Wisconsin confirms Biden’s win as Trump says he will bring a lawsuit | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Jouranl Sentinel

The Democrat leading Wisconsin’s elections board confirmed Joe Biden’s victory in the state Monday as Republicans contended she should have waited to act because of a likely lawsuit from President Donald Trump.   Ann Jacobs, the chairwoman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, verified Biden’s win by about 20,700 votes a day after the completion of a partial recount that found dozens more votes for Biden. She finalized the vote totals just hours after Arizona’s secretary of state certified Biden won that state, further narrowing the Republican president’s chances of persuading courts to give him a second term. Trump has said he will bring a lawsuit in Wisconsin by Tuesday. During the recount, his campaign unsuccessfully tried to throw out 238,00 votes cast in Dane and Milwaukee counties, the state’s most liberal places. As have past election officials, Jacobs on Monday signed a statement of canvass to confirm who won the election. It showed Biden had 20,682 more votes than Trump out of about 3.3 million cast. “I have examined this statement and I am now signing it as the official state determination of the results of the Nov. 3, 2020, election and the canvass,” Jacobs said during a 4-minute-long live-streamed event with Meagan Wolfe, the director of the commission.

Full Article: Wisconsin recount: Elections leader confirms Biden’s win

 

Arizona certifies election results with Biden, Kelly winning | Andrew Oxford/Arizona Republic


Arizona officials certified the results of the state’s election on Monday, confirming Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state and clearing the way for Mark Kelly to take his seat in the U.S. Senate this week. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs touted high turnout despite the election unfolding in the middle of a pandemic. Voters cast more than 3.2 million ballots and turnout neared 80%, a 23% increase from the midterm election two years ago and an 8% increase from the last presidential election in 2016, Hobbs said. “Despite the unprecedented challenges, Arizonans showed up for our democracy,” Hobbs said. “Every Arizona voter has my thanks and should know they can stand proud that this election was transparency, accuracy and fairness in accordance with Arizona’s laws and election procedures, despite numerous unfounded claims to the contrary.” Hobbs, a Democrat, signed the official election results in the old state Capitol in Phoenix along with the state’s Republican governor and attorney general, Doug Ducey and Mark Brnovich, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel. Ducey expressed confidence in the election process. “We do elections well here in Arizona. The system is strong and that’s why I bragged on it so much,” he said.

Full Article: Arizona certifies election results with Biden, Kelly winning

 

Georgia: Judge freezes voting machines in three counties | Josh Gerstein/Politico

A judge assigned to a Republican-led lawsuit alleging widespread fraud in the presidential election in Georgia issued an order late Sunday night blocking plans to wipe or reset voting machines used in three counties in the state. U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten Sr. revealed in his four-page directive that he held a hearing via Zoom Sunday evening on the suit — one of two cases filed in federal courts last week by Sidney Powell, an outspoken Texas attorney who joined President Donald Trump’s legal team earlier this month only to be dismissed from it a few days later. The hearing was not announced on the court’s docket and appears not to have been open to the press or public. It seems to have focused on claims that the election results in Georgia were wildly inaccurate due to use of machines from a leading vendor of voting equipment — Dominion Election Systems. Powell has alleged, based on scant evidence, that the firm’s foreign ties allowed hostile governments to meddle in the U.S. election via a conspiracy that involved both Democratic and Republican U.S. officials. While many Democratic and some Republican officials have dismissed Powell’s claims as a fantasy, some GOP leaders are also warning that the effort to stoke doubt about the just-completed election could depress Republican turnout in a pair of runoff elections set for Jan. 5 in Georgia that could determine whether the GOP or Democrats control the U.S. Senate for the next two years.

Full Article: Judge freezes voting machines in three Georgia counties – POLITICO

 

National: In Key States, Republicans Were Critical in Resisting Trump’s Election Narrative | Peter Baker and Kathleen Gray/The New York Times

The telephone call would have been laugh-out-loud ridiculous if it had not been so serious. When Tina Barton picked up, she found someone from President Trump’s campaign asking her to sign a letter raising doubts about the results of the election. The election that Ms. Barton as the Republican clerk of the small Michigan city of Rochester Hills had helped oversee. The election that she knew to be fair and accurate because she had helped make it so. The election that she had publicly defended amid threats that made her upgrade her home security system. “Do you know who you’re talking to right now?” she asked the campaign official. Evidently not. If the president hoped Republicans across the country would fall in line behind his false and farcical claims that the election was somehow rigged on a mammoth scale by a nefarious multinational conspiracy, he was in for a surprise. Republicans in Washington may have indulged Mr. Trump’s fantastical assertions, but at the state and local level, Republicans played a critical role in resisting the mounting pressure from their own party to overturn the vote after Mr. Trump fell behind on Nov. 3. The three weeks that followed tested American democracy and demonstrated that the two-century-old system is far more vulnerable to subversion than many had imagined even though the incumbent president lost by six million votes nationwide. But in the end, the system stood firm against the most intense assault from an aggrieved president in the nation’s history because of a Republican city clerk in Michigan, a Republican secretary of state in Georgia, a Republican county supervisor in Arizona and Republican-appointed judges in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. They refuted conspiracy theories, certified results, dismissed lawsuits and repudiated a president of their own party, leaving him to thunder about a supposed plot that would have had to include people who had voted for him, donated to him or even been appointed by him. The desperate effort to hang onto office over the will of the people effectively ended when his own director of the General Services Administration determined that Joseph R. Biden Jr. is the president-elect and a judge Mr. Trump put on the bench chastised him for ludicrous litigation.

