Editorial: Trump’s coup might not work. But he may pave the way for the next failed candidate. | The Washington Post

President Trump has dropped the pretense of respecting democracy. Having lost the election, and a string of attempts to challenge vote counts, he demanded on Wednesday that state officials simply refuse to certify the results. The end game, according to Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis, is to enable Republican state lawmakers in a swing state such as Michigan to award their state’s electoral college delegates to Mr. Trump despite President-elect Joe Biden’s unassailable vote margins. The Post’s Robert Costa reports that Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, is also talking up what would amount to a coup. He knows that his desultory lawsuits will not succeed, but calculates that if enough states are prevented from certifying their votes by legal deadlines, the election could be thrown into Congress, which might hand the presidency to Mr. Trump — again, against the will of the voters. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump demonstrated Tuesday that he will retaliate against those who fail to read from his corrupt script by firing Christopher Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security election security boss who publicly refuted the president’s unfounded allegations that voting systems were manipulated. This is beyond political norm-breaking. This is a direct assault on democracy itself. That an American president would even contemplate scheming to overturn a free and fair election is astonishing. That he is actively trying to do so should shock Americans to the core.

Full Article: Opinion | Trump’s coup might not work. But he may pave the way for the next failed candidate. – The Washington Post

Trump’s election power play: Persuade Republican legislators to do what U.S. voters did not | Michael Martina, Karen Freifeld and Jarrett Renshaw/Reuters

President Donald Trump’s strategy for retaining power despite losing the U.S. election is focused increasingly on persuading Republican legislators to intervene on his behalf in battleground states Democrat Joe Biden won, three people familiar with the effort said. … Trump’s lawyers are seeking to take the power of appointing electors away from the governors and secretaries of state and give it to friendly state lawmakers from his party, saying the U.S. Constitution gives legislatures the ultimate authority. A person familiar with the campaign’s legal strategy said it has become a “more targeted approach towards getting the legislators engaged.” As things stand, Biden has captured 306 electoral votes nationwide to Trump’s 232, well ahead of the 270 needed for victory. Were the combined 36 electoral votes in Michigan and Pennsylvania to go to Trump, he would trail by 270-268 electoral votes, meaning his campaign would still need to flip at least one more state to retain the White House. A senior Trump campaign official told Reuters its plan is to cast enough doubt on vote-counting in big, Democratic cities that Republican lawmakers will have little choice but to intercede. The campaign is betting that many of those lawmakers, who come from districts Trump won, will face a backlash from voters if they refuse to act. The campaign believes the longer they can drag this out, the more they will have an opportunity to persuade lawmakers to intervene, the official said.

Full Article: Trump’s election power play: Persuade Republican legislators to do what U.S. voters did not | Reuters

Ousted cyber official: Giuliani press conference ‘most dangerous 1hr 45min’ of TV in US history | Maggie Miller/The Hill

Christopher Krebs, the top federal cybersecurity official who was fired by President Trump this week, called Thursday’s press conference held by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and other Republicans some of the “most dangerous” television in U.S. history. “That press conference was the most dangerous 1hr 45 minutes of television in American history. And possibly the craziest,” Krebs tweeted. “If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re lucky.” Krebs, former director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), was fired on Tuesday after publicly pushing back against disinformation and misinformation surrounding the presidential election. Trump has refused to concede the race to President-elect Joe Biden, making unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud. Former New York City Mayor Giuliani and other members of Trump’s legal team held a press conference Thursday to give an update on the campaign’s legal challenges in various battleground states where vote tallies show Biden with a substantial lead. Giuliani cited multiple now-debunked claims of voter fraud in making the case for Trump, including citing a scene from the film “My Cousin Vinny” in which a character is too far away from a crime scene to be a credible witness to argue the Trump campaign wasn’t allowed close enough to observe ballot counting in Pennsylvania. In his role as head of CISA, Krebs coordinated with state and local officials to boost election security following Russian interference in 2016.

