Pennsylvania: Supreme Court order, state GOP leaders effectively end Trump’s hope for legislators to reverse election results | Jeremy Roebuck/Philadelphia Inquirer

If its fate had not been abundantly clear already, President Donald Trump’s dream of having Pennsylvania’s GOP-controlled legislature overturn the state’s election results received what appeared to be its final death blows Thursday with a late-night order from the U.S. Supreme Court and an unequivocal statement from the General Assembly’s Republican leadership that they had no intention of doing so. The Supreme Court order came in response to a request from one of the president’s top boosters in Congress, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R., Pa.), who has asked the justices to declare the state’s vote-by-mail law unconstitutional and to “decertify” Pennsylvania’s results, which cemented President-elect Joe Biden’s victory by roughly 81,000 votes last week. But just hours after Kelly filed that appeal Thursday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. crafted a telling schedule for the case, giving state officials until Dec. 9 to file their reply. The date set by Alito — who oversees emergency petitions arising from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware for the court — comes one day after what is known as the “safe harbor date,” the federal deadline for states to resolve outstanding challenges to their elections. Once it has passed, the state’s slate of appointed electors is considered to be locked in for the Dec. 14 Electoral College vote.

Full Article: Supreme Court order, state GOP leaders effectively end Trump’s hope for Pa. legislators to reverse election results

Here Are the Threats Terrorizing Election Workers | Michael Wines/The New York Times

In his urgent demand on Monday that President Trump condemn his angry supporters who are threatening workers and officials overseeing the 2020 vote, a Georgia elections official focused on an animated image of a hanging noose that had been sent to a young voting-machine technician. “It’s just wrong,” the official, Gabriel Sterling, a Republican, said at a news conference. “I can’t begin to explain the level of anger I have over this.” But the technician in Georgia is not alone. Far from it. Across the nation, election officials and their staff have been bombarded in recent weeks with emails, telephone calls and letters brimming with menace and threats of violence, the result of their service in a presidential election in which the defeated candidate’s most ardent followers have refused to accept the results. The noose may be approaching meme status among the recipients of the abuse. Amber McReynolds, the head of the National Vote at Home Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes voting by mail, said she had experienced a spike in online threats since Election Day, when Mr. Trump ratcheted up false claims that fraudulent mail votes had cost him the election. One serial harasser on Twitter, she said, has been especially venomous. “He sent me a picture of a noose and said, ‘You’re a traitor to the American people,’” she said. “All because I run a nonprofit that tries to make voting by mail easier and more secure.” “I personally have gotten 10 or 12 of those — emails with the nooses, images of people who have been hung,” said the chief election official of one Western state, who refused to be named for fear of drawing even more threats. “They don’t reference anything you’re doing wrong. They’re just, ‘This election was stolen. We know you had something to do with it. We’re going to come for you.’”

Full Article: Here Are the Threats Terrorizing Election Workers – The New York Times

Rudy Giuliani took a road trip to push claims of election fraud. He was rebuffed | Nicholas Wu/USA Today

Seated in front of Michigan state lawmakers and a largely unmasked audience on Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Guiliani waved binders, floated baseless conspiracy theories and urged lawmakers to stop what he called the “theft of an election.” Just a day earlier in Washington, Attorney General William Barr had contradicted claims of malfeasance that Trump and Giuliani have promoted in their efforts to overturn the election won by President-elect Joe Biden. Barr told the Associated Press the Justice Department had not found evidence of widespread voter fraud. Michigan lawmakers were equally unreceptive to the claims of a stolen election, including the Republican legislators who had invited Giuliani to make his case. The lawmakers made clear the state had already certified Biden as the winner in Michigan and that the outcome wouldn’t change. The Lansing event was the latest stop on a postelection tour of battleground states – including Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan – that put Four Seasons Total Landscaping on the map. The Philadelphia landscaping company was the backdrop for a Nov. 7 event that made headlines because of conspiracy theories floated by the president’s legal team. In the courts, Trump’s legal team has faced blistering rebukes and a series of defeats.  With the legal effort headed toward a dead end, experts said the tour by Trump’s legal team may help fire up the president’s base while harming faith in the country’s election systems.