Full Article: In Key States, Republicans Were Critical in Resisting Trump’s Election Narrative – The New York Times

 

National: 20 days of fantasy and failure: Inside Trump’s quest to overturn the election | Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Amy Gardner/The Washington Post

The facts were indisputable: President Trump had lost. But Trump refused to see it that way. Sequestered in the White House and brooding out of public view after his election defeat, rageful and at times delirious in a torrent of private conversations, Trump was, in the telling of one close adviser, like “Mad King George, muttering, ‘I won. I won. I won.’ ” However cleareyed that Trump’s aides may have been about his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, many of them nonetheless indulged their boss and encouraged him to keep fighting with legal appeals. They were “happy to scratch his itch,” this adviser said. “If he thinks he won, it’s like, ‘Shh . . . we won’t tell him.’ ” Trump campaign pollster John McLaughlin, for instance, discussed with Trump a poll he had conducted after the election that showed Trump with a positive approval rating, a plurality of the country who thought the media had been “unfair and biased against him” and a majority of voters who believed their lives were better than four years earlier, according to two people familiar with the conversation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. As expected, Trump lapped it up. The result was an election aftermath without precedent in U.S. history. With his denial of the outcome, despite a string of courtroom defeats, Trump endangered America’s democracy, threatened to undermine national security and public health, and duped millions of his supporters into believing, perhaps permanently, that Biden was elected illegitimately.

Full Article: Inside Trump?s failed quest to overturn the election – The Washington Post

 
 

National: Trump’s Election Attack Ends December 14 – Whether He Knows It or Not | Lily Hay Newman/WIRED

In the weeks since his loss to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump and his reelection campaign have attempted to cast doubt on the validity of the 2020 election and filed numerous unsuccessful lawsuits in multiple states over alleged voter fraud and election administration infractions. Trump has not conceded and has given no indication that he will, breaking with centuries of precedent in the United States. When the head of the General Services Administration finally released delayed federal transition resources to Biden on Monday, President Trump simply tweeted that “the GSA does not determine who the next President of the United States will be.” That job falls to the Electoral College. In spite of the Trump campaign’s vows to continue the fight, the wheels of the American election process have kept turning. More than half the states have already certified their results, meaning they have committed their electoral votes according to their state election outcomes. On Monday, Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis said in a statement that “certification by state officials is simply a procedural step.” But this framing ignores the next phase of the process underpinned by certification: On December 14, Electoral College members will formally cast their votes based on their states’ certified results, resolving any possible ambiguity that Biden is the president-elect. “It’s over on December 14,” says Elaine Kamarck, founding director of the Brookings Institute’s Center for Effective Public Management and a senior fellow in its Governance Studies Program. “We forget that the electors are actual people, but they go to their state capitals and sign their ballots. Then the US Senate opens them, reads them out, and does the count on January 6, but there’s nothing else the Senate can do. Once they’re signed on the 14th and are on their way to Washington, that’s the end of the game.” The Trump campaign may well continue into next year with its claims that the election results were fraudulent, but there won’t be any obvious legal or political paths remaining to challenge the results or attempt to overturn the outcome after December 14. So far, every state is on track to certify in time. Even in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, where the Trump campaign has made specific allegations of fraud, the campaign’s lawsuits have been roundly dismissed, and all three states wrapped up their certifications at the beginning of the week.

Full Article: Trump’s Election Attack Ends December 14—Whether He Knows It or Not | WIRED

 

National: Dominion Voting Systems Employees Threatened, Including Bounty Placed On One Worker, Amid Election Controversy | Emily Czachor/Newsweek

Employees at Dominion Voting Systems, a manufacturing company that produces hardware and software used to tabulate votes electronically, are facing extensive harassment as unsubstantiated allegations of fraudulent election activity continue to circulate. The company supplied software to support voting processes in 28 U.S. states during the general election, several of which were considered key battleground states in the race for president. Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden, now the President-elect, won a majority of popular and electoral votes by margins that many recognized as a combined landslide. Following initial ballot tallies, and even after states began to certify official results, Republican incumbent Donald Trump sought to invalidate the election’s outcome and went to great lengths in his efforts to do so. Dominion Voting Systems became a leading target in the Trump campaign’s multi-pronged attempt to contradict ballot counts across the country in the weeks trailing Election Day. As multiple lawsuits aiming to disqualify votes and suspend states’ certification procedures met prompt dismissals in court, the campaign’s legal team broadened its attacks on election officials to include machinery they used to tabulate ballots, as well as companies from which the electronic tools were purchased.