Full Article: Ousted cyber official: Giuliani press conference ‘most dangerous 1hr 45min’ of TV in US history | TheHill

National: Rudy Giuliani baselessly alleges ‘centralized’ voter fraud at free-wheeling news conference | Jane C. Timm/NBC

President Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, took the president’s voter fraud claims even further on Thursday, baselessly alleging during a frenzied news conference that the fraud was nationally coordinated. The president’s legal team alleged already debunked claims of voter fraud, baseless allegations of corrupted and hackable voting machines, election interference by foreign communists, and even references to antifa. The former New York City mayor also offered alternative election results for swing states and argued the president had a viable path to a second term. “It’s not a singular voter fraud in one state,” Giuliani said, speaking at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington. “This pattern repeats itself in a number of states, almost exactly the same pattern, which any experienced investigator prosecutor, which suggests that there was a plan — from a centralized place to execute these various acts of voter fraud, specifically focused on big cities, and specifically focused on, as you would imagine, big cities controlled by Democrats, and particularly if they focused on big cities that have a long history of corruption.” There’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud, coordinated or isolated, and the Trump campaign has repeatedly seen its claims tossed out of court for a lack of evidence. On Thursday, the president’s legal team instead flooded the zone with false claims.

Full Article: Rudy Giuliani baselessly alleges ‘centralized’ voter fraud at free-wheeling news conference

National: How Sidney Powell inaccurately cited Venezuela’s elections as evidence of U.S. fraud. | Linda Qiu/The New York Times

Sidney Powell, a lawyer on President Trump’s election legal team who represented the former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, has been a major source and promoter of viral conspiracy theories about vote switching. Since the election, Ms. Powell has advanced claims of voluminous voter fraud and a rigged election. She falsely claimed that a supercomputer called Hammer hacked votes, that Mr. Trump won the election by “millions of votes” and that voting software company Dominion Voting Systems altered the tallies. Last week, she promised that coming evidence would overturn the election’s results and said she would “release the Kraken,” a reference to the 1981 movie “The Clash of the Titans,” reprising a catchphrase that began trending on Twitter. On Monday, Ms. Powell posted some of her so-called evidence on Twitter. It consisted of three screenshots of an affidavit that she said was signed by a former military official from Venezuela about elections there. The screenshots were incomplete and did not include a name or signature, and Ms. Powell did not respond to requests to view the full document. But according to her and excerpts from the affidavit, the elections software company Smartmatic helped the Venezuelan government rig its elections by switching votes and leaving no trail. The military official said in the excerpts that the U.S. election was “eerily reminiscent” of what happened in Venezuela’s 2013 presidential election, though no evidence was provided that votes had been switched in the United States.

Full Article: How Sidney Powell inaccurately cited Venezuela’s elections as evidence of U.S. fraud. – The New York Times

National: Trump’s firing of top election security official unsettles lawmakers | Courtney Norris/PBS

The consensus among top election officials was that the Nov. 3 election was the most secure in history. But the president disagreed. In the days since President Donald Trump fired one of those officials — Christopher Krebs, who he had appointed two years earlier to lead the newly formed Cyber & Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA — security experts and lawmakers of both parties have spoken out in defense of the nation’s top election security official.  “Chris Krebs is an extraordinary public servant and exactly the person Americans want protecting the security of our elections. It speaks volumes that the president chose to fire him simply for telling the truth,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. In the run-up to the election and in the days after, while the Trump campaign was waging legal battles contesting results on multiple fronts, Krebs was combating disinformation with a rumor control website that knocked down many of the claims that the election had in one way or another been stolen, including claims made by the president and his surrogates.

