MAGA marchers plot final D.C. stand on Jan. 6 | Tina Nguyen/Politico

Since Election Day, President Donald Trump’s followers have marched on state capitol buildings and the Supreme Court, protesting the election results. They have demonstrated in front of vote-counting centers, filed lawsuits and floated illogical conspiracy theories. Now, those efforts will come to a head on Wednesday, when the most zealous members of MAGA nation — activists, fans and militia groups — plan to rally one more time in Washington in a dying attempt to keep President Donald Trump in the White House. Timed to the day when Congress will formally certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win, the MAGA crowd is trying to pressure Vice President Mike Pence and Republican lawmakers to refuse to seat Biden over fabricated voter-fraud claims. It’s a doomed plan, given the makeup of Congress, the absent evidence behind the rigged election allegations and the fact that every important state has already certified Biden’s win. Yet that hasn’t stopped a swell of Trump supporters from making plans — and the president from teasing his own appearance. According to disinformation and extremist researchers, the Jan. 6 gathering will look similar to November’s Million MAGA March — a mashup of garden-variety Trump supporters and more extreme members of the far right, with no apparent central organizing apparatus. Stop the Steal, a group affiliated with pro-Trump super PACs and allies of Trump adviser Roger Stone, has filed for permits and plans to protest outside the Capitol, but other groups have also claimed to be the true official planners. There’s one key difference with this march, however. After weeks of failed lawsuits, flailing investigations and Republicans unhitching themselves from Trump’s quest to keep the presidency, the Wednesday rally might be the last one while there’s still a plan — even if it’s an ill-fated one — to subvert the election.

Full Article: MAGA marchers plot final D.C. stand on Jan. 6 – POLITICO

Editorial: We Can’t Let Our Elections Be This Vulnerable Again | Richard L. Hasen/The Atlantic

The 2020 election and its aftermath have laid bare an unhappy truth: Many of the familiar procedures for translating the people’s will into the choice of a president depend on norms of behavior, not laws. Just this past weekend—two months after Election Day—remarkable efforts to mess with election results became apparent, including the revelation of a recording of, on Saturday, President Donald Trump potentially criminally pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” more than 11,000 votes to flip Georgia’s election results from Joe Biden to the president. And well over 100 Republican representatives and about a dozen Republican senators appear poised to object to the counting of Electoral College votes on Wednesday for states that Biden won, despite a complete lack of evidence that the results were marred by fraud or irregularities. These efforts are very serious—and very dangerous.If not for Biden’s significant margin of victory over Trump and for the courageous, politically risky actions of many Republican and Democratic election administrators and elected officials, this Republican attack on American democracy might well have been successful, securing an illegitimate second term for Trump. To remove the potential for this sort of gamesmanship in certifying and counting each state’s votes for president, the country needs to adopt a number of measures in the next few years to eliminate the power of individuals to interfere with election results. This can be done without opening up larger constitutional issues, such as whether to keep or do away with the Electoral College. Americans shouldn’t have to know the inner workings of the canvassing board of Wayne County, Michigan—or depend on representatives and senators to accurately count votes as states have reported them to Congress—to figure out who will be president. The backdrop for these urgent reforms is Trump’s extraordinary effort to delegitimize the election results. Amid the pandemic, the president attacked voting by mail, the safest means of voting to avoid spreading infection. Despite his claims that this shift would open floodgates of fraud, 2020 was a strikingly clean election.

Full Article: We Can’t Let Our Elections Be This Vulnerable Again – The Atlantic

National: Republican plan to stall certification of Biden’s win could hurt future election security, experts say | Tonya Riley/The Washington Post

Nearly a dozen Republican senators are following Sen. Ted Cruz’s lead and threatening to not certify Joe Biden’s win until Congress launches a 10-day audit of the 2020 election based on President Trump’s baseless allegations of voting fraud. Election and legal experts say the last-ditch effort to stall Joe Biden’s win is unlikely to succeed. Even if it did, it would almost certainly fail to change the results of the 2020 election. But the effort could have lasting implications for election integrity in future votes. “It could certainly throw another wrench in our democracy and undermine voter confidence in our elections,” David Levine, elections integrity fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, told me. Elevating false allegations – especially after the courts have roundly dismissed the election challenges – plays right into the hands of foreign adversaries while undermining trust in local and state election officials, who stand by election results, experts say. The intelligence community and former attorney general William P. Barr said there was no evidence of widespread election fraud or foreign interference that altered the results of the 2020 election. Election officials called it “the most secure in American history.” “This is not going to stop Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris from taking the oath. The legal and factual arguments are flimsy and laughable,” said Michael Waldman, the president of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. “But it reinforces the idea for millions of people that there was something wrong with the election.”

