A judge handling an election-fraud lawsuit brought by allies of President Donald Trump said the case was backed by “precious little proof,” but went on to issue a restraining order aimed at blocking three Georgia counties from making any changes to their voting machines as he considers whether to permit a forensic examination of those systems, according to court records. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Batten Sr. made the comments during an hour-long Sunday night court hearing on a lawsuit filed last week by Sidney Powell, a firebrand attorney who briefly joined Trump’s legal team in recent weeks before being dismissed from it. The hearing was held via Zoom and not announced in advance on the court’s docket or accessible to the press or public, but it was transcribed by a court reporter who provided the transcript to POLITICO on Monday evening. The transcript shows that Batten repeatedly wavered on whether to grant any relief to the Republican plaintiffs in the case, before settling on the narrow relief limited to three counties. Powell and her colleagues initially wanted all voting machines in the state impounded pending further court action, but the state’s lawyers said that would present a slew of problems, including preventing some local elections set for this week and potentially interfering with the pair of U.S. Senate runoff elections set for Jan. 5. “What the plaintiffs are seeking is basically going to take certain voting equipment out of the equation for the election scheduled to take place this Tuesday, as well as the election scheduled to take place on January 5th, because plaintiffs are wanting us to hold and basically mothball and preserve these machines at the county level — not in our possession, not in our custody and control,” Assistant Attorney General Russ Willard Sr. told Batten.
An attorney for President Donald Trump’s reelection efforts said on Monday that Chris Krebs, the former head of U.S. cybersecurity, should be “shot” for going against the president’s conspiracy theories and declaring the 2020 elections as secure. “Anybody who thinks the election went well, like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity,” said Trump campaign lawyer Joe DiGenova, “that guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot.” DiGenova made the remarks on a Monday episode of the “The Howie Carr Show,” which has a history of showcasing Trump’s claims and allies. During the show, DiGenova also listed a number of allegations of mass election irregularities — a phenomenon that elections officials in states across the country agreed was not an issue — in his team’s improbable effort to extend the Trump presidency. Trump fired Krebs nearly two weeks ago after the former director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency attested that the 2020 elections were among the safest in history. The president, whose personnel decisions have a record of being weighted by his perception of loyalty, fired Krebs by tweet, insisting that the election had been stolen from him.
National: Amber McReynolds, CEO of national voting institute, receives threats since election | Caroline Gregor/9News
The CEO of Vote From Home Institute, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to expanding convenient voting options for all voters, and former Denver Elections director, Amber McReynolds, has received disturbing threats on social media since the Nov. 3 election. McReynolds said the majority of these threats have come from people on Twitter. “Social media is definitely the place where a lot of this happens,” McReynolds said. “That’s not different than cyber bullying and some other tactics where these platforms, that were supposed to bring people together, are used for nefarious purposes and to target individuals.” McReynolds was an elections official in Denver for 13 years, and served as director of elections from 2011 to 2018. In 2018, she left the Denver Elections office to head up the Vote From Home Institute. There, she works on policy design with all states to improve the voting experience across the country, such as implementation of vote by mail expansions. She said that she, as well as other election workers across the state and country, have received threats relating to conspiracy theories about this year’s election. The clerk and recorder in Jefferson County said they have received more threats than usual this year. Denver, Boulder and La Plata counties clerk and recorders have all said they haven’t received any threats.
National: Trump Raises $170 Million as He Denies His Loss and Eyes the Future | Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman/The New York Times
President Trump has raised about $170 million since Election Day as his campaign operation has continued to aggressively solicit donations with hyped-up appeals that have funded his fruitless attempts to overturn the election and that have seeded his post-presidential political ambitions, according to a person familiar with the matter. The money, much of which was raised in the first week after the election, according to the person, has arrived as Mr. Trump has made false claims about fraud and sought to undermine public confidence in the legitimacy of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory. Instead of slowing down after the election, Mr. Trump’s campaign has ratcheted up its volume of email solicitations for cash, telling supporters that money was needed for an “Election Defense Fund.” In reality, the fine print shows that the first 75 percent of every contribution currently goes to a new political action committee that Mr. Trump set up in mid-November, Save America, which can be used to fund his political activities going forward, including staff and travel. The other 25 percent of each donation is directed to the Republican National Committee. A donor has to give $5,000 to Mr. Trump’s new PAC before any funds go to his recount account.