Full Article: Giuliani’s election claims rebuffed in Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania

National: Violent threats only make elections more vulnerable, experts fear | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post

A volley of violent threats against election workers will only make it harder to administer elections safely and securely in the future, experts fear. The threats, many of which were sparked by baseless claims of fraud by President Trump and his allies, could make it tougher to staff polling places. The threats could also make it harder for people who do show up to focus on the complexities of their work – or force officials to make election work less transparent and accessible because of security concerns. “The danger of intimidation is that it become a downward spiral,” Edward Perez, an executive at OSET Institute, a nonprofit election technology organization, told me. “Whether you have scared election officials who hunker down and are perceived as less accessible, or poll workers who don’t show up to staff polling places, the net effect can be an election that fewer people have confidence about. And that is a security issue,” said Perez, who formerly worked for Hart InterCivic, one of the top election machine vendors. … “Election work demands concentration, so existential distractions are a direct threat to that,” Mark Lindeman, interim co-director of the election security organization Verified Voting, told me. “Poll workers need to consistently conduct procedures the same way for every voter and also attend to unexpected concerns voters raise. That requires discipline and this is absolutely pushing in the wrong direction.”

Full Article: The Cybersecurity 202: Violent threats only make elections more vulnerable, experts fear – The Washington Post

National: New federal cybersecurity lead says ‘rumor control’ site will remain up through January | Maggie Miller/The Hill

Brandon Wales, the nation’s new top federal cybersecurity official, said Thursday that his agency intends to leave up its “rumor control” webpage that pushes back against election misinformation and disinformation until after the Georgia Senate runoff elections in January. Wales, who took over as acting director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) after former Director Christopher Krebs was fired by President Trump, said the webpage was “an important way for us to put out accurate information about the security of voting infrastructure.” “What I’ve told our staff is that our election security mission, particularly associated with the Protect 2020 effort, will continue until all the elections are complete,” Wales said at the Aspen Institute’s virtual Cyber Summit. “We will keep issuing rumor control entries as we think that the situation warrants it and where we can actually have an impact, and will we do that through the end of this cycle, which hopefully will happen sometime in early January,” he added. The Georgia Senate runoff elections, which will determine control of the Senate, are set to take place the first week of January.  CISA’s “rumor control” page was updated to include two new items Wednesday, with CISA detailing ballot protection efforts that prevent destruction, and outlining the lengthy process voting systems go through to be certified for use by state and federal testing programs. The website recently came under fire by President Trump, as the page helped to debunk voter fraud and election interference concerns Trump voiced in the days after the election.

Full Article: New federal cybersecurity lead says ‘rumor control’ site will remain up through January | TheHill

National: How Trump’s Hill allies could take one last shot to overturn the election | Kyle Cheney and Melanie Zonona/Politico

President Donald Trump’s arsenal for overturning the election will soon be down to one final, desperate maneuver: pressing his Republican allies on Capitol Hill to step in and derail Joe Biden’s presidency. Although the Electoral College casts the official vote for president on Dec. 14, it’s up to Congress to certify the results a few weeks later. And federal law gives individual members of the House and Senate the power to challenge the results from the floor — a rarely used mechanism meant to be the last of all last resorts to safeguard an election. But several House Republican lawmakers and aides now tell POLITICO they’re considering this option to aid Trump’s quest. “Nothing is off the table,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.). Gaetz pointed out that in January 2017, a handful of House Democrats took this precise procedural step before their efforts flamed out during a joint session of Congress presided over by none other than Biden, then the outgoing vice president. “It is over,” Biden said at the time, gaveling down Democrats as Republicans cheered. This time, Vice President Mike Pence will be in the chair for any potential challenges — a potentially awkward scenario as his boss continues to deny the reality of the election he lost.

