Texas files an audacious suit with the Supreme Court challenging the election results. | Adam Liptak/The New York Times

The state of Texas filed an audacious lawsuit in the Supreme Court on Tuesday against four other states, asking the justices to extend the Dec. 14 deadline for certification of presidential electors. The suit, filed by the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, said Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin had engaged in election irregularities that require investigation, and it asked the court to “enjoin the use of unlawful election results without review and ratification by the defendant states’ legislatures.” Legal experts called the suit outlandish, and it comes at a time when Mr. Paxton is battling a scandal in his own state over whistle-blower allegations that he engaged in bribery and other wrongdoing to illegally help a wealthy Austin real estate developer and political donor. “It looks like we have a new leader in the ‘craziest lawsuit filed to purportedly challenge the election’ category,” Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, wrote on Twitter. The Constitution gives the Supreme Court “original jurisdiction” to hear disputes “in which a state shall be party.” In such cases, the Supreme Court acts much like a trial court, appointing a special master to hear evidence and issue recommendations. Though the Constitution seems to require the court to hear cases brought by states, the court has ruled that it has discretion to turn them down and often does. When the court does exercise its original jurisdiction, it is usually to adjudicate disputes between two states over issues like water rights. In 2016, the justices turned down a request from Nebraska and Oklahoma to file a challenge to Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana. The states said the Colorado law had spillover effects, taxing neighboring states’ criminal justice systems and hurting the health of their residents.

Full Article: Texas files an audacious suit with the Supreme Court challenging the election results. – The New York Times

National: Letter from more than 1,500 attorneys says Trump campaign lawyers don’t have ‘license to lie’ | Kim Bellware and John Wagner/The Washington Post

More than 1,500 lawyers condemned efforts by the Trump campaign’s legal team to reverse the election results in an open letter that urged the American Bar Association (ABA) to investigate the conduct of the team, including its leader, Rudolph W. Giuliani. “President Trump’s barrage of litigation is a pretext for a campaign to undermine public confidence in the outcome of the 2020 election, which inevitably will subvert constitutional democracy,” the letter says. “Sadly, the President’s primary agents and enablers in this effort are lawyers, obligated by their oath and ethical rules to uphold the rule of law.” The letter escalates the concerns of Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) who on Nov. 20 filed complaints with ethics boards in five states calling for Giuliani and other members of the team to be investigated and disbarred. The criticism has been echoed in op-eds and letters by attorneys who have rebuked the team for filing frivolous lawsuits and tarnishing the legal profession. “It’s really unusual to see a coalition like this calling for disciplinary action; it takes a lot,” Deborah Rhode, a Stanford Law School professor and one of the leading American legal ethicists, told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “Many of these letters have been crossing the political aisle, and that testifies to both the egregiousness of the conduct and its seriousness for the rule of law and the democratic process.” The signers include a bipartisan coalition of former ABA presidents, state bar presidents, retired federal judges, retired state Supreme Court justices and attorneys in private practice. Coordinated by the nonpartisan group Lawyers Defending American Democracy, the open letter questions the conduct by Giuliani, as well as current and former Trump legal team members Joseph diGenova, Jenna Ellis, Victoria Toensing and Sidney Powell. Representatives for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Full Article: More than 1,500 lawyers sign open letter condemning conduct of Trump legal team – The Washington Post

National: As Trump Rails Against Loss, His Supporters Become More Threatening | Nick Corasaniti, Jim Rutenberg and Kathleen Gray/The New York Times

With a key deadline passing Tuesday that all but ends his legal challenges to the election, President Trump’s frenzied campaign to overturn the results has reached an inflection point: Certified slates of electors to the Electoral College are now protected by law, and any chance that a state might appoint a different slate that is favorable to Mr. Trump is essentially gone. Despite his clear loss, Mr. Trump has shown no intention of stopping his sustained assault on the American electoral process. But his baseless conspiracy theories about voting fraud have devolved into an exercise in delegitimizing the election results, and the rhetoric is accelerating among his most fervent allies. This has prompted outrage among Trump loyalists and led to behavior that Democrats and even some Republicans say has become dangerous. Supporters of the president outraged at his loss, some of them armed, gathered outside the home of the Michigan secretary of state Saturday night. Racist death threats filled the voice mail of Cynthia A. Johnson, a Michigan state representative. Georgia election officials, mostly Republicans, say they have received threats of violence. The Republican Party of Arizona, on Twitter, twice called for supporters to be willing to “die for something” or “give my life for this fight.” “People on Twitter have posted photographs of my house,” said Ann Jacobs, the chair of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, who alerted her neighbors and the police about the constant threats. She said another message mentioned her children and said, “I’ve heard you’ll have quite a crowd of patriots showing up at your door.”