Full Article: The Cybersecurity 202: Republican plan to stall certification of Biden’s win could hurt future election security, experts say – The Washington Post

National: Alexander Keyssar, leading historian of U.S. democracy, issues an urgent warning | Greg Sargent/The Washington Post

President Trump’s extraordinary effort to browbeat the Georgia secretary of state into rigging the election for him reveals more than just a deranged, desperate man potentially willing to commit crimes to overturn his loss. It also crystallizes the true nature of what will unfold on Wednesday, when dozens of congressional Republicans will join Trump’s effort by objecting to Joe Biden’s electors. This quest to overturn millions of votes in numerous states will fail when the Democratic House scuttles those objections. You’d think many of them would now refrain from challenging Biden’s electors. You’d think the appalling contempt for democracy driving Trump’s effort is now so glaringly clear that they would want no association with it, or would see refraining as a way to demonstrate that this latest lawless display is intolerable. But that’s extremely unlikely. Which raises a question: In a future presidential election, if Republicans control both chambers of Congress and similar objections are brought against a victorious Democrat’s electors, mightn’t they succeed in invalidating them? “It’s become a lot easier to envision that in the last month,” Alexander Keyssar, the leading historian of U.S. democracy, told me. “I find this to be very worrisome — very disturbing.”

Full Article: Opinion | Alexander Keyssar, leading historian of U.S. democracy, issues an urgent warning – The Washington Post

National: All Pence Can Do Is Count | Alan Charles Raul and Richard Bernstein/Wall Street Journal

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert has argued that the Electoral Count Act of 1887 is unconstitutional. Therefore, he claims, Vice President Mike Pence is empowered by the 12th Amendment to reject 73 Biden-Harris electoral votes from five states when Congress meets to certify the 2020 election results on Jan. 6. A dozen Republican senators and many more House members also argue that Congress has this power. They are all wrong. Neither the vice president nor Congress has the power to reject electoral votes. This is because the 12th Amendment vests no power in the vice president or Congress to judge who won a state’s electoral votes when the authorized branches of the state’s government agree, as they do here, on which electors won. The 12th Amendment left intact the Constitution’s Electors Clause. As the Supreme Court’s three originalist justices wrote in Bush v. Gore (2000), under the Electors Clause, each state’s legislature by statute makes the exclusive “apportionment of responsibility” to state officials to “oversee election disputes” that decide which presidential ticket won the most votes in that state. Election officials and courts from each of the five states in question did exactly that. And by Dec. 14, the states certified that the electors who won were those who voted for Biden-Harris. All the 12th Amendment says is that in a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, “the [electoral] votes shall then be counted.” The word “counted” provides no basis for anyone to override anything. When a person counts the number of games his favorite team has won, that person has no power to alchemize losses into wins.

Full Article: All Pence Can Do Is Count – WSJ

National: Dominion Voting Systems CEO plans to sue Sidney Powell imminently | Joseph Choi/The Hill

Dominion Voting Systems CEO John Poulos told Axios on Monday that his company plans on suing former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell imminently for defamation over her claims about its voting machines. “Our focus right now is on Sidney Powell, and there’s very good reason for that. She is by far in our opinion the most egregious and prolific purveyor of the falsities against Dominion. Her statements have caused real damage. They’re demonstrably false,” Poulos said. Powell, formerly part of President Trump‘s team seeking to overturn the 2020 election, has baselessly claimed that Dominion’s algorithm flipped votes and that the company paid Georgia GOP officials to stay quiet on the alleged scheme. “We were originally quiet and we sat back as a company,” he added. “Because our hope was that all of these claims would be filed in a process in court where procedure and evidence is important. And it’s become clear to us that there is absolutely no interest to reveal this evidence because we know it doesn’t exist. And there’s no effort to actually put it in front of the court proceedings so that these allegations and all of the evidence can follow a proper process and be litigated right to the end.” When asked by Axios’s Dan Primack when the lawsuit would be filed, Poulos said, “It’s imminent.” A Dominion spokesperson speaking to The Hill confirmed that a lawsuit would be filed, possibly as soon as this week.