Full Article: How Trump’s Hill allies could take one last shot to overturn the election – POLITICO

National: Lawmakers Push to Preserve Pandemic Voting Access | Matt Vasilogambros/Stateline

Bolstered by a presidential election with the highest voter turnout in more than a century, state election officials and lawmakers—mostly Democrats, but also some Republicans—are working to codify many of the pandemic-specific changes that broadened ballot access over the past year. But officials who want to permanently expand mail-in voting and other changes still face an uphill battle in conservative-leaning states where many Republican lawmakers, already hostile to expanding voting access, are parroting President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Since Election Day, Democratic and Republican lawmakers in at least seven states have introduced legislation to expand ballot access by improving mail-in and early voting systems, according to an analysis by Stateline. Legislators in at least eight other states have said they plan to introduce similar bills. In three states, lawmakers have introduced measures to restrict mail-in voting. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat and one of the frontrunners to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate, said in an interview with Stateline that he hopes many of these temporary changes will be made permanent nationwide. “We saw how successful the election was in all the states,” he said. “I’m hoping that is proof to the wisdom of these changes.”

Full Article: Lawmakers Push to Preserve Pandemic Voting Access | The Pew Charitable Trusts

National: GOP Officials Push Back On Trump’s Election Disinformation | Miles Parks/NPR

Republicans at the national level have mostly stayed quiet during President Trump’s month-long baseless crusade against November’s election results. But at the state and county level it’s been a different story. Local election administrators, most of whom are elected along partisan lines, are in charge of the nuts and bolts of voting in America’s decentralized elections system. In many cases, it’s been Republican officials who have held firm in their position that the results were not tainted by a widespread cheating scheme, despite a pressure campaign by the president unlike any in American history. “This was unprecedented scrutiny,” said Martha Kropf, an elections administration expert at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. “For two reasons: the amount of pressure that Donald Trump has been putting on the election officials, but also for the unprecedented amount of things those officials had to do to prepare for this election.” The officials Trump is targeting oversaw a shift towards more voting options this year to reduce the risk of people getting sick due to the pandemic.

Full Article: GOP Officials Push Back On Trump’s Election Disinformation : NPR

National: Pistols, a Hearse and Trucks Playing Chicken: Why Some Voters Felt Harassed and Intimidated at the Polls | Adriana Gallardo, Maryam Jameel and Ryan McCarthy/ProPublica

While the 2020 election went more smoothly than most had dared to hope, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan election protection group, nonetheless received a steady drumbeat of complaints to its hotline about voter intimidation and harassment during early voting and on Election Day. The reports described threats, overly aggressive electioneering,…

Alaska: Elections data exposure affected 113,000 Alaskans but had no impact on November results, state officials say | Aubrey Wieber/Anchorage Daily News

A data exposure caught by elections officials in October compromised the personal information of 113,000 Alaskans but had no impact on the actual election results, Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer said Thursday. The exposure involved the online voter registration database, which is separate from the voter tabulation system. “The results of the election are accurate, and we have been doing hand counts to verify that,” Meyer told reporters Thursday. State officials said “outside actors” accessed the data through a flaw in the online voter registration system, which has since been patched. They were able to pull registered voters’ names, dates of birth, state identification numbers, last four digits of Social Security numbers, addresses and party affiliations. (Party affiliations, names and addresses are already publicly available through the state’s voter information database.) The online voter registration system, which is only 5 years old, is separate from the overall registered voter database. It only includes people who have updated their voter information in the past five years.

Full Article: Elections data exposure affected 113,000 Alaskans but had no impact on November results, state officials say – Anchorage Daily News

Alaska officials say hackers stole voter info, didn’t compromise election integrity | Nathaniel Herz/Alaska Public Media

State officials said Thursday that hackers stole personal information including birth dates and driver’s license numbers of more than 100,000 Alaska voters, though they stressed there was no effect on the results of last month’s election. The hackers gained unauthorized access to data in the state’s online voter registration system, which was built and maintained by a contractor and operated by the Alaska Division of Elections, officials said in a prepared statement Thursday. Republican Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, who supervises Alaska’s election system, learned of the hack Oct. 27, his office said in the statement. “I have some sad news. The state of Alaska was the victim of data exposure by outside actors,” Meyer said at a news conference Thursday. While personal information was exposed, he added, “No other election systems or data were affected.” Officials said the flaw that exposed the data has been fixed, and Alaskans’ information is now secure, but it’s still not known exactly which records were stolen. The exposed data includes names, birth dates, driver’s license numbers, addresses, party affiliations, and the last four digits of social security numbers.