Full Article: Dominion Voting Systems Employees Threatened, Including Bounty Placed On One Worker, Amid Election Controversy

 

National: With Recounts, States Mix Civics, Spectator Sport and a Bit of Tedium | Sara Randazzo and Alexa Corse/Wall Street Journal

By the time Travis Weipert reported to the office Nov. 4, he knew his work as steward of the elections in Johnson County, Iowa, was far from over. The two candidates vying for the local congressional seat in the previous day’s election were separated by less than a percentage point. A recount, he sensed, was inevitable. “We knew to buckle up for a long ride,” Mr. Weipert said. After ping-ponging for a few days, the districtwide results showed Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks ahead of Rita Hart, the Democratic candidate, by 47 votes out of more than 394,400 cast. Ms. Hart called for a recount Nov. 12, kicking off a process that is still under way and that Iowa hadn’t undertaken for a race of this scale in more than a century. By Friday, Ms. Miller-Meeks’s lead had narrowed to just eight votes. This year’s drawn-out election cycle, spurred in part by the rise of mail-in ballots cast during the coronavirus pandemic, has been even longer in states where initial tallies showed races ending in razor-thin margins. Recounts in Iowa, Wisconsin, Georgia and elsewhere have involved legions of local election officials and volunteer election workers, who must follow exacting and at times arcane methods designed to ensure every vote gets counted properly. They are counting ballots in tight races up and down the ballot, not just for president. For the public and the candidates, the recounts become part civics lesson, part spectator sport.

Full Article: With Recounts, States Mix Civics, Spectator Sport and a Bit of Tedium – WSJ

 

National: Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election ‘farcical’  | Martin Gstalter/The Hill

Christopher Krebs, the top federal cybersecurity official who was fired by President Trump last week due to his efforts to dispel concerns on 2020 election safety, said claims of foreign meddling this year are “farcical.” In an excerpt released Friday from a “60 minutes” interview set to air on Sunday, Krebs was asked to react to allegations from Trump’s legal team that votes were tabulated in foreign countries. “So all the votes — all votes in the United States of America are counted in the United States of America,” Krebs said.  “I don’t — I don’t understand this claim. All votes in the United States of America are counted in the United States of America. Period.” Interviewer Scott Pelley referenced baseless claims from Sidney Powell, the lawyer who had loose ties to the Trump campaign, that linked former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez to problems with voting machines.  During a press conference last week, Powell alleged without evidence that Dominion Voting Systems, which supplies voting machines across the United States, used technology developed by Chávez, who died in 2013. She said votes were being manipulated overseas to favor Joe Biden.  Krebs said there is “no evidence that any machine that I’m aware of has been manipulated by a foreign power. Period.” … “Look, I think these — we can go on and on with all the farcical claims alleging interference in the 2020 election, but the proof is in the ballots,” Krebs said. “The recounts are consistent with the initial count, and to me, that’s further evidence, that’s confirmation that the systems used in the 2020 election performed as expected, and the American people should have 100 percent confidence in their vote.”

Full Article: Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election ‘farcical’  | TheHill

 

National: Election Security After 2020: Big Questions Lie Ahead | Philip Ewing/NPR

The 2020 elections ran well and were largely free from foreign interference, U.S. officials say. That doesn’t mean the story is over. Improving elections practices is a “race without a finish line,” as Pennsylvania’s secretary of state told NPR in 2019, and big questions remain about what’s to become of the fast maturing but still partly formed discipline of election security. A range of pending decisions, moves and countermoves now stands between governments, voters and their ballots in upcoming races, meaning the environment likely will continue to evolve even as the big players — the United States, Russia, China and others — likely stay the same. Here are some of the unresolved issues as the clock begins to tick toward Americans voting again in large numbers, including in important U.S. Senate runoff elections early next year in Georgia.

Full Article: Election Security After 2020: Big Questions Lie Ahead : NPR

 

National: Footsoldiers of democracy, election officials became targets of rage | Story Hinckley/CSMonitor

Gerald Lawrence takes copious notes as public comments submitted to the Delaware County Board of Elections in Pennsylvania are read out loud. Some are congratulatory, thanking Mr. Lawrence and his colleagues for running a safe and secure election during a pandemic. The vast majority, however, are not. A voter named Richard tells the board he believes there was serious fraud. Greg and Renee claim their votes weren’t counted. “Delaware County deserves a free and fair election, and I, for one, have zero confidence that this was the case,” asserts a voter named Robert. “Please do not certify this election.” Mr. Lawrence patiently addresses the accusations one by one, trying his best to assure his constituents that claims of widespread fraud simply aren’t valid. Typically, these certification meetings last 20 minutes and are unremarkable, sparsely attended affairs. Monday’s event was unlike anything Mr. Lawrence has experienced in his more than 15 years on the board. Streamed live on YouTube, it took nearly three hours. “It’s gratifying to see so many people have a passionate interest in the political process and democracy this year,” says Mr. Lawrence. “But it’s disheartening that some in the community circulate misinformation in an attempt to mislead people.”