Full Article: Trump’s firing of top election security official unsettles lawmakers | PBS NewsHour

National: Dominion employees latest to face threats, harassment in wake of Trump conspiracy | Olivia Rubin,Lucien Bruggeman and Matthew Mosk/ABC

Full Article: Dominion employees latest to face threats, harassment in wake of Trump conspiracy – ABC News

National: Trump told ally he’s trying to get back at Democrats for questioning legitimacy of his own election | Dana Bash and Gloria Borger/CNN

President Donald Trump told an ally that he knows he lost, but that he is delaying the transition process and is aggressively trying to sow doubt about the election results in order to get back at Democrats for questioning the legitimacy of his own election in 2016, especially with the Russia investigation, a source familiar with the President’s thinking told CNN on Thursday. The President’s refusal to concede, as CNN has previously reported, stems in part from his perceived grievance that Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama undermined his own presidency by saying Russia interfered in the 2016 election and could have impacted the outcome, people around him have said. Trump continues to hold a grudge against those who he claims undercut his election by pointing to Russian interference efforts, and he has suggested it is fair game to not recognize Joe Biden as the President-elect, even though Clinton conceded on election night in 2016 and the Trump transition was able to begin immediately. Trump is also continuing to process the emotional scars of losing to a candidate he repeatedly said during the campaign was an unworthy opponent whose win would amount to humiliation. He again made no public appearances on Thursday, skipping the first coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in more than six months. He is planning to participate in a virtual Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Friday, a senior administration official told CNN.

Full Article: Trump told ally he’s trying to get back at Democrats for questioning legitimacy of his own election – CNNPolitics

National: Threats and Tensions Rise as Trump and Allies Attack Elections 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 Arizona on Wednesday, the Democratic secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, issued a statement lamenting the “consistent and systematic undermining of trust” in the elections and called on Republican officials to stop “perpetuating misinformation.” She described threats against her and her family in the aftermath of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory over Mr. Trump in her state. In Georgia, where Mr. Biden holds a narrow lead that is expected to stand through a recount concluding Wednesday night, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has said he, too, received menacing messages. He also said he felt pressured by Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to search for ways to disqualify votes. In Pennsylvania, statehouse Republicans on Wednesday advanced a proposal to audit the state’s election results that cited “a litany of inconsistencies” — a move Democrats described as obstructionist and unnecessary given Mr. Trump’s failure to present any evidence in court of widespread fraud or other problems. Republicans in Wisconsin filed new lawsuits on Wednesday in the state’s two biggest counties, seeking a recount. Mr. Biden reclaimed both states after Mr. Trump won them in 2016. Nowhere was the confusion and chaos more evident than in Michigan on Tuesday night, when two Republican members of the canvassing board in Wayne County, which includes Detroit, initially refused to certify election results, pointing to minor recording discrepancies. It was a stunningly partisan move that would have potentially disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters from a predominantly Black city, and after a stream of public backlash, the two board members reversed their votes and agreed to certify.

Full Article: Trump Election Results: Tensions Rise as Allies Attack Process – The New York Times

National: No, judges don’t overturn elections because of isolated irregularities. | Jeremy W. Peters/The New York Times

President Trump’s approach to challenging the election has been scattershot and contradictory, as his campaign demands that courts stop ballots from being counted in certain places while insisting that a more thorough review is necessary in other places. Confusing as it may seem, essentially his goal is this: to get judges to invalidate the results in enough counties and states so that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s lead disappears. Would judges ever actually do that? They have before, though never on the scale that the president and his legal team is attempting. There are numerous examples going back hundreds of years in the United States when courts have been asked to toss out the results of elections on the local, state and federal levels. Losing candidates have prevailed for a variety of reasons: because the court determined that the count was off, or that inconsistent standards were applied in processing ballots, or even that there was voter fraud. But these cases are the exception. And election law experts said that judges have set the bar extremely high. It’s not enough to claim — or even prove — that irregularities occurred. The irregularities have to be significant enough to change the outcome of the race, which is extraordinarily rare. “The prevailing view today is that courts should not invalidate election results because of problems unless it is shown that the problems were of such magnitude to negate the validity of which candidate prevailed,” said Edward B. Foley, director of election law at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. This is inherently difficult to do, he added, given how hard it is to provide evidence that disputed ballots were cast in favor of a particular candidate.