Full Article: Alaska officials say hackers stole voter info, didn’t compromise election integrity – Alaska Public Media

Arizona: Judge hears testimony in election challenge | Howard Fischer/Arizona Capitol Times

A court-ordered inspection of more than 1,600 ballots cast in the general election found just nine with errors in the presidential race — not enough even if the error rate ran through all similar ballots to declare Donald Trump the victor here. The disclosure came as Jack Wilenchik, attorney for state GOP Chair Kelli Ward, presented a series of witnesses Thursday who testified about seeing errors in how Maricopa County handled ballots that needed to be duplicated. This happens when an entire ballot — or some of the races on it — is unreadable to automatic scanning equipment. That could be due to physical damage, stains or extraneous marks. The idea is for a bipartisan group of election workers to examine the ballot, attempts to ascertain the intent of the voter and crafts what is supposed to be a mirror ballot that can be fed through the machine. The witnesses told Warner they saw various errors in the process, with both individuals and rescanning machines taking ballots that should have been marked for Trump and either re-marking them for Biden or otherwise altering them so that Trump would not get the vote. Scott Jarrett who works for the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office testified that a review of that sample of more than 1,600 ballots showed there were some mistakes made by county workers in duplicating the originals. But he said a review of a random sample of these duplicated ballots ordered by the court turned up just 9 with errors.

Full Article: Judge hears testimony in election challenge – Arizona Capitol Times

Florida: Disgraced Republican lawmaker planted no-party candidate in key Senate race, sources say | Ana Ceballos and Samantha J. Gross/Miami Herald

The confession came on election night. Over drinks at an Irish pub in Seminole County, as television screens began to show the latest election results for key state Senate races, former Miami state Sen. Frank Artiles was getting excited. Miami Republican Ileana Garcia, a first-time candidate, was leading Democratic incumbent Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez in the race to represent Miami-Dade’s Senate District 37. It was tight, but she was winning. And Artiles wanted to brag. “That is me, that was all me,” Artiles told a crowd at Liam Fitzpatrick’s restaurant in Lake Mary, where Sen. Jason Brodeur was holding his election night party, according to a person who was there and who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation. “He was so loud,” the person said. Artiles boasted that he planted a no-party candidate in the Miami-Dade Senate race, which Garcia won after a three-day recount by just 32 votes out of more than 215,000 cast. Artiles recruited Alexis (Alex) Rodriguez, a longtime acquaintance and Facebook friend. Sources with direct knowledge have indicated that Artiles’ involvement in launching Rodriguez’s bid was extensive. When asked by the Herald about his involvement in the no-party candidate’s race Thursday, Artiles did not respond. Numerous attempts to reach him by phone and text messaging Monday and Thursday were unsuccessful. The no-party candidate with the same surname as the incumbent Democrat had been a registered Republican until just before his qualifying papers were filed to make him a candidate for the Florida Senate. He received 6,382 votes in the election.

Full Article: Frank Artiles behind no-party candidate in FL Senate race | Miami Herald

Georgia: QAnon harassment campaign reportedly led to noose at contractor’s home | Rachel E. Greenspan/Insider

A harassment campaign within the QAnon conspiracy-theory movement, based on conspiracy theories boosted by President Donald Trump, has led to death threats and a noose at the door of a 20-year-old contractor for Dominion Voting Systems, a Georgia official said. “It all gone too far. All of it,” Gabriel Sterling, a Republican and Georgia’s voting system implementation manager for Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, said in a press conference on Tuesday night. “I can’t begin to explain the level of anger I have right now over this. And every American, every Georgian, Republican and Democrat alike, should have that same level of anger.” Believers in QAnon, a baseless far-right conspiracy theory alleging that Trump is fighting a “deep-state cabal” of pedophiles, have been among the loudest voices claiming without evidence that President-elect Joe Biden’s win was somehow “rigged.” The QAnon community has focused its efforts to undermine the election results on Dominion Voting Systems, an election-software company that was used by several battleground states in the 2020 election. False claims that Dominion’s software was used to change votes for Trump to votes for Biden, which the company and election-security experts have categorically disputed, have continued to spread in the weeks since the November 4 election.