Full Article: Election officials faced long hours, then a tide of threats and abuse – CSMonitor.com

 

Arizona Republican Party chair eyes nullification of presidential election in new lawsuit | Jeremy Duda/Arizona Mirror

Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward wants a judge to allow her to examine ballots to determine if any were improperly counted in an effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, though she hasn’t shown any evidence of the theoretical problems she’s alleging. Ward plans to bring suit under a state law permitting any voter in the state to challenge election results on grounds of misconduct by election officials, illegal votes or if the loser is declared the winner through an “erroneous count of votes.” She is suing in her capacity as an individual and as an elector for President Donald Trump. It is the latest challenge from state Republicans to the results of the election, which Biden won by about 10,500 votes. This is the fifth lawsuit involving Arizona’s election results and the second involving Ward. According to the proposed complaint, the chairwoman will request that “the Court declare that the certificate of election of the Biden electors is of no further legal force or effect,” and “that the election is annulled and set aside” in accordance with a state law permitting a judge to reject the outcome of an election if a lawsuit shows that result to be improper. If an inspection of ballots proves Trump got the highest number of votes, Ward wants the judge to declare his electors as the winners. But before a judge can nullify the results of the presidential election in Arizona, Ward must show that enough votes were improper to warrant such a drastic result. And in order to help her show that, she’s asking a judge to allow her to examine ballots while she prepares to file her lawsuit after the state canvass of the 2020 general election is certified on Monday.

Full Article: AZGOP chair eyes nullification of presidential election in new lawsuit

 

Arizona: Republicans to hold meeting on Nov. 3 election, Trump defeat | Associated Press

Arizona Republicans have scheduled a meeting at a hotel in downtown Phoenix on Monday to discuss the Nov. 3 election and President Donald Trump’s defeat. The event was billed as a “fact-finding hearing” featuring members of Trump’s legal team and members of the Arizona Legislature, but top leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature told The Associated Press that the planned gathering was not an official legislative event. According to press release by state Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro-Valley, the gathering is intended “to hear testimony and view evidence related to allegations of electoral compromise related to the 2020 election.” A similar event was held Wednesday in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. No evidence of fraud or hacking of voting machines has emerged during this election in Arizona. Five challenges have been filed in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix since Nov. 3 and four of those have been dismissed. An initial hearing on the fifth is scheduled Monday, the same day as the hotel event and the state election canvass at the state Capitol.

Full Article: Republicans to hold meeting on Nov. 3 election, Trump defeat

 

Georgia: Lacking Evidence Of Fraud, Calls For Audit Of Signatures On Absentee Ballots Fizzle | Paul Moffatt/WABE

No evidence has been presented that there was widespread fraud or irregularities with absentee ballots in Georgia in the November election. But that hasn’t stopped supporters of President Donald Trump from calling for an audit of the signatures on absentee ballots. “It seems simple enough to conduct a sample audit of signatures on the absentee ballot envelopes and compare those to the signatures on applications and on file at the Secretary of State’s office,” said Gov. Brian Kemp shortly after he certified Georgia’s election results on Nov. 20. Kemp reiterated that call at a press conference at the capitol on Tuesday. But neither Kemp, nor President Trump, nor Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are offering any proof of why the audit is actually needed. A statewide audit of the presidential election took place earlier this month. It included a hand count of all 4.9 million ballots. Counties are currently sending every ballot through a scanner again as part of a recount requested by the Trump administration. But officials in the Secretary of State’s office have rejected calls for an audit of absentee ballot signatures.

Full Article: Lacking Evidence Of Fraud, Calls For Audit Of Signatures On Georgia Absentee Ballots Fizzle | 90.1 FM WABE

 

Georgia recount costs some counties hundreds of thousands of dollars | David Wickert, Tyler Estep and Meris Lutz/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Counting and recounting ballots in the presidential race in Georgia is costing taxpayers in some metro Atlanta counties hundreds of thousands of dollars. Though the full cost is not clear, Fulton County officials said Wednesday that the combined price tag for last week’s hand count and this week’s machine recount will approach $400,000. Among other things, that includes staff time and rent through January for the Georgia World Congress Center, where counting takes place. DeKalb County believes the hand recount alone will cost $180,000. Other counties have not yet released cost estimates. But it’s clear taxpayers will pay a steep price for recounts that state officials say will not change the outcome of the presidential race. While some states require candidates to pay for recounts, in Georgia taxpayers pay the bill. Last week Georgia officials certified Joe Biden the winner in the state by 12,670 votes out of some 5 million ballots cast. The certification followed a hand recount that closely mirrored the initial machine tally of votes. On Saturday President Donald Trump requested the latest recount, which Georgia law permits because Biden’s margin of victory was less than half a percent. That recount entered its second day Wednesday and must be completed by midnight Dec. 2.