National: Wisconsin and Arizona make it official as Trump fails to stop vote certification in all six states where he contested his defeat | Amy Gardner, Emma Brown and Rosalind S. Helderman/The Washington Post
Arizona officials certified the results of the state’s election on Monday, confirming Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state and clearing the way for Mark Kelly to take his seat in the U.S. Senate this week. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs touted high turnout despite the election unfolding in the middle of a pandemic. Voters cast more than 3.2 million ballots and turnout neared 80%, a 23% increase from the midterm election two years ago and an 8% increase from the last presidential election in 2016, Hobbs said. “Despite the unprecedented challenges, Arizonans showed up for our democracy,” Hobbs said. “Every Arizona voter has my thanks and should know they can stand proud that this election was transparency, accuracy and fairness in accordance with Arizona’s laws and election procedures, despite numerous unfounded claims to the contrary.” Hobbs, a Democrat, signed the official election results in the old state Capitol in Phoenix along with the state’s Republican governor and attorney general, Doug Ducey and Mark Brnovich, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel. Ducey expressed confidence in the election process. “We do elections well here in Arizona. The system is strong and that’s why I bragged on it so much,” he said.
A judge assigned to a Republican-led lawsuit alleging widespread fraud in the presidential election in Georgia issued an order late Sunday night blocking plans to wipe or reset voting machines used in three counties in the state. U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten Sr. revealed in his four-page directive that he held a hearing via Zoom Sunday evening on the suit — one of two cases filed in federal courts last week by Sidney Powell, an outspoken Texas attorney who joined President Donald Trump’s legal team earlier this month only to be dismissed from it a few days later. The hearing was not announced on the court’s docket and appears not to have been open to the press or public. It seems to have focused on claims that the election results in Georgia were wildly inaccurate due to use of machines from a leading vendor of voting equipment — Dominion Election Systems. Powell has alleged, based on scant evidence, that the firm’s foreign ties allowed hostile governments to meddle in the U.S. election via a conspiracy that involved both Democratic and Republican U.S. officials. While many Democratic and some Republican officials have dismissed Powell’s claims as a fantasy, some GOP leaders are also warning that the effort to stoke doubt about the just-completed election could depress Republican turnout in a pair of runoff elections set for Jan. 5 in Georgia that could determine whether the GOP or Democrats control the U.S. Senate for the next two years.
Iowa: Scott County OKs congressional race recount results, despite ballot discrepancy | Tom Barton/Quad-City Times
Nearly four weeks after the election, Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks is poised to be declared the official winner — by just six votes — in what has become the closest congressional race in the country, flipping a seat held by Democrats for the past 14 years. The Scott County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Monday to certify the results of a county recount in the uncalled Iowa 2nd congressional district race, despite an unexplained 131-ballot discrepancy between the number of absentee ballots counted on election day and those counted by the recount board. A state canvassing board is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon, the legal deadline under Iowa Code, to certify the results of the race, following a districtwide recount in all 24 counties, and officially declare Miller-Meeks as the winner of the race. However, there is still a possibility of legal challenges brought by the campaign of Democrat Rita Hart, which would set in motion a proceeding before a judicial panel.
Michigan: Trump allies to judge: Force Governor to overturn election | Dave Boucher/Detroit Free Press
Allies of President Donald Trump want a federal court in Michigan to force state leaders to set aside election results and award its 16 electoral votes to the president. A separate conservative group also wants the Michigan Supreme Court to invalidate the results that show President-elect Joe Biden won the state. The latest lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Michigan and before the state’s highest court, rely on unfounded allegations of widespread fraud and misconduct that judges in the state and across the country have previously rejected. Neither has a high likelihood of success. There is no evidence of mass fraud or wrongdoing that affected election operations in Michigan or elsewhere. Biden earned roughly 154,000 more votes than Trump in Michigan. Last week, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers formally certified the results. But the federal lawsuit, filed by Trump-affiliated attorney Sidney Powell and a cadre of other lawyers, wants a judge to force Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to “decertify” those results. They want to act before Dec. 14, when the Electoral College is set to meet and Biden will receive the more than 270 votes needed to formally secure the presidency.