Full Article: QAnon harassment campaign reportedly led to noose at contractor’s home – Insider

Georgia GOP senators say they’ll push election changes in 2021 | Maya T. Prabhu and David Wickert/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Georgia Republican senators said after what happened in the 2020 election they will seek to make changes in state voting laws during the upcoming legislative session. Democratic nominee Joe Biden beat Republican President Donald Trump in Georgia. Trump has spent the past month claiming fraud, putting pressure on GOP officials who run the state to do something about it because many of his supporters believe his unproven allegations. “I’m going to try to build this statement based on a consensus of what I’m hearing from the people that I represent: We have totally lost confidence in our election system this year,” Senate Republican Whip Steve Gooch of Dahlonega said during a committee hearing Thursday. “I’m here on behalf of those citizens. I have a duty to let you know that this issue isn’t going to go away unless we make some changes.” The hearing was one of two Senate Republican leaders scheduled Thursday. At the second Senate hearing, attorneys for Trump said they planned to file a lawsuit in Fulton County that seeks to overturn the election results. Among other things, they said they had evidence that tens of thousands of ineligible voters cast ballots in the election. And they called on the General Assembly to send a slate of electors to Washington who would elect Trump as president. After the initial hearing in which myriad “problems” in this year’s elections were aired, Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller, a Gainesville Republican, said the Senate would pursue legislation to make changes to the election system next year.

Full Article: GOP senators say they’ll push election changes in 2021

Michigan: State elections director knocks down Trump claims about TCF, fraudulent vote count | Todd Spangler/Detroit Free Press

A top elections official for Michigan’s Secretary of State Office this week forcefully rebutted claims made by President Donald Trump and his allies that the Nov. 3 balloting was flawed, saying there is no evidence software changed votes and explaining that minor discrepancies in vote-counting at TCF Center in Detroit were far too small to change the outcome. In a sworn statement filed Wednesday in a lawsuit before U.S. District Judge Linda Parker, Jonathan Brater, the director of the state Bureau of Elections, said not only does the fact that Trump won more votes in Detroit in 2020 than he did in 2016 undermine Trump’s claims that the election was rigged or fraudulent but that discrepancies between the number of absentee ballots counted at TCF Center and the number of names of voters shown to have voted absentee was less than 150. About 174,000 absentee ballots from Detroit were tabulated at TCF on Nov. 3-4. President-elect Joe Biden beat Trump in the city by more than 200,000 votes and won statewide by more than 154,000 votes. “(The) various insinuations that large numbers of ballots were illegally counted or altered in Detroit are easily dismissed by a cursory review of election data,” Brater wrote in the affidavit, which is part of a lawsuit filed by attorney Sidney Powell asking that the results of the election awarding Michigan’s 16 Electoral College votes to Biden be set aside.

Full Article: Donald Trump claims about Michigan election knocked down

Michigan hearings gave Trump campaign a venue to spread election misinformation | Malachi Barrett/