Full Article: Georgia recount costs some counties hundreds of thousands of dollars

 

Iowa: Scott County Auditor: 95% chance Iowa 2nd district US House race headed to court | Tom Barton/Quad City Times

The historically close race for an open southeast Iowa congressional seat could be nearing a single-digit victory as the tally continues to narrow as counties work to complete their recount of votes. Whatever the outcome, the race results are almost certainly headed to a legal challenge. Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks, as of late Wednesday afternoon, had 196,880 votes to Democrat Rita Hart’s 196,845, according to unofficial results from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office. The U.S. House race is the closest federal race in the country, and could become a single-digit race. “The reality that this is going to a (legal) contest, I believe, is, you know, 95% probability. They’re going to be within 50 votes of each other,” Scott County Auditor Roxanna Mortiz said Wednesday. The three-member recount board — which includes one representative from each campaign and one neutral member — in Scott County adjourned Wednesday without addressing a 131-ballot discrepancy between its tabulation of the absentee ballots received by the Scott County Auditor and those included in the county’s certified canvass of election results after election day. Rather than conduct a full machine recount of absentee ballots, the board decided, 2-1, over the objections of the Miller-Meeks’ campaign, to adjourn, leaving the unexplained discrepancy. Michael Bousselot, chief of staff to former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and the Miller-Meeks’ campaign representative, did not sign the recount board report “that has this cloud over it.” The board adjourned after requesting and awaiting legal advice from the Scott County Attorney, which advises the recount board.

Full Article: Scott County Auditor: 95% chance Iowa 2nd district US House race headed to court | News – Local and National | qctimes.com

 

Kentucky: ‘Good, Honest, Capable, and Willing People:’ A Take on Election Administrators Goes Viral | Kate Elizabeth Queram/Route Fifty

With a background in election administration—first as the director of elections in Louisville, Kentucky and now working at a company that helps to make elections more accessible to people with disabilities—James Young is accustomed to fielding questions about voting. But the inquiries he got about this year’s election were different. In the days following the Nov. 3 contest, all of the questions—from friends, professional acquaintances and family members—focused on the same topic: whether the election had been rigged to ensure that President Donald Trump would lose to Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who prevailed in the race and is now the president-elect. “I had a very, very close, personal friend who is a registered Republican—as am I—send me a conspiracy theory suggesting that election administrators were knowingly coordinating to prevent Donald Trump from winning re-election,” said Young, who is now a regional sales manager for the company Inclusion Solutions. “Of course,” he added, “I realized there was nothing that was going to change this person’s mind, and after I again reiterated my work with these individuals that he was suggesting had the fix in, he asked, ‘Well, whose side are you on?’”

Full Article: ‘Good, Honest, Capable, and Willing People:’ A Take on Election Administrators Goes Viral – Route Fifty

 

Maine Secretary of State Dunlap says off-stage events are what he’ll remember most | Scott Thistle/Portland Press Herald

In his 14 years as Maine’s secretary of state, Matt Dunlap has played a high-profile role in a host of voting and election issues, ranging from lawsuits over ranked-choice voting to safely overseeing in-person voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. But Dunlap says it’s the things that never make the news that he will remember most. Like the time he made a teenager, battling terminal cancer, smile. As the top official in the agency that runs the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Dunlap takes a hands-on approach, including serving occasionally as a driver’s license examiner who gives road tests to license applicants. The 17-year-old girl had been unable to complete the 70 hours of supervised driving required under state law for taking a driver’s exam, so Dunlap helped arrange an honorary road test for her in the parking lot of a closed Kmart. The girl’s parents rode along in the back seat, Dunlap said, while the teen, “with a morphine pump slung over her shoulder,” completed the mock road test administered by Dunlap.Dunlap  told her she would have passed a real test, and when he presented her with a replica motor vehicle registration plate with her name stamped on it, she burst into a smile, hugged Dunlap and started to cry. She died three months later, and Dunlap received a thank you letter from her mother saying it was the first time she had seen her daughter smile in months.