Full Article: No, judges don’t overturn elections because of isolated irregularities. – The New York Times

Arizona: Judge Rejects GOP Bid to Delay Vote Certification in Phoenix | Jacques Billeaud/Associated Press

A judge has rejected the Arizona Republican Party’s bid to postpone the certification of election results in Maricopa County and dismissed the party’s legal challenge that sought a new audit of a sampling of ballots. Judge John Hanna issued the ruling Thursday with little explanation, saying only that the GOP’s request to amend its lawsuit was futile, barring the party from refiling the case and promising a full explanation of his reasons for the decision in the future. Maricopa County officials are expected to certify elections results Friday. It’s unclear whether the party plans to appeal the decision. While the Republican Party said the purpose of its challenge is to determine whether voting machines were hacked, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ office said the suit is a delay tactic aimed at undermining the certification. No evidence of fraud or hacking of voting machines has emerged during this election in Arizona. The court ruling comes as the state GOP has pressured county officials statewide to delay certifying their election results, leading officials in Republican-heavy Mohave County to postpone their certification until Monday. Eleven of Arizona’s 15 counties have already certified election results. Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, responded to the decision by asking for an examination of a larger audit of ballots cast throughout Arizona. “Arizona voters deserve to have complete trust in their election procedures. They should also have supreme confidence that only legal ballots were counted in the 2020 election,” Ward said. “Failure to address their concerns actively harms our state and our nation.”

Full Article: Judge Rejects GOP Bid to Delay Vote Certification in Phoenix | Arizona News | US News

Georgia drawn into election conspiracy claims by Trump allies | Alan Judd/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Georgia was drawn into a vortex of conspiracy theories over the 2020 presidential election on Thursday as President Donald Trump’s lawyers and a prominent Atlanta supporter pressed unfounded claims that the state was a hotbed of fraud. In a hearing late Thursday, a federal judge in Atlanta rejected a request to bar state officials from certifying that former Vice President Joe Biden defeated Trump in Georgia. State law requires election results to be certified by Friday. U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg, a Trump appointee, said he found no evidence of irregularities that affected more than a nominal number of votes. Biden beat Trump by more than 12,000 votes in Georgia. Grimberg said halting the election’s certification could have invalidated 1.3 million absentee ballots cast by Georgia voters. “It harms the public interest in countless ways, particularly in the environment in which this election occurred,” Grimberg said at the end of a nearly three-hour hearing. “To halt the certification at literally the 11th hour would breed confusion and significant disenfranchisement.”

Full Article: Trump allies draw Georgia into election conspiracy claims

Georgia: ‘Integrity still matters’: the unlikely Republican standing up to Trump’s voter fraud lies | Sam Levine/The Guardian

Of all the Republicans to push back on Donald Trump’s baseless claims about voter fraud, Brad Raffensperger, the mild-mannered top election official in Georgia, did not seem like a likely candidate. It was just a few months ago that civil rights groups called on Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, to resign from his position after voters spent hours waiting to vote in the primary election. He also faced criticism for declining to mail an absentee ballot application to all voters for the general election – something he did in the primary. And he raised alarms by creating an election fraud taskforce and trumpeting potential voter fraud prosecutions with little context. But after Trump lost Georgia to Joe Biden by around 13,000 votes, Raffensperger has emerged as one of the few Republican officials across the US who has aggressively disputed Trump’s baseless claims that fraud tainted the election result in the state. Trump, who endorsed Raffensperger in 2018, is now directing his ire at the secretary of state, and Georgia’s two Republican senators, both locked in separate runoff contests against Democrats, have called on Raffensperger to resign. Raffensperger, who is quarantining after his wife tested positive for Covid-19, continued to push back on the attacks against his office on Wednesday, saying Trump’s loss in the state – long considered a Republican stronghold – was the candidate’s fault.