Full Article: As Trump Rails Against Loss, His Supporters Become More Threatening – The New York Times

National: ‘Safe Harbor’ Day Marks a Further Step Toward Sealing Joe Biden’s Victory in Electoral College | Alexa Corse/Wall Street Journal

A federal deadline Tuesday marks the latest formal step toward confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, further reducing options for President Trump and his supporters to fight the results. States were supposed to try to resolve any disputes over the presidential results and finalize their slate of electors for the Electoral College by Tuesday. It is known as the “Safe Harbor” deadline because, if met, Congress should accept a state’s results as conclusive and reject any further challenges, according to federal law. The deadline usually passes with little notice. This year, the Trump campaign and its allies have so far unsuccessfully launched a battery of lawsuits and sought to persuade some state legislatures to overturn the election results, drawing extra attention to the arcane formalities that states and Congress take to confirm the next president in time for the inauguration on Jan. 20. The “Safe Harbor” deadline doesn’t necessarily end those or other lawsuits. But given that Congress is supposed to respect the results of states that meet the deadline, and with the Electoral College vote coming Monday, it narrows the options for challenging the outcome, according to election law scholars. “I don’t think it’s the kind of the deadline that’s going to bring true finality,” said Richard L. Hasen, an election-law professor at the University of California, Irvine. “It’s more like another nail in the coffin.”

Full Article: ‘Safe Harbor’ Day Marks a Further Step Toward Sealing Joe Biden’s Victory in Electoral College – WSJ

National: The Nation Reached ‘Safe Harbor.’ Here’s What That Means. | Nick Corasaniti, Sydney Ember and Alan Feuer/The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr. has already won the presidential election, but on Tuesday he moved one step closer to the White House. By the end of the day, the nation was set to reach the so-called safe harbor deadline, which is generally accepted as the date by which all state-level election challenges — such as recounts and audits — are supposed to be completed. Broadly, that means that President Trump’s efforts to overturn the presidential election are nearing the end of the line. After Tuesday, state courts would most likely have to throw out any new lawsuit challenging the election. That’s because election results that have been certified by the states are now considered conclusive, and by law those states’ Electoral College votes must be counted by Congress. By late Monday, every state but Hawaii had certified its results, and Mr. Biden had secured more than the 270 electoral votes needed to become president.

Full Article: The Nation Reached ‘Safe Harbor.’ Here’s What That Means. – The New York Times

National: Chris Krebs sues Trump campaign, Joe diGenova for defamation | Spencer S. Hsu and Dan Morse/The Washington Post

The former top U.S. cybersecurity official responsible for securing November’s presidential election sued the Trump campaign and one of its lawyers for defamation Tuesday, asserting that they conspired to falsely claim the election was stolen, attack dissenting Republicans and fraudulently reap political donations. Christopher Krebs, who was fired Nov. 17 by President Trump after he refuted the president’s claims of widespread election fraud, singled out comments made almost two weeks later by attorney Joseph diGenova, who said Krebs should face the same punishment inflicted on those convicted of treason because he had asserted that the 2020 election was the most secure in history. “He should be drawn and quartered,” diGenova said on the outlet Newsmax, a third defendant. “Taken out at dawn and shot.” He also labeled Krebs an “idiot” and a “class-A moron” during the segment, which unleashed a flood of social media comments that left Krebs, his wife and several of their young children in fear for their lives, according to the lawsuit. At one point, according to the lawsuit, the Krebs’s 10-year-old child asked: “Daddy’s going to get executed?” The 52-page complaint was filed in Maryland state court in Montgomery County, where diGenova resides. The lawsuit accused diGenova and the Trump campaign of defamation and “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” It labeled Newsmax an aider and abettor. Krebs seeks a jury trial, money and punitive damages and an injunction ordering Newsmax to remove video of the incident.