New Hampshire Officials Study How Post-Election Audits Would Work Here, As In Dozens of Other States | Casey McDermott/New Hampshire Public Radio
New Hampshire is in the minority of states that don’t routinely audit their election results. But on Monday, the Secretary of State’s office tested out how such an audit might work in future races. Teams from two election technology companies — Clear Ballot and Nordic Innovation Labs — ran a test audit on the results of five local races from 2018, in a public session at the State Archives. (A recording of the session can be viewed online here.) A new law requires the Secretary of State’s office “to study the use of high speed, optical/digital scan ballot counting devices for use in conducting post-election audits of electronic ballot counting devices used in state and federal elections.” As noted in the bill’s legislative history, New Hampshire’s lack of post-election audits has been identified in some outside reports as a potential security risk.
Pennsylvania statehouse Republican groups cling to baseless election claims as lawmaking and legal chances fade | Sam Dunklau/WITF
Pennsylvania’s state lawmaking session ended Monday, and with it, any chance for legislative intervention seeking to overturn the state’s election results. Despite courts dismissing two separate election-related lawsuits over the weekend, some Republican lawmakers have spent the session’s closing days pushing evidence-free claims about a fraudulent election. On the House side, more than 20 state representatives signed on to a co-sponsorship memo for a resolution calling on state leaders to delay vote certification — which occurred last week in the presidential race. A similar resolution was introduced in the Senate. Both resolutions include baseless claims of “substantial irregularities” with mail-in voting and accuses the Department of State and state Supreme Court of infringing on the legislature’s ability to determine election matters. House GOP leaders said Saturday there isn’t enough time left in the session to consider it, but have vowed to “further investigate” the election when the next session begins in January. “Our chamber voted to call for a complete audit of the election, a process we plan to see completed into the next session as well,” House Speaker Bryan Cutler said in a statement.
Texas: ‘I refuse to be afraid.’ Appeal filed in Tarrant County woman’s illegal voting conviction | Kaley Johnson/Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed a petition Monday to appeal the five-year sentence of a woman who was convicted of voter fraud in Tarrant County. The ACLU and other legal representatives requested that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals review the case of Crystal Mason, whose illegal voting conviction in Tarrant County has become widely controversial. Three justices on the Court of Appeals for the Second District of Texas denied Mason’s first appeal in March, although it agreed she did not know she was ineligible to vote. Now the ACLU will try to take the case — which ACLU legal director Andre Segura called, “one of the most important voting rights cases in modern Texas history” — through the next appeals process. In the 2016 election, Mason submitted a provisional ballot, later saying she was not aware she could not vote while on federally supervised release. Her ballot was not counted — provisional ballots are meant to allow a voter to cast a potential ballot even if their name does not appear on the list of registered voters. The ballot is examined later for validity. Nearly 4,500 other people submitted provisional ballots in Tarrant County in the 2016 election. Of those, 3,990 provisional ballots were rejected, the Texas Tribune reported. But in March 2018, Mason was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for illegal voting. And while she appealed her case last year, the Second District Appeals Court upheld her conviction after a hearing in Tarrant County in September 2019.
Wisconsin confirms Biden’s win as Trump says he will bring a lawsuit | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Jouranl Sentinel
The Democrat leading Wisconsin’s elections board confirmed Joe Biden’s victory in the state Monday as Republicans contended she should have waited to act because of a likely lawsuit from President Donald Trump. Ann Jacobs, the chairwoman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, verified Biden’s win by about 20,700 votes a day after the completion of a partial recount that found dozens more votes for Biden. She finalized the vote totals just hours after Arizona’s secretary of state certified Biden won that state, further narrowing the Republican president’s chances of persuading courts to give him a second term. Trump has said he will bring a lawsuit in Wisconsin by Tuesday. During the recount, his campaign unsuccessfully tried to throw out 238,00 votes cast in Dane and Milwaukee counties, the state’s most liberal places. As have past election officials, Jacobs on Monday signed a statement of canvass to confirm who won the election. It showed Biden had 20,682 more votes than Trump out of about 3.3 million cast. “I have examined this statement and I am now signing it as the official state determination of the results of the Nov. 3, 2020, election and the canvass,” Jacobs said during a 4-minute-long live-streamed event with Meagan Wolfe, the director of the commission.
Full Article: Wisconsin recount: Elections leader confirms Biden’s win