at early voting sites, which accounted for about one-third of all mail ballots cast in the county.

Full Article: Did mail delays lead to more late-arriving ballots? The opposite, Florida counties say

Georgia vote discrepancies reconciled on last day of recount | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Election officials corrected vote counting mistakes and explained an allegation by the Republican Party about miscounted DeKalb County ballots on Wednesday, the final day of Georgia’s manual recount. The latest unofficial count puts Joe Biden 12,781 votes ahead of President Donald Trump, who gained about 1,400 votes this week that county election officials initially failed to count. There’s no indication of broader problems beyond three counties that didn’t load all votes from memory cards and one county that didn’t rescan all ballots after an optical scanner was replaced because of a technical issue, said Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system manager. Three of the four counties that had issues are Republican-leaning politically. When the recount and audit exposed issues, election workers fixed them before results are finalized, Sterling said. “The system is working the way it’s intended,” Sterling said. “These people are operating under the highest level of stress, in the most contentious election in their work life in the United States and in Georgia. So for the most part they are doing a really good job on this.”

Full Article: Georgia recount: Minor counting errors corrected as recount nears end

Georgia elections chief: ‘Emotional abuse’ to mislead voters about fraud | Jonathan Easley/The Hill

The top election official in Georgia on Wednesday raged at what he described as politicians giving false hope and ginning up anger over unsubstantiated allegations of systemic voter fraud, calling it “emotional abuse” to mislead voters into thinking that the election was stolen from President Trump. In an exclusive interview with The Hill, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a self-described “conservative Republican,” declined to directly blame Trump for spreading baseless claims about voting machines altering ballots or “illegal” votes being counted. But Raffensperger unloaded on Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and other GOP politicians he said were creating a dangerous environment — including threats of violence aimed at him and his wife – because he’s disputed the notion that systemic fraud was behind President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. “There’s just people who are really angry and they’re being spun up,” Raffensperger said. “It’s really the spinners that should be ashamed for playing with people’s emotions. Politicians of both sides should never play with people’s emotions. It’s one thing to motivate people, I get that. But to spin people up and play with their emotions, it’s emotional abuse and they ought to grow up and start acting with integrity.” The Hill pointed out that Trump, who has attacked Raffensperger as a “Republican in name only,” is responsible for spreading discredited information about voter fraud. However, the secretary of state declined to directly criticize the president. “I’m a Republican, I’m a conservative one, and I don’t like the idea that President Trump is not going to win,” Raffensperger said. “But at the end of the day, I want every voter to know we’re going to do our job and make sure every legal vote is counted.”

Full Article: Georgia elections chief: ‘Emotional abuse’ to mislead voters about fraud | TheHill

Michigan: GOP members of Wayne County canvassing board ask to ‘rescind’ their votes certifying the election | Tom Hamburger, Kayla Ruble and Tim Elfrink/The Washington Post

After three hours of tense deadlock on Tuesday, the two Republicans on an election board in Michigan’s most populous county reversed course and voted to certify the results of the presidential election, a key step toward finalizing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state. Now, they both want to take back their votes. In affidavits signed on Wednesday evening, the two GOP members of the four-member Wayne County Board of Canvassers allege that they were improperly pressured into certifying the election and accused Democrats of reneging on a promise to audit votes in Detroit. “I rescind my prior vote,” Monica Palmer, the board’s chairwoman, wrote in an affidavit reviewed by The Washington Post. “I fully believe the Wayne County vote should not be certified.” William Hartmann, the other Republican on the board, has signed a similar affidavit, according a person familiar with the document. Hartmann did not respond to a message from The Post. Jonathan Kinloch, a Democrat and the board’s vice chairman, told The Post that it’s too late for the pair to reverse course, as the certified results have already been sent to the secretary of state in accordance with state rules. He lashed out at the Republicans over their requests.

Full Article: Wayne County, Michigan, GOP members of canvassing board ask to ‘rescind’ their votes certifying the election – The Washington Post

When Michigan Republicans Refused to Certify Votes, It Wasn’t Normal | Maggie Astor/The New York Times

For a few hours on Tuesday, it looked as though two Republican officials in Wayne County, Mich., might reject the will of hundreds of thousands of voters. President Trump’s campaign cheered them on. But hundreds of Michiganders logged on to a Zoom call to express their fury. And around 9 p.m., the Republicans reversed themselves, certifying the count. Voters in Michigan and beyond were left wondering: What just happened? Could the results of a free election really be blocked that easily, in such a routine part of the electoral process? In this case, the answer was no, but perhaps only because so many people said so.

Full Article: When Michigan Republicans Refused to Certify Votes, It Wasn’t Normal – The New York Times

Nevada: GOP elections chief mum as Democrats defend vote | Michelle L. Price and Ken Ritter/Associated Press

While President Donald Trump has escalated his legal battle over the election in Nevada and sought to contest its results, the Republican official in charge of supervising the state’s vote has stayed quiet. Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, who has kept a low profile since Trump launched a series of legal challenges in Nevada, has not issued any statements since the president’s campaign contested the results of the state’s vote Tuesday. Her office said Wednesday that she was unavailable for an interview and declined to respond to emailed questions about Trump asking a judge to overturn or throw out the Nevada results, along with claims from his lawyers that the results “lacked integrity.” Cegavske spokeswoman Jennifer Russell said the secretary of state would not comment because of the lawsuit. Other elected officials, all Democrats, defended the election process. State Attorney General Aaron Ford said evidence shows Nevada held fair, safe and secure elections and that there was no widespread voter fraud. Ford said in a statement that his office would prosecute “any isolated and substantiated incidents of voter fraud.” Ford said Trump’s team never filed an official complaint and supporting evidence with his office, despite being explicitly invited to do so.