Full Article: ‘Integrity still matters’: the unlikely Republican standing up to Trump’s voter fraud lies | US news | The Guardian

Georgia: Lindsey Graham’s alleged interference in election is felony election fraud | Mark Joseph Stern/Slate

Since narrowly losing Georgia to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump has promoted baseless claims of voter fraud in a desperate effort to overturn the results of the election. So far, however, the only individual credibly accused of a fraudulent effort to steal the election is South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. On Monday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger—who, like Graham, is a Republican—told the Washington Post that Graham asked him if he could throw out all mail ballots from counties with a high rate of signature mismatch. Raffensperger later clarified that he believed Graham wanted his office to throw out valid, legally cast ballots. The senator has contested this account. Graham’s alleged request is unseemly and corrupt. But is it criminal? In short, yes, according to multiple Georgia election law experts. If Raffensperger’s account is true, there is virtually no doubt that Graham committed a crime under Georgia law. The more difficult question is whether Graham will suffer any consequences for his alleged offense. Because he is a Republican and a sitting U.S. senator, Graham likely won’t face an investigation, let alone prosecution, for conduct that would get almost anyone else arrested. It might be tempting to dismiss Graham’s alleged interference as unscrupulous strategizing blown out of proportion. But Georgia has a sordid history of prosecuting putative voter fraud involving far more innocent conduct. Graham does not deserve a pass simply because he is a wealthy white senator.

Full Article: Lindsey Graham’s alleged interference in Georgia’s election is felony election fraud.

Michigan: Trump invites Republican leaders to meet him at White House as he escalates attempts to overturn election results | Tom Hamburger, Kayla Ruble, David A. Fahrenthold and Josh Dawsey/The Washington Post

President Trump has invited the leaders of Michigan’s Republican-controlled state legislature to meet him in Washington on Friday, according to a person familiar with those plans, as the president and his allies continue an extraordinary campaign to overturn the results of an election he lost. Trump’s campaign has suffered defeats in courtrooms across the country in its efforts to allege irregularities with the ballot-counting process, and has failed to muster any evidence of the widespread fraud that the president continues to claim tainted the 2020 election. Trump lost Michigan by a wide margin: at present, he trails President-Elect Joseph R. Biden in the state by 157,000 votes. Earlier this week, the state’s Republican Senate Majority Leader said an effort to have legislators throw out election results was “not going to happen.” But the president now appears to be using the full weight of his office to challenge the election results, as he and his allies reach out personally to state and local officials in an intensifying effort to halt the certification of the vote in key battleground states. In an incendiary news conference in Washington, Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor who is now serving as Trump’s lead attorney, made baseless claims that Biden had orchestrated a national conspiracy to rig the vote. Trump’s team appear to be increasingly focused on Michigan as a place where Republican officials — on the state’s Board of Canvassers and in the legislature — might be persuaded to overturn the results.

Full Article: Trump called Monica Palmer, Wayne County official who asked to ‘rescind’ vote certifying election resultsIn Wayne County, Mich., GOP members of canvassing board ask to ‘rescind’ their votes certifying the election – The Washington Post

Michigan: What the affidavits to stop Detroit ballot count claimed, and how they were rebutted | Mark Hicks/The Detroit News

When Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, focused Thursday on the recent lawsuit by Detroit poll challengers who sought to stop the canvassing of Wayne County election results, he pointed to the affidavits made public in the case. Those eight filings in the Costantino v. Detroit lawsuit included claims that targeted alleged restrictions on poll challengers, late-arriving absentee ballots and clerk’s office workers who encouraged early voters to cast their ballots for Democratic President-elect Joe Biden and Democrats. Giuliani’s claims Thursday joined a series of attempts by President Trump’s supporters to discount Biden’s win in Michigan and undermine the election of Joseph Biden Jr. as president. A Wayne County judge last week denied the request, finding many of the claims without merit following rebuttals from city officials. The city of Detroit has denied the allegations in the case and said they are proof the plaintiffs “do not understand absent voter ballot processing and tabulating.” “It is clear also that they did not operate through the leadership of their challenger party, because the issues they bring forward were by and large discussed and resolved with the leadership of their challenger party,” according to an affidavit by Chris Thomas, a retired 36-year elections director for Michigan under both Republican and Democratic secretaries of state.