Full Article: Dunlap says off-stage events are what he’ll remember most – Portland Press Herald

 

Michigan: Suit asks Supreme Court to take custody of all election materials for investigation | Beth LeBlanc/The Detroit News

A conservative legal group has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to take custody of all Nov. 3 election materials to give the Michigan Legislature time to audit the results, investigate all claims of ballot irregularities and fraud, and “finish its constitutionally-mandated work to pick Michigan’s electors.” The lawsuit filed Thursday seeking the collection of ballots, pollbooks and ballot boxes also asks the court to stop the Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the Board of State Canvassers from giving final certification to the state’s election results until a special master can be appointed to review alleged ballot irregularities and the legality of absentee ballots in Wayne County. It’s not likely the relief sought is possible given that state canvassers gave final certification Monday, though a lawyer for the Thomas More Society’s Amistad Project says he sent a letter to the canvassing board warning it not to certify.  The list of electors aligning with President-elect Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote win in Michigan was sent by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the U.S. Secretary of State that same day. Likewise, the Michigan Legislature already is holding hearings to review complaints related to the Nov. 3 election and Benson has said she will audit results statewide and in Wayne County specifically.

Full Article: Suit asks Michigan’s high court to take custody of all ballots

 

Nevada’s Attorney General did not admit to changing signature verification manually in election | Doug Stanglin/USA Today

The aftermath of the presidential election has prompted a cascade of claims of deliberate manipulation of vote counting. One Facebook user on Nov. 16 claimed: “Nevada AG Admits to Changing Signature Verifications Manually for Over 200,000 Votes. Everyone Knows this, right?” At first, the claim seems puzzling, given the gravity of the charge and the fact that Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford is a Democrat. James Dehaven, political reporter for the Reno Gazette-Journal, says he has no knowledge of any such explosive quote by Ford. Jon Ralston, a political reporter and editor of The Nevada Independent, says the claim that the attorney general made the statement statement is “crazy talk.” “I don’t even know what to say about this because it’s so insane,” Ralston tells USA TODAY in an email. “Ford would not have the ability to do this, nor has he ever said he did so.”

Full Article: Fact check: False claim on Nevada AG and signature verifications

 

Pennsylvania: Trump’s Battle to Undermine the Vote | Eliza Griswold/The New Yorker

Since November 3rd, Malcolm Kenyatta, a Democratic state representative from Philadelphia, has received a stream of threatening text messages and e-mails from voters. “You must not certify the fraudulent results of this election until all LEGAL ballots are counted,” Steven P. wrote to Kenyatta. “If you do, I will work tirelessly to make sure you are not reelected.” Kenyatta has also received death threats; the most disturbing, sent from an e-mail account registered in his own name, was laden with expletives and included the words, “How much death? So much death!” Kenyatta, who is thirty, with a baby face, believes that the threats are a by-product of a near-constant campaign waged by Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues to undermine the results of a free and fair election. “There is a contingent of Republicans who are afraid of Trump,” he told me. “Others really believe him.” In recent weeks, Trump has claimed baselessly that he lost the Presidential election because of widespread voter fraud, and has launched lawsuits in key states to try to get ballots invalidated. He has also pressured Republican state legislatures to intervene on his behalf. In Pennsylvania, this legislative threat has taken different forms, but all have originated in the State Government Committee, a Republican-led group that focusses on oversight. Kenyatta is in the committee’s Democratic minority, and is one of its most vocal members. Before the election, it put forward a resolution to establish an Election Integrity Committee, tasked with investigating potential election irregularities, and to grant the panel the power to summon election officials and impound ballot boxes. The effort seemed designed to drum up claims of voter fraud to support Trump in the case, then theoretical, that he refused to concede. It also seemed intended to stall the count: by some interpretations of the state’s constitution, if the governor is not able to certify the vote before December 8th, the Republican legislature could appoint its own electors. Kenyatta argued so vociferously against the resolution that the previous chair of the committee threatened to call security and have him removed. After Kenyatta and others exposed the effort, several Republicans, worried about their Election Day prospects, withdrew their support, and the committee was forced to scuttle it.

Full Article: Trump’s Battle to Undermine the Vote in Pennsylvania | The New Yorker

 

Pennsylvania Supreme Court tosses GOP congressman’s suit seeking to throw out all ballots cast by mail | Jeremy Roebuck/Philadelphia Inquirer

The last active legal challenge to Pennsylvania’s presidential election results was tossed Saturday by the state’s highest court, which balked at a request from one of President Donald Trump’s top boosters in Congress to disenfranchise some 2.6 million voters by throwing out every ballot cast by mail. Had Kelly and the suit’s seven other Republican plaintiffs been forthright in their concerns over the constitutionality of the mail-voting statute, the court found, they would have filed their legal challenge before the new law was used in a primary and general election and would not have waited only until after it had become apparent that their favored candidate had lost. “It is not our role to lend legitimacy to such transparent and untimely efforts to subvert the will of Pennsylvania voters,” Justice David N. Wecht wrote in an opinion concurring with the full court’s terse, three-page order. “Courts should not decide elections when the will of the voters is clear.” A spokesperson for Kelly did not respond to requests for comment after the ruling Saturday evening. Sean Parnell — one of the suit’s other plaintiffs, who lost a bid this month to unseat incumbent Rep. Conor Lamb (D., Pa.) — declared in a tweet: “It’s not over. This was not unexpected. Stay tuned.” (Running in the GOP primary this spring, Parnell had endorsed the new “bipartisan system” created by the state’s vote-by-mail law in a tweet and encouraged his supporters to use it.)

Full Article: Pennsylvania Supreme Court tosses GOP congressman’s suit seeking to throw out all ballots cast by mail

 

Pennsylvania: US appeals court rejects Trump appeal over election results | Maryclaire Dale/Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected its latest effort to challenge the state’s election results. Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite the judge’s assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit.” “Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote for the three-judge panel. The case had been argued last week in a lower court by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania. However, Giuliani failed to offer any tangible proof of that in court. U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann had said the campaign’s error-filled complaint, “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together” and denied Giuliani the right to amend it for a second time.

Full Article: US appeals court rejects Trump appeal over Pennsylvania race

Tennessee: Dispute Over Shelby County Election Machines Remains Unsettled | Jackson Baker/Memphis Flyer

The tug-of-war between Shelby County Election Administrator Linda Phillips and the adherents of paper-ballot voting over the purchase of new election machines continues apace. The most recent development, detailed in a November 18th Flyer article, involved the administrator’s purchase of three new ballot-marking devices for the ongoing runoff elections in Collierville.  The machines are manufactured by the ES&S Company and are of a type previously preferred by a 4-1 vote of the Shelby County Election Commission but rejected for funding by the Shelby County Commision, which, in the interests of transparency, had established its own preference for handmarked paper-ballot devices in several prior votes. The funding source for the three machines had been — publicly, at least — something of a mystery. According to SCEC sources, the machines were paid for by the office of the Secretary of State in Nashville  The purchase of the machines had been revealed last week in a formal SCEC press release, which contended that there had been no alternative to acquiring them, inasmuch as the old machines used by Collierville in the city’s first round of elections earlier this month were tied up, pending certification this week of the November 3rd results.

Full Article: Dispute Over Election Machines Remains Unsettled | Politics Beat Blog

 

Wisconsin recount confirms Biden’s win over Trump, cementing the president’s failure to change the election results | Rosalind S. Helderman/The Washington Post

The recount of presidential ballots in Wisconsin’s two largest counties finished Sunday, reconfirming that President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Trump in the key swing state by more than 20,000 votes. After Milwaukee County completed its tally Friday and Dane County concluded its count Sunday, there was little change in the final breakdown of the more than 800,000 ballots that had been cast in the two jurisdictions. As a result of the recount, Biden’s lead over Trump in Wisconsin grew by 87 votes. Under Wisconsin law, Trump was required to foot the bill for the partial recount — meaning his campaign paid $3 million only to see Biden’s lead expand. The results of the Wisconsin recount cemented Trump’s failure to alter the results of the November election in a series of states where he has falsely alleged there was widespread fraud and irregularities. His efforts to stop Michigan officials from certifying the vote there earlier this month ran aground. A hand recount of ballots in Georgia confirmed Biden’s win in that state. Two new court decisions in Pennsylvania late last week rejected the Trump campaign’s attempts to halt the vote count there, the latest in a series of forceful judicial opinions that have tossed out claims by the president and his allies around the country. On Monday, Arizona — the fifth of the six states where Trump has tried to upend the vote certification process — is set to finalize its results. The Wisconsin Election Commission is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, at which time state law says the election results will be certified by the chairwoman of the six-member panel, who is a Democrat.

Full Article: Wisconsin recount confirms Biden’s win over Trump, cementing the president’s failure to change the election results – The Washington Post

 

Wisconsin: Milwaukee County recount wraps up with Biden adding to his margin | Alison Dirr/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee County’s recount of the presidential election vote tally came to an end Friday, with Democratic President-elect Joe Biden adding 132 votes to his margin of victory over President Donald Trump in Milwaukee County. In all, Biden gained 257 votes and Trump added 125. The results came Friday evening, seven days after the effort to recount nearly 460,000 ballots cast in the county began at the downtown Wisconsin Center. The final tally totaled 459,723. Before the recount, Biden had 317,270 votes in Milwaukee County to Trump’s 134,357. The recount boosted the totals to 317,527 for Biden and 134,482 for Trump. Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said after the Milwaukee County Board of Commissioners adjourned at 5:30 p.m. that the recount demonstrated that elections in the county are fair, transparent, accurate and secure. “I promised that this would be a transparent and fair process, and it was,” Christenson said. “There was an examination of every ballot by election workers, a meticulous recounting of every ballot that was properly cast, a transparent process that allowed the public to observe, a fair process that allows the aggrieved candidate who sought the recount an opportunity to observe and object to ballots they believe should not be counted.”