Full Article: GOP elections chief mum as Democrats defend Nevada vote

Pennsylvania: Trump Is Wrong. There’s No Evidence of Election Fraud in Philadelphia. | Nathaniel Persily and Charles Stewart III/The New York Times

Joe Biden’s lead in the presidential election results in Pennsylvania has now surpassed 81,000 votes, far exceeding Donald Trump’s 44,000-vote victory margin there four years ago. Yet the Trump campaign continues to claim in court huge but incalculable levels of fraud, particularly in Philadelphia. As with cases filed elsewhere around the country, Mr. Trump will not succeed. Even a cursory examination of the data refutes any notion of substantial voting fraud. As a threshold matter, it is important to understand how eerily similar the 2020 results in Philadelphia were to 2016. As of Tuesday evening, 743,966 votes for president had been counted in Philadelphia — an increase of 34,348 votes from 2016. This 4.8 percent increase in turnout is less than half of the 11.6 percent increase in turnout seen in the state as a whole. Not only was the increase in the number of ballots cast in Philadelphia from 2016 to 2020 relatively modest, but Mr. Trump won more votes and a greater percentage of the votes there than he did in 2016. He received 18 percent of the two-party vote this year, up from 15.7 percent in 2016, gaining 24,122 votes. In contrast, Mr. Biden received two percentage points less of the two-party vote in the city than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. If any fraud was attempted in Philadelphia, it failed miserably. Mr. Biden also did worse in Philadelphia in comparison with 2016 than in most other counties in the state. Mr. Biden outpaced Mrs. Clinton in 57 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Though he got one percentage point more of the two-party vote than she did statewide, he underperformed her by 2.3 points in Philadelphia County — the biggest percentage-point decline in any county in the state. Philadelphia stands out as the county where Mr. Biden did particularly poorly, not suspiciously well.

Full Article: Opinion | Trump Is Wrong. There’s No Evidence of Election Fraud in Philadelphia. – The New York Times

Rhode Island: A state Board of Elections official says cybersecurity has held strong | Mark Reynolds/The Providence Journal

The cybersecurity of Rhode Island’s election system has been strong through the entire election cycle and remains sturdy as the state prepares for a risk-limiting audit of voting results, a state election official said Tuesday. The state Board of Elections’ process for transmitting unofficial election results, with modems and a private network, had drawn some scrutiny prior to the election. One election technology expert with the Silicon Valley-based OSET Institute, Eddie Perez, had referred to the plan as “a bad idea,” citing “broad consensus” in the cybersecurity field regarding the liability of such wireless technology. But Rhode Island’s Board of Elections stayed with its plan, reassured, in part, by input from the Rhode Island National Guard’s local team of cybersecurity experts, known as the Defensive Cyber Operations Element. On Election Night, the modems helped keep the public “well-informed” with timely unofficial results, said the BOE’s deputy director of elections, Miguel Nunez. Nunez pointed out that the system had processed a record number of ballots. “We feel very good,” he said.

Full Article: A state Board of Elections official says cybersecurity has held strong.

Wisconsin: In suspicions raised about validity of Milwaukee’s vote, leaders see harmful racial undertones | Mary Spicuzza and Alison Dirr/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

City leaders slammed the decision by President Donald Trump to seek a recount focused heavily on Milwaukee County, accusing Trump of racism and trying to disenfranchise voters here — especially Black voters. Rather than seeking a recount of the entire state in his longshot bid to reverse the Nov. 3 election results, Trump’s campaign said it would focus only on Dane and Milwaukee counties. The two counties — the state’s largest — are Democratic strongholds, with Milwaukee home to the state’s largest percentage of Black and Latino voters. “No surprise, Donald Trump has been consistent. He’ll go after communities of color, and he’ll go after communities where there are lots of Democrats,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a Wednesday interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And he doesn’t care. “Obviously I’m offended that he picks the county and the city that has the highest percentage of African Americans in the state.” Barrett added: “A failed candidate, a failed campaign, and soon to be a failed recount effort.”

Full Article: In suspicions raised about validity of Milwaukee’s vote, leaders see harmful racial undertones

Wisconsin: Trump campaign moves to seek partial recount hoping to overturn results | Molly Beck/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Donald Trump will seek a recount of ballots in liberal Dane and Milwaukee counties, hoping to overturn the election results in his favor. Trump’s campaign paid the state $3 million as of Wednesday morning to start a partial recount, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The campaign said it would seek a recount in the state’s two most populous and liberal-leaning counties. Former Dane County Judge Jim Troupis is representing the campaign in its recount effort. “We will not stop fighting for transparency and integrity in our electoral process to ensure that all Americans can trust the results of a free and fair election in Wisconsin and across the country,” Troupis said in a statement. Trump would have had to pay nearly $8 million to conduct a full statewide recount of Wisconsin, a state he narrowly lost two weeks ago by nearly 21,000 votes. A recount of certain counties costs less. A recount in Milwaukee County is estimated to cost about $2 million, according to the elections commission. Dane County would cost about $740,000. In Milwaukee County, Biden beat Trump 317,270 votes to 134,357, according to the final canvass. The county canvass added 19 votes for Biden and 2 for Trump compared to the unofficial results.

Full Article: Trump campaign moves to seek partial recount of Wisconsin, hoping to overturn results