Full Article: Chris Krebs sues Trump campaign, Joe diGenova for defamation – The Washington Post

National: Conservative Lawsuits Fuel Distrust of Election Results | Jacob Gershman/Wall Street Journal

Phill Kline says he has filed so many legal challenges to the presidential-election results that he can’t keep track. “It’s hard for me to keep up, honestly,” said Mr. Kline, a former Republican attorney general of Kansas who runs the Amistad Project, an election-focused offshoot of the Thomas More Society, a conservative legal group in Chicago best-known for antiabortion and religious-rights casework. The Amistad Project is among a small but committed band of pro-Trump plaintiffs that have targeted battleground states and swelled the dockets with lawsuits aimed at invalidating President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. As the Trump campaign pursues a handful of long-shot lawsuits in two states, outside activists have at least a half-dozen cases pending before state and federal benches. None have been successful, but they have fed into suspicions among Republicans that the election wasn’t run fairly. The affidavits attached to the lawsuits and video evidence purporting to show mishandling of ballots have gone viral among conservatives and provided fuel for critics of expanded absentee voting. State election officials and U.S. Attorney General William Barr have said they have found no evidence of fraud widespread enough to tip the election. Federal cybersecurity officials have called the election the most secure ever conducted. In Georgia, where the viral videos emerged, state investigators have said the recordings show normal operations, with observers watching legal ballots get counted. Some of the groups say their mission extends beyond next week when the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14 and formalizes Mr. Biden’s victory. They haven’t always marched in lockstep with the Trump campaign legal team and are looking for rulings that could affect future elections.

Full Article: Conservative Lawsuits Fuel Distrust of Election Results – WSJ

National: Major cybersecurity firm FireEye says it was hacked in sophisticated nation-state attack | Maggie Miller and Olivia Beavers/The Hill

FireEye, a top cybersecurity firm that has built a reputation for tracking the digital fingerprints in major cyberattacks, has now become a target in a highly sophisticated attack that it says was done by a skilled nation-state. FireEye acknowledged to The Hill and other news outlets on Tuesday that its own systems were penetrated by “a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities.” FireEye, which was a key firm that helped track Russia’s cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential election, did not name who it believes is behind the attack, but its description points to the Kremlin. FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia wrote in a blog post that “based on my 25 years in cyber security and responding to incidents, I’ve concluded we are witnessing an attack by a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities.” “We were attacked by a highly sophisticated threat actor, one whose discipline, operational security, and techniques lead us to believe it was a state-sponsored attack,” he wrote. Mandia noted that FireEye was working with the FBI and “other key partners,” including Microsoft, to investigate the attack. Matt Gorham, the assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, said in a statement provided to The Hill that “the FBI is investigating the incident and preliminary indications show an actor with a high level of sophistication consistent with a nation state.”

Full Article: Major cybersecurity firm says it was hacked in sophisticated nation-state attack | TheHill

Georgia: Courts jettison more election challenges | David Wickert and Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


The rapid pace of court challenges to Georgia’s presidential election pushed ahead with more lawsuits filed Tuesday, even as judges continue to reject every one of them. A Fulton County judge dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking an audit of the state’s voter registration rolls and absentee ballot envelopes from the November election. It’s the fourth time in recent days courts have rejected pleas to overturn the election. But as that suit failed, more arose. The Texas attorney general sued Georgia to overturn election results here and in three other states where Democrat Joe Biden received the most votes. In addition, a former member of President Donald Trump’s legal team appealed a Monday ruling that dismissed her case in federal court. Meanwhile, the president himself brought a separate lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court. Among other things, the lawsuit alleges tens of thousands of ineligible voters cast ballots in the November election. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said there is no evidence of voting fraud on a scale that would affect the outcome of the election, though his office is investigating more than 250 cases of suspected improprieties. U.S. Attorney General William Barr has said federal investigators also have found no evidence of widespread fraud.

Full Article: Courts jettison more Georgia election challenges

Georgia Senate GOP push for end to no-excuse absentee voting | Ben Nadler/Associated Press

Republicans in Georgia’s state Senate are calling for an end to absentee voting without cause and want to ban ballot drop boxes, after an increase in mail voting helped propel Democrat Joe Biden to a narrow victory over President Donald Trump in the state. Trump has for months made unsubstantiated claims about the integrity of mail-in votes and has made baseless claims of widespread fraud in Georgia’s presidential election. GOP election officials have vehemently and repeatedly disputed those claims, saying there is no evidence of systemic errors or fraud in the November election. Democrats and voting rights groups say the effort by Republicans is anti-Democratic and, if successful, will disenfranchise lawful voters. The state Senate Republican Caucus said in a statement Tuesday that they would push for the changes the next time the legislature convenes, while also shooting down the idea of a special legislative session — which Trump has repeatedly called for in the hopes of subverting the election results. The 2021 legislative session is set to begin Jan. 11. Senate Republicans are also calling for a photo ID requirement for absentee voters who have a specific reason to vote by mail. Biden beat Trump by more than 11,700 votes in Georgia, a result that was confirmed by two recounts — including an audit that triggered a full hand tally of ballots. Biden received nearly double the number of absentee ballots as Trump, according to the secretary of state’s office. Biden got nearly 850,000 absentee votes by mail, compared to just over 450,000 for Trump.

Full Article: Georgia Senate GOP push for end to no-excuse absentee voting

Indiana: Incoming State Attorney General Rokita urging U.S. Supreme Court to throw out 20.4 million ballots to aid Trump | Dan Carden/Northwest Indiana Times

Indiana’s former chief elections officer and its next attorney general is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to toss out the votes of 20.4 million Americans in four states to help secure a second term for Republican President Donald Trump. Republican Attorney General-elect Todd Rokita, a Munster native, announced his support Tuesday for a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas that seeks scuttle all the votes cast for president in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia, and to have the Republican-controlled legislatures in those states appoint Trump electors, instead of the Joe Biden electors chosen by the people. Texas claims officials in all four states altered their election laws without legislative approval under the guise of the COVID-19 pandemic, triggering such rampant voter fraud, particularly with mail-in ballots, that the extraordinary remedy of throwing out every vote is required. Records show the evidence for Texas’ allegations has been summarily rejected by numerous federal courts and election officials in the four states, and indeed all 50 states, which have certified their election results notwithstanding Trump’s continuing allegations of fraud. Nevertheless, Rokita said millions of Indiana citizens “have deep concerns” about the presidential election, particularly as “some in the media and the political class simply try to sidestep legitimate issues raised about the election for the sake of expediency.”

Full Article: Rokita urging U.S. Supreme Court to throw out 20.4 million ballots to aid Trump | Government and Politics | nwitimes.com

Michigan: Detroit elections expert defends TCF operations, refutes allegations during Senate hearing | Dave Boucher/Detroit Free Press

In a clear and methodical tone, a longtime Michigan elections expert refuted a litany of fraud and misconduct allegations focused on absentee ballots in Detroit during a legislative hearing on Tuesday. Chris Thomas served roughly 37 years as the state elections administrator, working under Republican and Democratic secretaries of state. This year, he worked as a senior adviser for Detroit, spending time at TCF Center, where the city counted absentee ballots. His testimony was clear: Thousands of absentee ballots in Detroit were not counted multiple times. Dead people did not vote. Mysterious ballots did not turn up at TCF in the middle of the night. “I’m not here to tell you it was perfect but it was a damn good election,” Thomas testified. There was human error, but this is typical and was corrected in accordance with the law, Thomas said. He also said lawmakers could help improve operations ahead of the next election, specifically by giving local clerks more time to process absentee ballots ahead of Election Day. “These folks were not necessarily attuned to what they were looking at,” Thomas said, summarizing allegations of misconduct made by Republicans and others at TCF. Thomas was the first elections official with Detroit to testify before the Senate Oversight Committee since the Nov. 3 election. He has provided similar information in the form of affidavits, submitted to refute lawsuits alleging misconduct filed in Detroit.

Full Article: Detroit elections expert refutes allegations during Senate hearing

Minnesota: Tensions over election outcome on display as Senate panel meets | Stephen Montemayor/Minneapolis Star Tribune

Disinformation and conspiracy theories about this year’s vote are a danger to election workers and democracy itself, Minnesota Secretary of State Simon warned Tuesday at a state Senate hearing called to examine the election’s integrity. With the presidential race’s outcome under continued but unsuccessful legal attack by President Donald Trump and allies, Republican state Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer of Big Lake raised questions about pandemic-driven changes to Minnesota’s voting procedures that have since been the subject of court wrangling. Still, Kiffmeyer, a former secretary of state and frequent critic of Simon, said in a subsequent press release that “so far, claims of widespread fraud have not held up under scrutiny or in the courts.” Simon, a Democrat, used the occasion of the Senate hearing to mount another defense of Minnesota’s election, calling it “a great big success on multiple levels.” The Senate hearing on the outcome of the vote, he said, was “taking place in the middle of a national tidal wave of disinformation, politically inspired lies designed to mislead and manipulate people.” Kiffmeyer, who chairs the Senate’s committee on elections, convened Tuesday’s hearing to probe questions over voting software and tabulation, in addition to the changes to rules governing absentee balloting before the primary and general elections. Kiffmeyer defended posing “reasonable questions” about the state’s election process. She had previously cited “anecdotal reports of irregular election activities” in her initial request to Simon for a report on this year’s elections.

Full Article: Tensions over Minn. election on full display in Senate hearing – StarTribune.com

Nevada: Clark County begins five-day recount process in race determined by 10 votes | Kristyn Leonard/Nevada Independent

Clark County Election Department staff were on site bright and early at 5 a.m. on Monday to start a recount for the District C seat on the county commission — a process that election staff expect to take five days and that cost losing candidate Stavros Anthony nearly $80,000. Anthony, a Republican, requested the recount on Friday, three days after the Clark County Commission voted to certify Democrat Ross Miller’s 10-vote victory in the race. The commission had originally chosen not to certify the results because of 139 ballot discrepancies in the district, which outnumbered Miller’s margin of victory. After a suit from Miller, an intervention by Anthony, and a statement from a judge that the discrepancies did not mean an election was prevented and, therefore, did not constitute “cause” for a new election to be called, the commission reconsidered its decision and voted to canvass and certify initial results on Tuesday. What has resulted from the contentious process is a recount in a massive district where more than 153,000 ballots will need to be reviewed.

Full Article: The Indy Explains: Clark County begins five-day recount process in race determined by 10 votes

New York: Judge orders partial recount in Brindisi-Tenney House race | Mark Weiner/The Syracuse Post-Standard

A state Supreme Court judge today ordered election officials to review and possibly recount some of the hundreds of disputed absentee and affidavit ballots cast in the undecided House race between Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney. Justice Scott J. DelConte also denied a motion by Tenney’s lawyers, who had asked the court to order the eight counties in the district to certify her as the winner in an election where more than 318,000 ballots were cast. DelConte confirmed in his order that final totals submitted to him by the counties show Tenney has a 12-vote lead over Brindisi, down from more than 28,000 election night. But he ordered each county election board in the 22nd Congressional District to recheck counting errors that surfaced in recent weeks, and review about 2,200 absentee and affidavit ballots, including 809 disputed by the campaigns. All told, voters cast 60,000 absentee and affidavit ballots in the election. Where it’s not possible to correct the errors, the counties must go back and conduct a manual recount of any ballot in question, DelConte wrote in a 20-page order. The total number of ballots that will ultimately have to be counted by hand will be determined by each county.

Full Article: Judge orders partial recount in Brindisi-Tenney House race – syracuse.com

Pennsylvania: Supreme Court denies bid by Trump allies to overturn election results | Robert Barnes/The Washington Post

The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a last-minute attempt by President Trump’s allies to overturn the election results in Pennsylvania. The court’s brief order provided no reasoning, nor did it note any dissenting votes. It was the first request to delay or overturn the results of the presidential election to reach the court. The lawsuit was part of a blizzard of litigation and personal interventions Trump and his lawyers have waged to overturn victories by Democrat Joe Biden in a handful of key states. Trump called the speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives twice during the past week to make an extraordinary request for help reversing his loss in the state. But Speaker Bryan Cutler told the president he had no authority to step in, or to order the legislature into special session, a Cutler spokesman told The Washington Post. Republican members of the legislature and Congress supported the Supreme Court challenge to the changes they had made to Pennsylvania’s voting system in 2019. A group of Republican candidates led by Rep. Mike Kelly (R) challenged Act 77, a change made by the Republican-controlled legislature to allow universal mail-in ballots. Their charge was that the state constitution’s requirements on absentee ballots meant the legislature didn’t have the authority to open mail-in balloting for others. But the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said the challenge was filed too late — only after the votes were cast and the results known. Democrat Joe Biden won the state by a more than 80,000-vote margin. The unanimous order blamed petitioners for a “complete failure to act with due diligence in commencing their facial constitutional challenge, which was ascertainable upon Act 77’s enactment.” It added that some of the petitioners had urged their supporters to cast their ballots using the new mail-in procedure.

Full Article: Supreme Court denies bid by Trump allies to overturn Pennsylvania election results – The Washington Post

Texas sues over election results in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania | Emma Platoff/The Texas Tribune

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing four battleground states — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — whose election results handed the White House to President-elect Joe Biden. In the suit, he claims that pandemic-era changes to election procedures in those states violated federal law and asks the U.S. Supreme Court to block the states from voting in the Electoral College. The last-minute bid, which legal experts have already characterized as a long shot, comes alongside dozens of similar attempts by President Donald Trump and his political allies. The majority of those lawsuits have already failed. There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, officials in most states and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr have said. Biden won in all four states where Paxton is challenging the results. In a filing to the high court Tuesday, Paxton claims the four battleground states broke the law by instituting pandemic-related changes to election policies, whether “through executive fiat or friendly lawsuits, thereby weakening ballot integrity.” Paxton claimed that these changes allowed for voter fraud to occur — a conclusion experts and election officials have rejected — and said the court should push back a Dec. 14 deadline by which states must appoint their presidential electors.

Full Article: Texas sues over election results in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania | The Texas Tribune

Wisconsin: With case pending in state court, Wisconsin is only state to miss election safe-harbor deadline | Molly Beck/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin faces another effort seeking to overturn the Nov. 3 presidential election — this time in the U.S. Supreme Court — as the state becomes the only one in the nation to miss a federal deadline to finalize its election results.  But a unanimous decision by the nation’s highest court on Tuesday to reject a similar lawsuit over Pennsylvania’s election outcome signals to President Donald Trump and his allies that their efforts to invalidate Wisconsin votes likely won’t succeed. The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to stop Pennsylvania from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state despite allegations from allies of Trump that the expansion of mail-in voting was illegal. The action by the court, which includes three justices appointed by Trump, came as states across the country are locking in the results that will lead to next week’s Electoral College vote. It represented the latest in a string of stinging judicial opinions that have left the president defeated both politically and legally. Every state but Wisconsin appears to have met a so-called safe-harbor deadline set by federal law, which means Congress has to accept the electoral votes that will be cast next week, locking in Biden’s victory.  The safe-harbor provision protects states against challenges in Congress through certifying the results of the election and resolving legal challenges in state courts by the deadline, which was Tuesday. Wisconsin election officials still have a case pending in state court that wasn’t resolved by the safe-harbor date, in addition to the federal actions that are still pending.

Full Article: Wisconsin is only state to miss election safe-harbor deadline

Arizona Supreme Court rejects GOP effort to overturn election results, affirms Biden win | Maria Polletta/Arizona Republic

The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona, upholding a lower court’s finding that there was no misconduct, fraud or illegal voting in the general election. The ruling came hours before the so-called “safe harbor” cutoff, a federal deadline by which states must resolve election-related disputes in state courts to guarantee Congress will count their electors’ votes. Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward had initially filed the challenge in Maricopa County Superior Court, seeking to have a judge void Biden’s 10,457-vote win in Arizona. In her claim, she questioned the signature verification process used by Maricopa Countyto authenticate mail-in ballots, as well as the duplication process election officials used to count ballots that tabulation machines couldn’t read. Ward brought the election contest under a state law that allows voters to dispute certified results if they suspect misconduct, illegal votes or an inaccurate count. But, over a day and a half of testimony and oral arguments, her team failed to prove anything beyond a handful of garden variety mistakes, Superior Court Judge Randall Warner said. In an order issued Tuesday after Ward appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court, Chief Justice Robert Brutinel agreed.

Full Article: Arizona Supreme Court rejects effort to overturn results, affirms Biden win

International: Pro-democracy activists angered by Trump’s election fraud claims | Rachel Elbaum/NBC

Russian political activist Vladimir Kara-Murza says he has been poisoned twice, but he hasn’t let it stop him from championing greater democratic norms, transparency, and less corruption in an increasingly autocratic Russia. It’s why he, like a plethora of pro-democracy activists from Hong Kong to Hungary, has watched President Donald Trump’s challenges to the result of the U.S. election with anger and frustration. “It’s not just misleading, it’s insulting to draw a parallel and use words like fraudulent and manipulative,” Kara-Murza said of Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that illegal ballots were cast in the election. “Those countries that do have real genuine electoral processes shouldn’t use words like fraud and manipulation carelessly.” Pro-democracy activists in countries where democracy is coming under pressure or is nonexistent worry that Trump’s rhetoric will harm their efforts, make it easier for their leaders to ignore democratic norms and equate any fraud in their own systems with the United States’ 2020 vote. Trump has not provided proof of any fraud despite numerous lawsuits contesting the election results. Even Attorney General William Barr said last Tuesday that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud during the election, defying the president’s ongoing efforts to reverse the results.

Full Article: Pro-democracy activists angered by Trump’s election fraud claims

Bulgaria’s election watchdog gets eight bids in tender to buy voting machines | The Sofia Globe

Bulgaria’s Central Election Commission (CEC) said on December 8 that it has received eight bids in its tender to purchase 9600 voting machines, worth 36 million leva, or about 18.4 million euro. Six companies and two individuals submitted offers before the deadline expired on December 7. The initial deadline was November 30, but it was extended by one week after CEC amended the initial terms to clarify the information security standards that the bidders must operate under. The target date for the election watchdog to announce qualifying bidders has also been moved and is now December 15. In addition to the physical delivery, the contract includes the software used by the voting machines and its source code, so that it can be “modified for all types of elections envisioned in the Electoral Code, without the supplier’s input,” the CEC said earlier, when it announced the tender. Also included in the tender is servicing the voting machines for the parliamentary elections, due in spring 2021, and training elections officials in the use of the machines. Bulgaria’s rollout of machine voting has been plagued by repeated delays – after the CEC was unable to secure 13 000 machines ahead of the 2017 parliamentary elections, the National Assembly legislated that the number of voting machines used would increase with each election.

Full Article: Bulgaria’s election watchdog gets eight bids in tender to buy voting machines | The Sofia Globe

Norwegian police implicate Fancy Bear in parliament hack, describe ‘brute forcing’ of email accounts | Sean Lyngaas/CyberScoop

Norwegian authorities on Tuesday got more specific in their accusation of Russian involvement in an August cyberattack on Norwegian parliament, implicating the same notorious group of suspected Russian military intelligence hackers accused of interfering in the 2016 U.S. election. Fancy Bear or APT28 — a group of hackers linked with Russia’s GRU military agency — was likely behind the breach, which resulted in the theft of “sensitive content” from some Norwegian lawmakers’ email accounts, Norway’s national police agency said in a statement. The attackers used a common technique called “brute forcing,” which bombards accounts with passwords until one works, to access the Norwegian parliament’s email system, according to the statement signed by Norwegian police attorney Anne Karoline Bakken Staff. The Fancy Bear operatives then tried to move further into parliament’s IT systems, according to the statement, but were unsuccessful. The intrusions were part of a broader suspected Fancy Bear campaign within and without Norway since at least 2019, Norwegian officials concluded. Norwegian public broadcaster NRK reported that more than 10 organizations in Norway were targeted in the campaign, but did not name them. Relations between Russia and Norway have grown more tense in recent months after Norwegian authorities expelled a Russian diplomat because of his alleged connection to an espionage case, and Russia retaliated by expelling a Norwegian diplomat.

Full Article: Norwegian police implicate Fancy Bear in parliament hack, describe ‘brute forcing’ of email accounts