Michigan legislative committees provided a platform this week for Trump supporters and the president’s personal lawyer to air unproven claims of election fraud and wild conspiracies that are now spreading across the internet. President Donald Trump directed millions of online viewers to a four-hour Wednesday night House Oversight Committee meeting attended by lawyer Rudy Giuliani and witnesses who shared testimony that has largely been disputed by Michigan election officials, judges and independent media reports. Giuliani claimed certified election results approved by bipartisan county boards and the Board of State Canvassers – which show Trump lost by 154,000 votes — “is a complete phony” and should be ignored by the Legislature. “It’s a false statement made to the United States government,” Giuliani said Wednesday. “Those are prosecutable, by the way. That’s not the vote by any means in Michigan. I don’t know what the vote in Michigan is, but it’s at least 300,000 or 400,000 votes off for what the real vote in Michigan is. You heard the anger and the upset of your citizens. They seem to have more passion about it than you do.” Giuliani’s count, which he did not substantiate, goes far beyond the number of votes experts say would be affected by unbalanced poll books. A miscount of 300,000 votes would be greater than all the votes cast in Detroit, a central area of focus in Trump’s fraud allegations. Michigan Bureau of Elections Director Jonathan Brater has previously said there’s no evidence of such inaccuracies, other than “occasional human errors” experienced every election year. Jake Rollow, a spokesperson for the Michigan Secretary of State, called Wednesday’s hearing a “sham” seeking to “erode the public’s confidence in what was a well-run election.”

Full Article: Michigan hearings gave Trump campaign a venue to spread election misinformation –

Nevada: Trump’s attempt to overturn election to be ruled on Friday | Rory Appleton/Las Vegas Review-Journal

A Carson City district court judge will rule Friday on an attempt by President Donald Trump’s campaign to overturn the state’s presidential election results and bar electors for President-elect Joe Biden from formalizing his victory when the Electoral College meets later this month. Judge James Russell heard arguments in the case Thursday but did not make a determination, saying he needed the evening to review the evidence cited in both campaign attorneys’ arguments to decide. He pledged to issue a ruling on Friday. “It is important for all Americans to have confidence that their government officials have conducted a fair, open and free election with every vote filed legally and counted honestly,” Russell said to open the hearing. Trump’s proposed slate of electors filed the challenge last month against Biden’s proposed electors, who were confirmed as Nevada’s representatives in the Electoral College when the state certified the election last week. Biden’s official margin over Trump in Nevada was 33,596 votes, or about 2.4 percentage points.

Full Article: Trump’s attempt to overturn Nevada’s election to be ruled on Friday | Las Vegas Review-Journal

North Carolina: No decision: Recount ends without determining state’s chief justice | Jordan Wilkie/Carolina Public Press

Late Wednesday night, Forsyth County completed its recount in the race for the chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court. It was the last county to cross the finish line in  process that was supposed to be completed a week earlier. Off camera in the livestream of the county’s election warehouse, someone said, “Bye, guys. See you at the second recount.” Much to the chagrin of election officials — and reporters — around the state, that joke will come true, as the race for the chief justice of the state Supreme Court remains undecided, possibly for weeks to come. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, a Democrat whose term ends on Dec. 31, currently trails her opponent, Republican Paul Newby, by 401 votes, or eight-thousandths of a percent out of the almost 5.4 million votes cast in the race. Even if Beasley loses her seat, Democrats retain 4-3 control of the state Supreme Court. The chief justice position holds power through a variety of duties in the state’s court system. The role is responsible for appointing other judicial leaders, including commission members, three-judge panels for certain cases and the director and assistant director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. The chief justice also designates the chief judge of the Court of Appeals.

Full Article: No decision: Recount ends without determining state’s chief justice – Carolina Public Press

Pennsylvania GOP Lawmakers Make Clear They Won’t Overturn The Election As Trump Wants | Alison Durkee/Forbes

Republican state lawmakers in Pennsylvania will not make any attempt to overturn the state’s popular vote by appointing their own presidential electors, the legislature’s leadership said in a statement Thursday, killing the Trump campaign’s hopes of contesting President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the state even as other Pennsylvania Republicans take an election challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court. Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, House Speaker Bryan Cutler, Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward and House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff said they “cannot take steps to appoint electors for this election,” as the Trump campaign has expressly asked state lawmakers to do. The Trump campaign pushed the tactic at a recent unofficial hearing with some Pennsylvania Republicans and has asked the courts to order that lawmakers step in, as part of a broader long-shot strategy targeting GOP-led legislatures in battleground states that elected Biden. The lawmakers said the state legislature “lacks the authority…to overturn the popular vote” by appointing its own electors and would violate Pennsylvania’s Election Code and Constitution if they did, as well as set a bad precedent.

Full Article: Pennsylvania GOP Lawmakers Make Clear They Won’t Overturn The Election As Trump Wants

Pennsylvania: US Supreme Court again asked to block Biden win | Marc Levy/Associated Press

Fresh off another rejection in Pennsylvania’s courts, Republicans on Thursday again asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state, while the state’s lawyers say fatal flaws in the original case mean justices are highly unlikely to grant it. Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of northwestern Pennsylvania and the other plaintiffs are asking the high court to prevent the state from certifying any contests from the Nov. 3 election, and undo any certifications already made, such as Biden’s victory, while its lawsuit is considered. They maintain that Pennsylvania’s expansive vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional because it required a constitutional amendment to authorize its provisions. However, in a sign that the case is likely too late to affect the election, Justice Samuel Alito ordered the state’s lawyers to respond by Dec. 9, a day after what is known as the safe harbor deadline. That means that Congress cannot challenge any electors named by this date in accordance with state law. Biden beat President Donald Trump by more than 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, a state Trump had won in 2016. Most mail-in ballots were submitted by Democrats. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court threw out the case Saturday. Kelly’s lawyers sought an injunction Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court, then withdrew it while they asked the state’s high court to halt any certifications until the U.S. Supreme Court acts. The state’s justices refused Thursday, and Kelly’s lawyers promptly refiled the case in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Full Article: Supreme Court again asked to block Biden win in Pennsylvania

Wisconsin high court declines to hear Trump election lawsuit | Scott Bauer/Associated Press

A split Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear President Donald Trump’s lawsuit attempting to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, sidestepping a decision on the merits of the claims and instead ruling that the case must first wind its way through lower courts. The defeat on a 4-3 ruling was the latest in a string of losses for Trump’s post-election lawsuits. Judges in multiple battleground states have rejected his claims of fraud or irregularities. Dissenting conservative justices said the decision would forever “stain” the outcome of the election. Trump asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. His lawsuit echoed claims that were earlier rejected by election officials in those counties during a recount that barely affected Biden’s winning margin of about 20,700 votes. Trump had wanted the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly, saying there wasn’t enough time to wage the legal battle by starting first with a lower court given the looming Dec. 14 date when presidential electors cast their votes. But attorneys for Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and the state Department of Justice argued the the lawsuit had to start with lower courts. Swing Justice Brian Hagedorn joined three liberal justices in denying the petition without weighing in on Trump’s allegations.

Full Article: Wisconsin high court declines to hear Trump election lawsuit

Wisconsin: Trump sues in federal court to put state lawmakers in charge of election outcome | Molly Beck/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Donald Trump and his allies are bombarding state and federal judges across the country with lawsuits seeking to change the outcome of the presidential election — the latest in a Wisconsin federal court. Trump called on a federal judge late Wednesday to respond to the case within 48 hours as the president seeks to find a foothold in a courtroom before the Electoral College meets in 11 days to finalize the election for President-elect Joe Biden. The lawsuit by the Trump campaign challenges absentee voting in Wisconsin by arguing it discriminates against “able-bodied” voters, that broad availability of voting by mail contradicts the Wisconsin Legislature’s disfavor of such voting, and because ballot drop boxes were not manned. “While everyone understands that public officials working in cities and towns across Wisconsin are dedicated and selfless, it should not be a moment of pride that the Wisconsin Elections Commission offered so little guidance that absentee ballots could be intermingled with library books and utility bills,” the suit argues. On Thursday, the case was assigned to Judge Brett Ludwig in the eastern district court in Milwaukee. Trump named Ludwig to the seat earlier this year to fill the long-vacant seat of Judge Rudolph Randa, who died in 2016. The U.S. Senate confirmed Ludwig on Sept. 9. That action came hours before the Wisconsin Supreme Court declined to hear a separate case filed by Trump attorneys. That case, which seeks to nullify more than 200,000 votes cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties, is likely to be refiled in state circuit court.

Full Article: Trump files federal court challenge to Wisconsin election outcome