Full Article: What the affidavits to stop Detroit ballot count claimed, and how they were rebutted

New Hampshire: Gardner seeks 23rd term as secretary of state | Holly Ramer/Associated Press

After what felt like the longest election cycle ever, the nation’s longest serving secretary of state said Thursday he will seek a 23rd two-year term in New Hampshire. First elected by the Legislature in 1976, Bill Gardner faced little competition until two years ago, when he defeated former gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern by just four votes. He kept quiet about his plans for the next biennium until he finished overseeing recounts for the most recent elections. “Three months ago or a year ago or even three weeks ago, I didn’t know if I was going to do it or not,” he said in an interview. Gardner, 72, has built a reputation for fiercely defending New Hampshire’s position at the front of the presidential primary calendar. This year’s Feb. 11 contest was under extra scrutiny after the leadoff Iowa caucuses descended into chaos, with technical problems and results that remained muddied for days. Then came the coronavirus pandemic, which created challenges for municipal elections and traditional Town Meetings in March, followed by the September state primary and November general election. The state temporarily expanded eligibility for absentee voting for those concerned about the pandemic, and extensive safety measures were in place at the polls. All of that influenced his decision, Gardner said,

Full Article: Gardner seeks 23rd term as New Hampshire secretary of state

New Mexico: Republicans try to cast doubt on presidential results after Biden won by 11 points | Matthew Reichbach/NM Political Report

Less than a week before New Mexico certifies its election results, President Donald Trump’s political team said there are allegations of voter fraud in the state, even as the state’s post-election process to verify and audit results moved forward. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani made the allegations as part of a rambling press conference on Thursday that contradicted some arguments the Trump campaign has made in courts. The Trump campaign has consistently lost their cases as they attempt to overturn election results in states where the Republican lost, like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. “And the state that we’re looking at that would surprise you, we’re seeing very, very significant amount of fraud allegations in the state of New Mexico,” Giuliani claimed. A spokesman for the Secretary of State said elections in New Mexico were secure. He also said there have been, to his knowledge, there have been no lawsuits filed yet. “We have safe and secure elections here in New Mexico because of our use of best practices like paper ballots, regular voter roll maintenance, and post-election audits,” the spokesman, Alex Curtas, said in a statement.

Full Article: Republicans try to cast doubt on NM presidential results after Biden won by 11 points | The NM Political Report

How are North Carolina counties going to recount millions of ballots? | Jordan Wilkie/Carolina Public Press

North Carolina is conducting a statewide recount, spurred by one of the closest elections the state has ever seen. The Republican candidate for chief justice of the state Supreme Court, current Associate Justice Paul Newby, leads Democratic incumbent Cheri Beasley by 406 votes, or seven-thousands of a percent. In the span of a few days, every county in North Carolina will recount each of the more than 5.5 million ballots cast in this election, which saw record-setting turnout. While voters cast those ballots over the span of weeks, counties have until Nov. 25 to finish the second count. “It’s a very methodical process that needs to be done in a very condensed time frame,” said Robert Inman, Haywood County’s elections director. Inman, like a fifth of North Carolina’s election directors, is doing his first recount with paper ballots. Until the end of 2019, 21 counties were using touchscreen voting machines that stored votes on memory cards. During the 2016 recounts, these counties simply had to rerun those memory cards through the computer, which yielded the same results.

Full Article: How are NC counties going to recount millions of ballots? – Carolina Public Press

Pennsylvania: Trump campaign asks court to declare Trump winner | Marina Pitofsky/The Hill

President Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit on Wednesday over election results in Pennsylvania, arguing that he should be named the winner in the battleground state and that the GOP-controlled state legislature should be given the authority to assign its electoral votes, according to reports. The suit also argues that the campaign’s constitutional rights were violated because observers were not given adequate access as election officials processed mail-in ballots. The claim was dropped in an earlier version of the lawsuit. The campaign said in its new filing said that the claim was dropped due to a miscommunication among attorneys for the president. It also argues that 1.5 million votes across the state “should not have been counted” and that they led to “returns indicating Biden won Pennsylvania.” Attorneys for the Trump campaign also criticized a decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court earlier this week. The court ruled on Tuesday that election observers had adequate opportunity to watch to the vote-counting process, even if they could not see the individual ballots.