Full Article: Milwaukee County recount wraps up with Biden adding to his margin

Wisconsin election system Donald Trump is attacking was built by Republicans | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In his move to overturn Wisconsin’s election results, President Donald Trump is attacking a voting system built entirely by Republicans. The state’s voting laws and procedures were overhauled repeatedly during eight years of GOP control of state government. Republicans dissolved the body that oversees elections and replaced it with one equally divided by Republicans and Democrats. They put in place a voter ID law, shortened the early voting period to two weeks, eliminated straight-ticket voting and barred voter registration drives. Now Trump and his team are vilifying the very system Republicans put in place, arguing that it is rife with irregularities. Trump’s campaign is using a recount in the Democratic strongholds of Dane and Milwaukee counties to try to throw out thousands of ballots. He hopes to flip the results in Wisconsin, which went for Democrat Joe Biden by nearly 21,000 votes. But with more states certifying their results, it wouldn’t be enough to give him the presidency.  Republicans rewrote Wisconsin’s election laws over the years because they said they wanted to improve voting integrity and ensure the public had confidence in it. Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said he doesn’t buy those claims. “Really it’s just about power,” said McDonell, a Democrat who is overseeing the recount in Dane County. “The tip off is when they’re trying to throw out their own ballots.”

Full Article: The Wisconsin voting system Donald Trump is attacking was built by Republicans

 

How Government Officials Delivered a Disaster-Free Election | Carl Smith/Governing

The 2020 general election was an epic test of election official fortitude. Added to the usual complexities of planning and executing a national election was responsibility for the very lives of voters during a pandemic that has claimed twice as many American lives as two years of fighting in World War I. As they prepared, election officials were on constant watch for potential cyberattacks and foreign disinformation designed to disrupt their operations and American democracy itself. This work was further complicated by a campaign undertaken by President Trump, who vigorously used the power of his office, social media and campaign rallies to cast doubt on their plans and to undermine confidence in the election process. Despite all, they prevailed. Election Day disasters that had been imagined as real possibilities did not materialize. A statement released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency called the election “the most secure in American history.” Wendy Underhill, director of elections and redistricting and the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), isn’t surprised. “These are people who, when you give them a job, they say, ‘Let me make a list. Let me make a plan. Now I’m going to execute it,’” she says. “Worrying about the political universe floating about them is not on that list.”

Full Article: How Government Officials Delivered a Disaster-Free Election

The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal | Tim Alberta/Politico

After five years spent bullying the Republican Party into submission, President Donald Trump finally met his match in Aaron Van Langevelde. Who? That’s right. In the end, it wasn’t a senator or a judge or a general who stood up to the leader of the free world. There was no dramatic, made-for-Hollywood collision of cosmic egos. Rather, the death knell of Trump’s presidency was sounded by a baby-faced lawyer, looking over his glasses on a grainy Zoom feed on a gloomy Monday afternoon, reading from a statement that reflected a courage and moral clarity that has gone AWOL from his party, pleading with the tens of thousands of people watching online to understand that some lines can never be uncrossed. “We must not attempt to exercise power we simply don’t have,” declared Van Langevelde, a member of Michigan’s board of state canvassers, the ministerial body with sole authority to make official Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. “As John Adams once said, ‘We are a government of laws, not men.’ This board needs to adhere to that principle here today. This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election.” Van Langevelde is a Republican. He works for Republicans in the Statehouse. He gives legal guidance to advance Republican causes and win Republican campaigns. As a Republican, his mandate for Monday’s hearing—handed down from the state party chair, the national party chair and the president himself—was straightforward. They wanted Michigan’s board of canvassers to delay certification of Biden’s victory. Never mind that Trump lost by more than 154,000 votes, or that results were already certified in all 83 counties.

Full Article: The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal – POLITICO

National: Foreign observers shocked by chaos over U.S. election | Carol Morello/The Washington Post

These are challenging times for foreigners whose job it is to interpret American politics for people in other countries. As President Trump has used a string of maneuvers to attack the election he lost as fraudulent and illegitimate, many observers are perplexed as they watch the country they have known and admired floundering in a constitutional crisis and growing mistrust of democratic institutions.  For many, it is a struggle to maintain confidence that America’s principles and ideals will prevail. “People who know the U.S. are shocked it’s going on so long,” said Michal Baranowski, the German Marshall Fund director of the office in Warsaw, of the post-election uncertainty and Trump’s refusal to concede. “We still say it will work out, because of the strength of U.S. institutions. But, man, it’s taking a long time, and I’m beginning to worry.” Some foreign observers are also struggling to explain the U.S. political drama to their baffled friends and colleagues. Beyond the usual questions about the electoral college and why anyone cares about the vote in Broward County, Fla., Barry Eidlin, a sociologist at McGill University in Montreal, keeps getting asked whether a country considered the beacon of democracy will have a peaceful transition of power come January.

Full Article: Foreign observers shocked by chaos over U.S. election – The Washington Post