Full Article: Dominion Voting Systems CEO plans to sue Sidney Powell imminently | TheHill

National: Trump’s Insurgency From Inside the Oval Office | Peter Baker/The New York Times

President Trump’s relentless effort to overturn the result of the election that he lost has become the most serious stress test of American democracy in generations, one led not by outside revolutionaries intent on bringing down the system but by the very leader charged with defending it. In the 220 years since a defeated John Adams turned over the White House to his rival, firmly establishing the peaceful transfer of authority as a bedrock principle, no sitting president who lost an election has tried to hang onto power by rejecting the Electoral College and subverting the will of the voters — until now. It is a scenario at once utterly unthinkable and yet feared since the beginning of Mr. Trump’s tenure. The president has gone well beyond simply venting his grievances or creating a face-saving narrative to explain away a loss, as advisers privately suggested he was doing in the days after the Nov. 3 vote. Instead, he has stretched or crossed the boundaries of tradition, propriety and perhaps the law to find any way he can to cling to office beyond his term that expires in two weeks. That he is almost certain to fail and that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will be inaugurated on Jan. 20 does not mitigate the damage he is doing to democracy by undermining public faith in the electoral system. Mr. Trump’s hourlong telephone call over the weekend with Georgia’s chief election official, Brad Raffensperger, pressuring him to “find” enough votes to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory in that state only brought into stark relief what the president has been doing for weeks. He has called the Republican governors of Georgia and Arizona to get them to intervene. He has summoned Michigan’s Republican Legislature leaders to the White House to pressure them to change their state’s results. He called the Republican speaker of the Pennsylvania House multiple times seeking help to reverse the outcome there. Mr. Trump and his staff have floated the idea of delaying Mr. Biden’s inauguration, even though it is set in stone by the Constitution, and the president met with a former adviser who has publicly urged him to declare martial law to “rerun” the election in states he lost. Mr. Trump’s erratic behavior has so alarmed military commanders who fear he might try to use troops to stay in the White House that every living former defense secretary — including two he appointed himself — issued a warning against the armed forces becoming involved.

Full Article: Trump’s Insurgency From Inside the Oval Office – The New York Times

National: Cleta Mitchell, a key figure in president’s phone call, was an early backer of Trump’s voter fraud claims | Michael Kranish and Tom Hamburger/The Washington Post

On Nov. 7, the day that major media organizations projected Joe Biden had won the presidency, Republican attorney Cleta Mitchell appeared on Fox News with her own projection: The election was far from over. “We’re already double checking and finding dead people having voted, we’re going to be finding people have voted across state lines, voted in two states, illegal voting, noncitizens and that sort of thing. So we are building that case,” Mitchell said, referring to the work of the Trump campaign’s legal team and foreshadowing many of its claims of fraud. In the following days, Mitchell took particular aim at Biden’s win in Georgia, tweeting that the state’s recount was a “total sham” and “A FAKE!!!” She wrote that the effort was “cover for the SOS,” referring to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Responding to criticism of her appearance, she tweeted, “Happy to be considered a nut job because I believe in the rule of law.” Mitchell largely stayed out of the spotlight in the following weeks as legions of lawyers for the Trump campaign failed in high-profile court cases across the country to get the election overturned. Behind the scenes, however, her role had escalated to the point that when President Trump on Saturday made a last-ditch phone call to get Raffensperger to “find” thousands of votes for him, it was the Washington-based Mitchell who emerged as a key player. It wasn’t the first time Mitchell alleged election fraud. In a case that foreshadowed her work for Trump, Mitchell worked for the campaign of Sharron Angle, who ran against Sen. Harry M. Reid of Nevada in 2010. Mitchell wrote a letter soliciting campaign contributions, alleging that “Reid intends to steal this election if he can’t win it outright….Understand, EVERYTHING we have worked for in the last year could be destroyed by dirty tricks and criminal acts.”

Full Article: Cleta Mitchell, a key figure in president?s phone call, was an early backer of Trump?s voter fraud claims – The Washington Post

Editorial: Donald Trump should be prosecuted for his shakedown of Georgia’s Brad Raffensperger | Richard L. Hasen/Slate

President Donald Trump likely broke both federal and state law in a Saturday phone call during which he encouraged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s election results. The president certainly committed an impeachable offense that is grounds for removing him from the office he will be vacating in less than three weeks or disqualifying him from future elected office. His tumultuous term will end as it began, with questions as to the legality of conduct connected to manipulating American elections, and a defense based squarely on the idea that Trump’s mind is so warped that he actually believes the nonsense he spews. Trump may never be put on trial for what he did, but a failure to prosecute him may lead to a further deterioration of American democracy. The Washington Post’s bombshell report and audio recording of a Saturday conversation among Trump; his chief of staff, Mark Meadows; Republican election attorney Cleta Mitchell; and Georgia election officials featured a litany of unproven and debunked claims of voter fraud in Georgia. Trump claimed he had actually won the state by hundreds of thousands of votes and suggested Raffensperger could face criminal liability for not going after this phantom fraud.

Full Article: Donald Trump should be prosecuted for his shakedown of Georgia’s Brad Raffensperger.

Editorial: Trump’s Georgia Call Crosses a Red Line | David Frum/The Atlantic

In a bombshell conversation with Georgia’s secretary of state yesterday, President Donald Trump made monkeys of every Republican official and every conservative talking head who professed to believe Trump’s allegations of voter fraud. The president himself made clear that he had only one end in view: overturning the 2020 election. You knew this already, of course. Anyone connected to reality knew it. Even most of Trump’s political allies probably knew it. But important incentives induced people in the pro-Trump camp to pretend otherwise. And now, as so often happens, Trump has yanked away the protective deception to reveal the truth. And now again, Trump presents the country with a crisis and a conundrum. What Trump did on that call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, first reported by The Washington Post this afternoon, might well have been a crime. More than that cannot be said until and unless a jury is heard from. But Trump has reason to worry about new juries today, alongside all the other juries he was worrying about yesterday. The Raffensperger tape shows Trump’s Plan A to stay ahead of the law: election tampering. That plan will reach its finale on January 6—the point of no return, the last minute for stunts and sabotage. A shameful number of Republican members of the House and Senate have signed up for the stunts and sabotage, but not enough to prevent the inevitable outcome of a Biden-Harris inauguration on January 20. Trump’s thoughts now must turn to a Plan B. Plan B is to protect himself from juries even if he loses office. Plan B points to a self-pardon, and the huge crisis that must ensue. President-elect Biden has already signaled his high preference not to take legal action against his predecessor. A President Biden could not protect a former President Trump from state criminal actions or civil liability, but he could signal to the Department of Justice that prosecuting a former president for federal crimes would be divisive and distracting, and therefore is to be avoided if at all possible.

Full Article: Trump’s Georgia Call Crosses a Red Line – The Atlantic

Arizona GOP senators want voting materials to turn over to Trump team, lawyer charges | Howard Fischer/Arizona Daily Star

Maricopa County’s attorney is accusing Republican state senators of demanding access to voting equipment and records to turn them over to a lawyer for President Trump. At a hearing Monday, Steve Tully, attorney for the county, pointed out that Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, sent out a Twitter message last month saying the materials sought by the Senate were going to be given to Rudy Giuliani. Tully said those would include ballots and passwords and other materials in the two subpoenas issued by Senate President Karen Fann and Sen. Eddie Farnsworth, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. Giuliani, in turn, is quoted as saying he wants to “start forensically examining the voting machines in Arizona,” part of his efforts to question Joe Biden’s victory and deny the Democrat Arizona’s 11 electoral votes. Tully told a Maricopa County judge that if that is the plan, it provides another reason for his client to refuse to turn over the requested information. He said it would violate both the state and federal constitutions and be an “improper legislative purpose.” He also said the county has questions about whether the review the senators want of the equipment and voting materials will be conducted by people who are legally certified. But attorney Kory Langhofer, who is representing the senators, told Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason to ignore those objections as “legally irrelevant.”

Full Article: Arizona GOP senators want voting materials to turn over to Trump team, lawyer charges | Local news |

Connecticut: Paper Ballots Integral to Election Security | Alex Wood/Journal Inquirer

With election officials around the country under very public attack, Mark Dobbins, the Democratic registrar of voters in Glastonbury, wants Connecticut residents to know more about the procedures election officials here use to make sure that all legal votes — and only legal votes — are counted. One is the old-fashioned paper trail, which Connecticut election officials use for many records, including ballots. “We use a lot of paper, and you can’t hack paper,” Dobbins says. In addition, the tabulating machines that count ballots aren’t connected to the Internet and can’t be hacked into, he says. He adds that the tabulating machines are useless without memory cards. When the cards aren’t in use, he says, LHS Associates, an election services company based in Salem, New Hampshire, holds them securely. Gabe Rosenberg, general counsel to Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill, says the University of Connecticut’s Center for Voting Technology Research, or VoTeR Center, takes the memory cards before and after the election to make sure there are no problems.

Full Article: Paper Ballots Integral to Connecticut Election Security

District of Columbia: Trump protesters warned not to carry guns as Washington DC calls up National Guard | The Guardian

The US capital has mobilised the National Guard ahead of planned protests by Donald Trump supporters in the lead-up to the congressional vote affirming Joe Biden’s election victory. Trump’s supporters are planning to rally on Tuesday and Wednesday, seeking to bolster the president’s unproven claims of widespread voter fraud. DC police have posted signs throughout downtown warning that carrying any sort of firearm is illegal and its acting police chief, Robert Contee, asked residents to warn authorities of anyone who might be armed. “There are people intent on coming to our city armed,” Contee said on Monday. Restrictions on carrying guns have been introduced for the area from Monday to Thursday this week. It comes as Enrique Tarrio, the leader of violent far-right group the Proud Boys, was arrested in DC and charged with destruction of property – related to a previous pro-Trump protest – and a firearms offence.

Source: Trump protesters warned not to carry guns as Washington DC calls up National Guard | US news | The Guardian

Georgia: Trump call to secretary of state electrifies voters in Senate runoffs | Sam Levine/The Guardian

An explosive recording of Donald Trump pressuring Georgia election officials to overturn the election results is further electrifying voters in Georgia’s elections for two US Senate seats, in Tuesday’s runoff that will determine which party controls Congress’ upper chamber. In the call, made public by the Washington Post on Sunday, Trump pressured Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to “find 11,780 votes”, to overturn Trump’s loss there. When Raffensperger refused, Trump suggested he and his aides may be committing a criminal offense. At an event on Monday, the Rev Raphael Warnock, the Democratic nominee for one of the seats, used the phone call to motivate supporters. He suggested there would be legal battles and challenges if the race was close. “We need to win by a comfortable margin. Because, you know, funny things go on,” he said at a drive in event at a high school in Riverdale, about 20 minutes south of Atlanta. Warnock spoke to about 100 supporters at the drive-thru, who danced to Motown hits in warm weather and honked voraciously throughout his speech. Warnock also noted that Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, had also called Raffensperger to pressure him over the election. “They both said essentially the same thing. Can’t you find 11,000 votes? They wouldn’t be saying that unless there was some history. If you listen, what they were saying was ‘don’t you know how we roll?’’ he said.

Full Article: Trump call to Georgia secretary of state electrifies voters in Senate runoffs | US news | The Guardian

Georgia polling places face threats on election day | David Wickert/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Polling places in Cherokee County and elsewhere in Georgia are on guard against election day threats. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday that it learned of a threatening email that went to several county employees “regarding threats to polling locations on election day.” Employees at several other counties received the same email. The sheriff’s office did not elaborate on the threats and said the source of the emails has not been identified. The FBI and the GBI are investigating, and the sheriff’s office said officers from various departments will be stationed at all 40 Cherokee County polling places. The threats come as Georgia has become the center of the American political universe — Tuesday’s runoff election will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. The races pit Republican U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue against Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively. On the eve of the race, both President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden visited Georgia to encourage their supporters to vote in the Senate race. Gabriel Sterling, who has served as the secretary of state’s voting system manager, said he’s aware of a number of potential threats on election day, and law enforcement authorities have been notified. “We encourage everybody to please turn out, be safe, be smart and don’t let anybody get in the way of you casting your vote,” Sterling said. “We are aware of some (threats), but we’re trying to not discuss in too much detail about that while we’re trying to investigate and find out what the actual nature of those threats might be.”

Full Article: Georgia polling places face threats on election day

Michigan: Trump repeats false claims about election in leaked Georgia phone call | Malachi Barrett/

President Donald Trump repeated several inaccurate statements about Michigan’s election results while pressuring Georgia officials to overturn his defeat over the weekend. Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, to reverse his loss in the state during a one-hour phone call published by The Washington Post. A recording of the conversation shows Trump pointed to false claims about Michigan while describing “turmoil” surrounding the results in several states won by Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. Raffensperger pushed back against Trump’s claims during the phone call, telling the president “the data you have is wrong” and “we don’t agree that you have won” Georgia. Election officials in Michigan have likewise debunked allegations Trump repeated Saturday about inflated turnout and dead people voting. Trump made two claims about Michigan deemed untrue by election officials. First, the president claimed “In Detroit, I think it was, 139% of the people voted.” Certified results show only 51% of the city turned out to vote. There are 506,305 registered voters in the city of Detroit, and 257,619 ballots were cast. Detroit turnout in the 2020 election was only slightly higher than in 2016, when 49% of registered voters cast a ballot. Trump earned 5,207 more Detroit votes in 2020, while Democratic votes increased by 6,055. Trump also claimed “a tremendous number of dead people” voted, suggesting “it was 18,000.” Trump said the figure came from “going through the obituary columns in the newspapers.” It’s not clear where the specific figure came from, but there is no evidence to corroborate what the president suggested over the weekend. Claims of dead voters in Michigan have been a common subject of unproven fraud allegations since the election.

Full Article: Trump repeats false claims about Michigan election in leaked Georgia phone call –

New Jersey: Advocates argue paper ballots are key to secure elections | Genesis Obando/NJ Spotlight News

Stephanie Harris says she started using an absentee ballot after an incident at her polling place in 2004 left her unsure if her vote counted. In the primary election that year, Harris, a farmer in Hopewell, cast her vote in Mercer County. But after she picked her candidates and hit the “cast vote” button, she says that there was not an audible confirmation that verified her vote had been successful. The poll worker recommended to Harris that she try a few more times. Even though there was no sound, she assumed her vote had gone through. But Harris says she never knew if her vote was counted or if the machines had been infected with malware or were just not functioning properly. And with no paper record of that specific ballot, Harris said she could not know for sure. So began Harris’ quest to fortify New Jersey’s voting system, a fight she’s waged in the courts and pressed in the Legislature. Her lawsuits have forced officials to confront evidence that voting machines can be hacked and that paper ballots may be the best method for securing elections. The November elections, due to COVID-19, were the first time Harris saw the paper ballots she had been fighting for finally put into action.

Full Article: Pushing paper ballots for NJ elections | NJ Spotlight News

New York: New Congress begins without NY-22 House member or election results | Steve Howe/Utica Observer-Dispatch

The latest session of Congress began Sunday, and New York’s 22nd Congressional District has no representation. The winner of the nation’s last House of Representatives race remains undecided, with Republican Claudia Tenney leading Democrat Anthony Brindisi by 29 votes. The judicial review intended to resolve hundreds of contested ballots, which began Nov. 23, remains in progress, with the Oswego County Supreme Court case resuming Monday. Monday’s proceedings continued the ballot-by-ballot review process, where ballots contested by each candidate are presented with the legal reasoning for and against the objection. State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte began the day with a few ballots in Chenango County, before moving to remaining Madison County issues and starting Broome County’s ballots. The full day of ballot review centered around several issues, including the argument over “right church, wrong pew” voters and “wrong church, wrong pew” voters. “Right church, wrong pew” voters are those who voted at the right polling place, but the wrong election district. Some polling places will have different tables for several election districts. “Wrong church, wrong pew” are voters who cast affidavit ballots at the wrong polling site and wrong election district. The dispute first was hashed out in separate court filings submitted electronically on New Year’s Eve, before being picked up when the review resumed in court.

Full Article: New Congress begins without NY-22 House member or election results

Pennsylvania: Election officials want a say in voting reforms, but politics may get in the way | Marie Albiges/Philadelphia Inquirer

Democrats and Republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature haven’t agreed on much when it comes to the 2020 election — only that change is needed. Those changes will be hotly debated during the General Assembly’s next session, which begins this week. Already, two Republicans have proposed eliminating universal mail-in voting altogether, while some Democrats are again pushing in-person early voting. But the people who actually run elections across the state, whose pleas for assistance have been largely ignored by the legislature over the past few months, said they should be front-and-center in the reform process — not partisanship and misinformation. In 2021, they want their voices to be heard. “We feel pretty strongly that we want to be at the table for those conversations with our legislature,” said Sherene Hess, an Indiana County commissioner and chair of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania election reform committee. “There’s no question that we can improve, and now is the time to do it.” Central to the discussions of election law changes will be the state’s expansion of mail-in voting for any registered voter. Passed in 2019 and used for the first time last year in the midst of a pandemic that prevented many from going to the polls, Act 77 contributed to Pennsylvania’s record turnout in the general election, with more than 2.6 million people casting a ballot by mail.

Full Article: Election officials want a say in Pa.’s voting reforms, but politics may get in the way

Pennsylvania: 21 uncounted ballots discovered among Westmoreland County voting equipment | Rich Cholodovsky/Tribune Review

Westmoreland County elections officials disclosed Monday that 21 uncounted provisional ballots submitted at a North Huntingdon voting precinct on Election Day were discovered last week among computer equipment used at the polls in November. Elections bureau staffers found the unopened ballots during a routine inspection of voting machines stored at the department’s Greensburg warehouse on Dec. 28. JoAnn Sebastiani, the county’s elections director, said additional precautions had been enacted ahead of the Nov. 3 election that were designed to prevent the misfiling of ballots returned to the courthouse from the precincts, but those measures were unsuccessful. “Unfortunately, the judge of elections did not follow instructions,” Sebastiani said. The discovered provisional ballots were cast in North Huntingdon’s 4th ward, second precinct at the United Methodist Church on Coulterville Road. Poll workers submitted an empty envelope to elections officials on Nov. 3 at the courthouse that indicated no provisional ballots were cast at the precinct, Sebastiani said. Officials in November processed and counted about 3,800 provisional ballots cast at the county’s 307 voting precincts. The 21 uncounted ballots were found stuffed under a touchscreen computer during routine inspections of the nearly 900 voting machines and 307 scanners placed throughout the county on Election Day. Those machines, along with 900 bins containing the more than 143,000 paper ballots cast at the precincts on Nov. 3, under the state’s election code were required to remain under seal until Nov. 23.

Full Article: Uncounted ballots discovered among Westmoreland County voting equipment |

Texas Republican Congressman Chip Roy objects to seating 67 lawmakers from states Trump disputes to highlight GOP election hypocrisy | Tom Benning/Dallas Morning News

Austin Rep. Chip Roy, in a dramatic escalation in the GOP feud over whether to challenge Democrat Joe Biden’s White House win, on Sunday night objected to the seating of his House colleagues elected in the six states where President Donald Trump disputes the results. Roy, a conservative firebrand, used the tactic to underscore his opposition to the efforts by some Republicans – including several Texans – to not certify Biden’s victory on Wednesday. The Republican’s point was that if anyone is claiming the presidential election in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin was marked by widespread fraud, then the same would have to hold true for the down-ballot candidates elected in those states. “Those representatives were elected through the very same systems — with the same ballot procedures, with the same signature validations, with the same broadly applied decisions of executive and judicial branch officials,” he said.

Full Article: Chip Roy objects to seating 67 lawmakers from states Trump disputes to highlight GOP election hypocrisy

Wisconsin: Federal judge scoffs at election lawsuit brought by state Republicans | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A federal judge on Monday rejected the underpinning of a lawsuit seeking to undo election results brought by two Wisconsin Republicans and others, writing that it was riddled with errors, unserious and brought in bad faith. The lawsuit by state Reps. David Steffen of Howard and Jeffrey Mursau of Crivitz, among others, is rife with so many problems that their lawyers may need to be sanctioned professionally, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg of Washington, D.C., wrote. He noted the attorneys had not served the lawsuit on its numerous defendants, even after Boasberg reminded them they needed to do that. “Courts are not instruments through which parties engage in such gamesmanship or symbolic political gestures,” he wrote. “As a result, at the conclusion of this litigation, the Court will determine whether to issue an order to show cause why this matter should not be referred to its Committee on Grievances for potential discipline of Plaintiffs’ counsel.” His ruling denied a preliminary injunction that sought to undo the certifications of elections in Wisconsin and other battleground states that went to Democrat Joe Biden over President Donald Trump.

Full Article: Judge scoffs at election lawsuit brought by Wisconsin Republicans