Full Article: Trump campaign asks Pennsylvania court to declare Trump winner | TheHill

Divided Pennsylvania House approves audit of 2020 election, citing inconsistencies and confusion in electorate | Ford Turner/The Morning Call

A deeply divided state House on Thursday voted to approve a Republican-sponsored measure that sets up an audit of the 2020 election, citing inconsistencies and confusion in the electorate as evidence the process must be improved for future contests. The vote was 112 in favor of the audit and 90 against, with all Republicans and three Democrats voting in favor. “There is no need to fear this audit. I welcome it. We all should welcome it, to find out what went right and what went wrong,” said Bedford County Republican Rep. Jesse Topper, the prime sponsor of the audit resolution. The intent, he said, is not to look for fraud but to get an in-depth assessment of how the Nov. 3 election was carried out, in time to possibly take legislative action early next year to improve the system. The resolution directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee ― a bipartisan committee with members from both House and Senate ― to oversee a “risk-limiting” audit. It allows the committee to hire an outside contractor to do the work. It may begin almost immediately and is expected to be complete by early February, at the latest. Democrats attacked the proposal, calling it unconstitutional, damaging to democracy and unnecessary. Gov. Tom Wolf issued a written statement during the debate, saying any audit done by this approach would be “incomplete, duplicative and unreliable.”

Full Article: Divided Pennsylvania House approves audit of 2020 election, citing inconsistencies and confusion in electorate – The Morning Call

Wisconsin: Trump continues alleging irregularities in Democratic strongholds without evidence | Briana Reilly/The Capital Times

President Donald Trump is targeting two of Wisconsin’s biggest and bluest counties as he pursues a partial recount of the state that played a crucial role in vaulting him to the White House four years ago and denying him this year. With his 2016 win decided by less than 1 percentage point, he repeatedly denounced a recount pursued in Wisconsin and elsewhere as a “scam.” But this time, with the outcome reversed, his campaign has embraced a re-tallying of the votes in this key battleground state. Chief among his campaign’s complaints is the repeated and unsubstantiated claim of “irregularities” in the absentee voting process, though Trump operatives haven’t provided evidence and elections officials have said they haven’t heard about issues surrounding how the election was conducted. The Trump campaign’s decision to focus on Dane and Milwaukee counties is notable; the two play a crucial role in any Democrat’s statewide election bid given their populations and heavily blue nature.

Full Article: Trump continues alleging irregularities in Wisconsin Democratic strongholds without evidence | Local Government | madison.com

Wisconsin: Trump is seeking a recount in two counties, but what he’s really doing is preparing for a lawsuit | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Donald Trump for now is seeking a recount in two Wisconsin counties, but what he’s really doing is preparing for a lawsuit. Why? Trump could see a long-shot chance of getting multiple states to change their vote totals. Or, a legal challenge could provide Trump fodder to keep his base revved up for a 2024 run, alleging the long-standing process of electing presidents that delivered former Vice President Joe Biden a victory was unfair. The recount petition he filed Wednesday asked to throw out broad swaths of votes in the state’s two most Democratic areas — something the county clerks there are sure to reject. But by pursuing the recount, Trump has given himself a vehicle for a lawsuit that would likely go before a judge by early December. It could quickly get to the state Supreme Court, where conservatives hold a 4-3 majority. The influence of the high court would be felt from the start. Under state law, Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack will get to choose which judge initially hears a recount lawsuit. She will also get to select the court that hears any appeals. Democrats called Trump’s arguments against counting some ballots baseless and said clerks were unlikely to accept his claims when they begin recounting votes on Friday. But they also expressed worries that the state’s high court, with its history of siding with Republicans, could go along with a request to toss ballots in Milwaukee and Dane counties and shift the state’s 10 electoral votes from Biden to Trump.

Full Article: Trump is seeking a recount in two Wisconsin counties, but what he’s really doing is preparing for a lawsuit | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel