Michigan: Threat against Wayne County canvasser leads to federal charges for New Hampshire woman | Robert Snell/The Detroit News

Federal prosecutors Wednesday filed charges against a New Hampshire woman accused of texting threats to the chairwoman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers following the presidential election and sending photos of a bloody mutilated female body. Katelyn Jones, 23, a former Olivet resident who lives in Epping, was charged with threatening violence through interstate commerce following an FBI investigation that probed lingering fallout from President Donald Trump’s defeat and baseless allegations about voting irregularities. The criminal complaint and an FBI affidavit filed in federal court describe threats made against Monica Palmer, chairwoman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, after the Republican canvasser voted against certifying the election results. Palmer faced intense scrutiny over her decision to decline certification, then certify and then attempt to rescind her vote on the final certification of roughly 878,000 votes in Michigan’s largest county. “The allegations in this case should make all of us disgusted,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in a statement. “There is simply no place in Michigan, or in the United States, for chilling threats like this to people who are simply doing what they believe is correct.” Palmer declined to comment Wednesday.

Full Article: Threat against Wayne Co. canvasser leads to federal charges for N.H. woman

Pennsylvania election officials are burnt out and leaving their jobs after 2020 ‘nightmare’ | Spotlight PA

In the weeks before the general election, Sara May-Silfee’s office was overwhelmed. Phone calls from voters were incessant. Lines of people formed outside the building to apply for and cast mail ballots. In one instance, she said, impatient voters began chants outside her office that the waiting times amounted to voter suppression. The Monroe County elections director even got in the habit of closing her office’s shades at night, she said, because voters would knock on the windows, as late as 9, looking for assistance. “It was a nightmare,” May-Silfee said. “Everything was a nightmare.” Even before the pandemic emerged this spring, county election directors said they warned lawmakers and state officials that huge changes to Pennsylvania’s voting system were too much, too fast. Other states took years to implement statewide no-excuse mail voting. They had a few months.Since the passage of Act 77, the 2019 law that made sweeping changes to voting in Pennsylvania, at least 21 election directors and deputy directors from more than a dozen of the state’s 67 counties have left or will soon leave their posts, according to an analysis by Spotlight PA and Votebeat. A dozen current and former election officials said that’s no coincidence. “Mail-in voting has become like a second election that we have to run, that we never had to run before,” Lycoming County Elections Director Forrest Lehman said. “It has almost doubled the workload, and you know, nobody’s salaries have doubled at the same time.” Despite these challenges, Election Day went smoothly, with officials reporting few problems. Still, the people tasked with running elections are drained from dealing with regular verbal attacks from angry voters, confused or suspicious of the process this year.

Full Article: Pa. election officials are burnt out and leaving their jobs after 2020 ‘nightmare’ – pennlive.com

National: William Barr: No need for special counsels to investigate election fraud, Hunter Biden | Matt Zapotosky/The Washington Post

Outgoing Attorney General William P. Barr said Monday that he saw no basis for the federal government seizing voting machines and that he did not intend to appoint a special counsel to investigate allegations of voter fraud — again breaking with President Trump as the commander in chief entertains increasingly desperate measures to overturn the election. At a news conference to announce charges in a decades-old terrorism case, Barr — who has just two days left in office — was peppered with questions about whether he would consider steps proposed by allies of the president to advance Trump’s claims of massive voter fraud. Barr said that while he was “sure there was fraud in this election,” he had not seen evidence that it was so “systemic or broad-based” that it would change the result. He asserted he saw “no basis now for seizing machines by the federal government,” and he would not name a special counsel to explore the allegations of Trump and his allies. “If I thought a special counsel at this stage was the right tool and was appropriate, I would name one, but I haven’t, and I’m not going to,” Barr said. Similarly, Barr said he would not name a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, President-elect Joe Biden’s son, who revealed earlier this month he was under investigation for possible tax crimes. Barr said the investigation was “being handled responsibly and professionally” by regular Justice Department prosecutors, and he hoped that would continue in the next administration. “To this point, I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel, and I have no plan to do so before I leave,” Barr said.

Full Article: William Barr: no need for special counsels to investigate election fraud, Hunter Biden – The Washington Post

National: Fox News, Newsmax shoot down aired election claims after voting machine companies threaten legal action | David Bauder/Associated Press

Two election technology companies whose names have come up in President Donald Trump’s false charges of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election are fighting back, prompting unusual public statements from Fox News and Newsmax. The statements, over the weekend and on Monday, came after the companies Smartmatic and Dominion raised the prospect of legal action for reporting what they said was false information about them. Both companies were referenced in the campaign’s suggestion that vote counts in swing states were manipulated to the advantage of President-elect Joe Biden. The companies deny several statements made about them, and there is no evidence any voting system switched or deleted votes in the 2020 election. A nearly two-minute pre-taped segment was aired over the weekend on a Fox Business Network program hosted by Lou Dobbs and Fox News Channel shows with Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro. That came days after Smartmatic sent a letter threatening legal action to Fox and two other networks popular with Trump supporters, Newsmax and One America News Network. The two-minute Fox segments aired in the form of a question-and-answer session between an offscreen voice and Eddie Perez, a voting technology expert at the nonpartisan Open Source Election Technology Institute. “I have not seen any evidence that Smartmatic software was used to delete, change or alter anything related to vote tabulations,” Perez said. The company says its only work that involved the 2020 U.S. election came in Los Angeles. Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani has falsely claimed that Smartmatic was founded in Venezuela by former dictator Hugo Chavez for the goal of fixing elections. Smartmatic was started in Florida in 2000. Its founder is Venezuelan, but the company said Chavez was never involved, and its last work in Venezuela came in 2017 when its software found the government had reported false turnout numbers.

Full Article: Fox News, Newsmax shoot down aired election claims after voting machine companies threaten legal action – Chicago Tribune

National: Republicans desperate to avoid floor fight over Electoral College vote | Jonathan Easley/TheHill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has intervened, asking his members not to join Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) or any other House members looking to object to the results on Jan. 6, when Congress meets to certify the Electoral College count. President Trump is waging a pressure campaign to get senators to revolt. Incoming Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), who will be sworn in Jan. 3, has said he’ll join the floor fight and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has said he believes the election was “stolen” from Trump, is always a wild card. Republican strategists are hoping McConnell can quash the insurgency, believing the debate over Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the 2020 election is tearing the party apart ahead of the Jan. 5 runoff elections in Georgia that will determine the balance of power in the Senate. They say it’s bad for the GOP’s efforts to win back swing suburban voters if the party is associated with erratic flamethrowers, such as pro-Trump attorneys Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and Rudy Giuliani. And after an election in which the GOP became more diverse, Republican strategists are furious over the harm they say is being done with Black voters, as the Trump campaign seeks to have the vote totals thrown out in Atlanta, Milwaukee, Detroit and elsewhere.

Full Article: Republicans desperate to avoid floor fight over Electoral College vote | TheHill

National: No. 2 GOP senator: Efforts to overturn election would ‘go down like a shot dog’ | Jordain Carney/The Hill

Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, warned on Monday that efforts to challenge the Electoral College vote in Congress next month would fall short in the Senate. The GOP senator — who has publicly and privately pushed back against the effort being led by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) — argued that it would be futile to force both chambers to vote on an objection to the Electoral College vote that is “not going anywhere.” “I mean, in the Senate, it would … go down like a shot dog,” Thune told reporters. “I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense to put everybody through this when you know what the ultimate outcome is going to be.” His comments come after a group of House conservatives met with President Trump and Vice President Pence on Monday at the White House to strategize on the effort to challenge the Electoral College votes when Congress formally convenes to count and certify the votes next month.

Full Article: No. 2 GOP senator: Efforts to overturn election would ‘go down like a shot dog’ | TheHill

National: House conservatives strategize with Trump and Pence in push to challenge Biden’s win | Manu Raju and Daniella Diaz/CNN

Alabama GOP Rep. Mo Brooks and fellow House conservatives met privately on Monday with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as the lawmakers prepared to mount a long-shot bid in January to overturn the Electoral College results that made Joe Biden the official winner of the election. The discussion focused on Trump’s baseless claims and conspiracies that the election was stolen from him, participants said, and lawmakers emerged confident that there were would be a contingent of House and Senate Republicans who would join the effort and prompt a marathon debate on the floor on January 6 that would spill into January 7. Pence’s involvement in the meeting is significant because he will preside over the joint session of Congress that would count the electoral votes that day. Brooks said that Pence attended “different parts” of the meeting. “I believe we have multiple senators and the question is not if but how many,” Brooks said, something that would defy the wishes of Senate Republican leaders who are eager to move on and urging senators not to participate since doing so could force them to cast a politically toxic vote against Trump. Brooks told CNN on Monday night that they would seek to challenge the election in at least six battleground states, saying he needs to coordinate “as many as 72” five-minute speeches that GOP lawmakers would make that day. “That’s a significant task,” he said.

Full Article: House conservatives strategize with Trump and Pence in push to challenge Biden’s win – CNNPolitics

National: How the much-litigated ballot deadlines affected the US election | Hanna Kozlowska/The Guardian

Americans shattered records for voting by mail in many states in the 2020 presidential election, a phenomenon that tested existing election laws, new pandemic-related regulations, postal service capacity, voter education efforts and voters’ own resolve. Some states had more wiggle room in accepting the mail-in votes than others, allowing ballots that were postmarked by election day to come in later, anywhere from the following day to nearly three weeks after. These grace periods became a highly contentious and politicized aspect of the election. The Trump campaign and its allies challenged them all the way up to the US supreme court as part of an overall campaign questioning the legitimacy of mail-in voting. Grace periods for mail-in ballots also became more significant as it became clear that the vote’s results would not be even close to final on election day and that the country would indeed experience the “big blue shift” that experts predicted. But what are the implications of letting ballots arrive late? A state-by-state look at the turnout data shows that the numbers weren’t large but were substantial enough to potentially sway a local race or a tighter election. It also shows a messy national picture, with chaotic regulations and poor record-keeping. Twenty-two states had grace periods for late-arriving ballots this election – some already had the provision written into their laws, some implemented special extensions just for the pandemic. Five states allowed ballots to arrive three days after election day (until 6 November) and five others allowed a full week (until 10 November). There is no uniform system in the United States for tracking data on ballots, and some of the data Votebeat collected are merely estimates.

Full Article: How the much-litigated ballot deadlines affected the US election | US news | The Guardian

Editorial: The System Is Not Working: The Lopsided Election Result, Not The Courts, Saved Our Democracy | Jonathan Manes/Just Security

For more than six weeks, President Donald Trump and his allies have waged a mendacious campaign to overturn the results of the election. Much of that campaign has hinged on the idea that the courts could, should, and would deliver the election to him despite the vote tallies after Election Day. But last week, in state capitals across the country, members of the electoral college met to cast their votes for President, and every single one of those electors corresponded to the winner of their state’s popular vote. Despite more than 60 lawsuits, hundreds of tweets, and a parade of made-for-TV “hearings” on supposed fraud, the president failed to persuade any court to reverse any result. To the contrary, the courts smoked out the campaign’s bogus claims of fraud by challenging the president and his allies to prove their allegations, which they failed, repeatedly to do. For many people, this looks like a triumph for the rule of law and a vindication of our judicial system as a safeguard of democracy. That reaction is naïve. The system does not deserve the credit. It was easy for judges to stay out of the way—and hard for them to get in the way—when the margin of victory was so clear and the claims of fraud so transparently false. The election was well beyond the margin of litigation, to use Rick Hasen’s useful phrase. Instead, a closer look at this cycle of election litigation paints a much more ominous picture, showing just how close our democracy is to failing. Over the past year, fringe legal theories that could upend future elections have moved to the mainstream. The courts have turned even more hostile to voting rights, standing in the way of even modest accommodations for voters. The president’s post-election litigation has crashed and burned, but it has reinforced the pernicious idea, born from Bush v. Gore, that it is appropriate for courts to step in and second-guess results after the ballots are counted. Our electoral system is a rickety old construction; there’s every reason to believe it could buckle when, inevitably, the votes in a future election are not so lopsided.

Full Article: The System Is Not Working: The Lopsided Election Result, Not The Courts, Saved Our Democracy – Just Security

Arizona: Ethics complaints filed with State Bar against attorneys in GOP election lawsuits | Andrew Oxford/Arizona Republic

Several local lawyers have sent complaints to the State Bar of Arizona accusing attorneys representing President Donald Trump and some of his supporters of violating ethics rules by repeatedly filing what they contend are frivolous election-related lawsuits. The lawyers named in the complaints were part of the flurry of litigation Trump and Republicans launched after his defeat in the general election, claiming in various lawsuits that Arizona’s election was beset by fraud, irregularities and other problems. Courts have dismissed these claims, and the complaints allege that the lawsuits were plainly meritless. The complaints charge that the lawyers treated the cases “as a platform for broadcasting ‘gossip and innuendo,’ utterly devoid of factual proof, as a political stunt.” “Clearly the suits were filed in bad faith, to spread disinformation about election results and add to the false claim that the election was ‘rigged,'” wrote one of the signers of the complaints, Robert McWhirter, who ran in the Democratic Party primary for county attorney and is currently a member of the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors. “For politicians to spout that nonsense in a press conference is one thing, but for attorneys to try to use the courts solely for political disruption is not allowed.” One complaint filed last week named 21 attorneys, including a high-profile lawyer for Trump, Sidney Powell, who represented several would-be presidential electors supporting Trump in alleging “massive election fraud” involving voting machines, foreign interference and illegal votes.

Full Article: Ethics complaints filed with State Bar of Arizona against attorneys in GOP election lawsuits

Colorado: Election Conspiracy Theorists Focused On One Dominion Employee. His Life Will Never Be The Same | Bente Birkeland/Colorado Public Radio

Eric Coomer has been living in hiding since one week after the presidential election ended. He’s director of product strategy and security for Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, which has found itself at the center of numerous conspiracy theories about election theft. President Donald Trump has falsely claimed that Dominion machines fraudulently switched votes to Biden. And some of Trump’s supporters have come to focus on Coomer as the supposed mastermind behind a plot to steal the election. “I actually am in fear for my safety,” Coomer said recently, speaking by video chat from a secret location. “I’m in fear for my family’s safety. These are real, tangible things coming out of these baseless accusations.” He said in addition to his own information, the personal addresses of everyone from his parents and siblings to his ex-girlfriends have been posted online. Some have also received threatening letters. “I’ve been threatened more times than I could even count. Whether it’s the standard online trolls, voicemails that are left almost on a daily basis, being called a traitor to this country. I can’t even begin to describe what effect this has had on my life,” he said. Dominion provides election equipment and software to 28 states, including the majority of the equipment used in the swing states on which Trump has focused most of his post-election ire. The company gamed out all sorts of election problem scenarios, but it wasn’t on anyone’s radar that it — and its employees — could become the target of threats. While Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud have been a near constant presence in recent weeks, Coomer says the first threat directed at him personally took him by surprise. It came five days after the election.

Full Article: Election Conspiracy Theorists Focused On One Man In Colorado. His Life Will Never Be The Same | Colorado Public Radio

Georgia: Appeals court rejects absentee ballot signature lawsuit | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a Republican Party effort to reject more absentee ballots in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoffs by changing how election officials verify voters’ signatures. A three-judge panel ruled unanimously Sunday against the lawsuit brought by the political campaigns of Republican U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, as well as the Georgia Republican Party and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. It’s the latest in a series of court decisions rebuffing challenges to Georgia’s election rules and procedures following President Donald Trump’s 12,000-vote loss to Joe Biden. Loeffler and Perdue face Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in runoffs Jan. 5 that will determine control of the U.S. Senate. The court found that it would be “contrary to state law” to order the secretary of state and State Election Board to conduct a different signature matching process. Elections in Georgia are run at the county level. “Since the secretary and the election board do not conduct the signature matching process, are not the election officials that review the voter’s signature, and do not control whether the signature matching process can be observed, the campaigns’ alleged injury is not traceable to the secretary,” wrote Judges Charles Wilson, Beverly Martin and Robert Luck.

Full Article: 11th Circuit denies appeal over Georgia absentee ballot signatures

Georgia Republican lawmakers say they were right to back Texas lawsuit against state | Maya T. Prabhu and Tia Mitchell/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For many legal scholars, it was a longshot effort at best: one state’s leaders suing over the elections in other states after their preferred candidate — President Donald Trump — lost. Still, 28 Republican state legislators and seven congressmen from Georgia said there were enough irregularities in the November presidential election that they filed a brief in support of a lawsuit brought by Texas officials against Georgia and other states. The U.S. Supreme Court quickly declined to consider the case, saying Texas did not have legal standing to sue Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin over their handling of the election. In a brief decision, the court said Texas didn’t have the legal right to bring a lawsuit against elections run by other states. Most Georgia politicians — particularly Republicans — jealously guard and regularly cite states’ rights, and they are loath for any other state, or the federal government, to tell them what to do. But many of Georgia’s Republican elected officials were willing to side with Texas in its lawsuit against their state’s handling of the election. Some still say, without evidence, that Trump won the election in Georgia.

Full Article: Georgia Republican lawmakers say they were right to back Texas lawsuit against state

Michigan: Report alleging election fraud in Antrim County is ‘baseless’ | Claire Savage/AFP

A report that is part of a lawsuit against Antrim County, Michigan claims the county’s quickly-corrected election night vote tally glitch was not due to human error, as the state said, but rather intentional election fraud. This is false; Michigan’s secretary of state called the claims “baseless,” and the company that provided the vote tabulation machines denied the allegations. “The Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results,” says the December 13, 2020 report filed as part of the case. Outlets Newsmax, Epoch Times and Gateway Pundit legitimized and spread the false claims, and social media users shared the report findings as fact here and here. The report cites a “significant and fatal error rate” of more than 68 percent, claiming that Dominion Voting Systems “intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot errors,” leading to “bulk adjudication of ballots with no oversight, no transparency, and no audit trail.” In November, articles shared thousands of times on social media claimed that an Antrim County reporting mistake — which temporarily misattributed Donald Trump votes to president-elect Joe Biden — posed a systemic risk to dozens of counties in the battleground state. The Michigan secretary of state’s office published a notice explaining that the glitch resulted from a user error, not a software problem, and that it did not affect the election results or other counties or states.

Source: Report alleging election fraud in Michigan county is ‘baseless’ | Fact Check

New York: Brindisi-Tenney result before start of Congress unlikely after Oneida County setback | Patrick Lohmann/Syracuse Post-Standard

Another delay in the review of ballots in Oneida County will likely mean that the new Congress will convene next month without representation for New York’s 22nd Congressional District. Incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D) and challenger Claudia Tenney (R) have been locked in a courtroom battle for more than a month to determine the winner of the Congressional race. State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte said he is waiting to rule on disputed ballots until all of the counties’ vote counts are updated. He hinted today that would mean the 22nd district would go without a federal representative, at least temporarily. “I’m personally disappointed that we’re talking about doing this early next year,” DelConte said. “I think we all know what that means for the voters of the 22nd congressional district. I wish there was something I could do.” Tenney leads Brindisi by just 19 ballots of more than 300,000 cast, according to unofficial returns from the eight counties in the district.

Full Article: Brindisi-Tenney result before start of Congress unlikely after Oneida County setback – syracuse.com

Pennsylvania: Delaware County man charged with registering dead relatives to vote for Trump in presidential election | Vinny Vella/Philadelphia Inquirer

In the weeks leading up to the presidential election, Elizabeth Bartman and Elizabeth Weihman registered to vote as Republicans in Nether Providence Township, Delaware County officials said Monday. There was one problem: Both women had been dead for several years. The man behind those applications, Bruce Bartman, now faces two felony counts of perjury, as well as one count of unlawful voting for successfully casting an absentee ballot for President Donald Trump in the name of Elizabeth Bartman, his long-dead mother. Bartman was arraigned Friday and released on $100,000 unsecured bail. His lawyer, Samuel Stretton, said the 70-year-old takes full responsibility for the crimes, and will cooperate with investigators. “In his political frustration, he chose to do something stupid,” Stretton said. “And for that he is very sorry.” District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said Bartman admitted to casting the illegal ballot to “further the campaign of Donald Trump.” But the top prosecutor cautioned that Bartman’s arrest was an isolated incident, and not an indication of larger voting problems in the county. “For all the conspiracy theorists out there, this case today does not represent widespread voter fraud,” Stollsteimer said. “This case was evidence that one person committed voter fraud by casting an improper and illegal ballot.” Bartman used his mother’s driver’s license to register her to vote online, and then requested and filled out an absentee ballot in her name, Stollsteimer said. He repeated the process for Weihman, his mother-in-law, using her Social Security number. The state’s system flagged the information as belonging to a dead person, but Bartman signed a letter confirming the woman was still alive.

Full Article: Delaware County man charged with registering dead relatives to vote in presidential election

Texas: Ken Paxton’s beefed-up 2020 voter fraud unit closed 16 minor cases, all in Harris County | Taylor Goldenstein/Houston Chronicle

The Texas Attorney General’s office this year almost doubled the amount of time it spent looking into and working on voter fraud cases in 2018 — more than 22,000 staff hours — yet resolved just 16 prosecutions, half as many as in 2018, records show.All 16 cases involved Harris County residents who gave false addresses on their voter registration forms. None of them received any jail time.Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has made the hunt for voter fraud a top priority of his office, between January and October gave the election integrity unit access to eight additional law enforcement sergeants on top of the nine already assigned to it, and doubled the number of prosecutors to four, according to records obtained from the agency by nonprofit government watchdog American Oversight and shared with Hearst Newspapers.In its 15 years of its existence, the unit has prosecuted a few dozen cases in which offenders received jail time, none of them involving widespread fraud. Paxton’s approach to the issue is the same as that of other top Texas Republicans, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott who earlier this month backed the attorney general’s last-ditch election suit at the Supreme Court challenging president-elect Joe Biden’s win in four battleground states — relentlessly insist voter fraud is a major concern while citing no evidence that it is prevalent. As President Donald Trump claimed that the election was stolen from him in early November, Patrick went so far as to offer a $1 million reward for tips leading to voter fraud convictions anywhere in the country.

Full Article: Ken Paxton’s beefed-up 2020 voter fraud unit closed 16 minor cases, all in Harris County – HoustonChronicle.com

Wisconsin: Justices Face Anti-Semitic, Misogynist Attacks After Trump Ruling | Ruth Conniff/Wisconsin Examiner

Trump supporters unleashed a barrage of obscenity on Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Jill Karofsky after Karofsky joined the majority in a decision rejecting the Trump campaign’s lawsuit seeking to throw out more than 200,000 votes in Dane and Milwaukee counties. Progressive Magazine editor Bill Lueders has published the contents of some of those messages to Karofsky, which the Progressive received in response to an open records request. In an article co-published by the Wisconsin Examiner, Lueders also reported on the contents of critical voicemail and email messages aimed at conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Brian Hagedorn, who wrote the majority decision rejecting the Trump campaign’s lawsuit. The messages to Karofsky were both cruder and more aggressive than those directed at Hagedorn. Justice Rebecca Dallet also shared email, voicemail, and written messages denouncing her for joining the decision. Karofsky and Dallet were the targets of an online anti-Semitic attack on a blog reposted by the white supremacist website Daily Stormer that identifies Karofsky and Dallet as “Wisconsin Jews.” “Powerful Jews came together to assure their people hold as many positions of power as possible,” it asserts, and repeats anti-Semitic canards about a cabal of wealthy Jews who dominate Ivy League universities and businesses. Both the blog post and the obscenity-laced messages to Karofsky’s office focus on her comment that the Trump campaign’s effort to throw out votes “smacks of racism.”

Full Article: Justices Face Anti-Semitic, Misogynist Attacks After Trump Ruling » Urban Milwaukee

National: A frustrated Trump redoubles efforts to challenge election result | Felicia Sonmez, Josh Dawsey, Dan Lamothe and Matt Zapotosky/The Washington Post

President Trump has intensified efforts to overturn the election, raising a series of radical measures in recent days, including military intervention, seizing voting machines and a 13th-hour appeal to the Supreme Court. On Sunday, Trump said in a radio interview that he had spoken with Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) about challenging the electoral vote count when the House and Senate convene on Jan. 6 to formally affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. “He’s so excited,” Trump said of Tuberville. “He said, ‘You made me the most popular politician in the United States.’ He said, ‘I can’t believe it.’ He’s great. Great senator.” Tuberville’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on Trump’s statement, which the president made in an interview with Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on New York’s WABC radio station. Trump’s conversation with Tuberville is part of a much broader effort by the defeated president to invalidate the election. He is increasingly reaching out to allies like Giuliani and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro for ideas and searching his Twitter feed for information to promote, according to Trump advisers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Full Article: Trump says he spoke with Alabama Sen.-elect Tommy Tubervill

Pennsylvania: Trump campaign brings new U.S. Supreme Court challenge over 2020 election | Jonathan Lai/Philadelphia Inquirer

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and overturn several decisions the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made regarding the 2020 election, saying that the court overstepped its bounds and that “the outcome of the election for the Presidency of the United States hangs in the balance.” But even in the unlikely event the new challenge is successful and the court agrees to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania, it would not change his Electoral College win. Biden amassed 306 electoral votes, the same as Trump four years ago — 36 more votes than the 270 needed to win. Pennsylvania has 20 votes. What the challenge would do, if successful, is defy the will of the Pennsylvania voters who cast ballots in the Nov. 3 election under the rules in place at the time. Specifically, the campaign said in its filing, it would throw out 110,000 votes that it says are invalid because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court inappropriately changed election rules. A lawyer representing the campaign said Sunday it had filed a cert petition and a motion to expedite, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to fast-track the case because of the impending Jan. 6 meeting of Congress to receive the Electoral College results and the Jan. 20 inauguration. The challenge is the latest in a series of increasingly long-shot attempts to overturn the election, which Trump lost in Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes. The latest attempt, like the others, doesn’t center on any specific claims of voter fraud in Pennsylvania, despite Trump’s repeated use of baseless conspiracy theories to attack the election.

Full Article: Trump campaign brings new U.S. Supreme Court challenge over Pennsylvania’s 2020 election

National: How Trump drove the lie that the election was stolen, undermining voter trust in the outcome | Amy Gardner/The Washington Post

Elena Parent, a Democratic state lawmaker from the Atlanta area, listened incredulously in a small hearing room in early December as a stream of witnesses spun fantastical tales of alleged election fraud before the Georgia Senate’s Judiciary Committee. A retired Army colonel claimed the state’s voting machines were controlled by Communists from Venezuela. A volunteer lawyer with President Trump’s campaign shared surveillance video that she said showed election workers in Atlanta counting “suitcases” of phony ballots that swung Georgia’s election to former vice president Joe Biden. The president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, told the panel: “Every single vote should be taken away from Biden.” “Since this has been debunked repeatedly, what evidence can you give to us that counters what our elections officials presented us with only an hour ago?” Parent asked one of the witnesses, her voice rising in exasperation. When she tried to ask a follow-up question, the Republican committee chairman cut her off. Her questions — and the fact that the claims were misleading, unsubstantiated or just plain false — did little to keep the rumors in check. It didn’t matter that state and local election officials had explained what was in the video and conducted a hand recount to show that the machines were not rigged. It didn’t matter that multiple news outlets detailed, over and over, that there was no evidence of widespread fraud. It didn’t matter that, amid a global pandemic and massive demand for mail ballots, a system under historic strain in fact held up decisively. To preserve his hold on power, Trump has spent the weeks since Election Day promoting falsehoods about voting problems in Georgia and five other states, successfully persuading tens of millions of his supporters to believe a lie — that the election was stolen from him, and from them.

Full Article: How Trump drove the lie that the election was stolen, undermining voter trust in the outcome – The Washington Post

National: The ‘Red Slime’ Lawsuit That Could Sink Right-Wing Media | Ben Smith/The New York Times

Antonio Mugica was in Boca Raton when an American presidential election really melted down in 2000, and he watched with shocked fascination as local government officials argued over hanging chads and butterfly ballots. It was so bad, so incompetent, that Mr. Mugica, a young Venezuelan software engineer, decided to shift the focus of his digital security company, Smartmatic, which had been working for banks. It would offer its services to what would obviously be a growth industry: electronic voting machines. He began building a global company that ultimately provided voting machinery and software for elections from Brazil to Belgium and his native Venezuela. He even acquired an American company, then called Sequoia. Last month, Mr. Mugica initially took it in stride when his company’s name started popping up in grief-addled Trump supporters’ wild conspiracy theories about the election. “Of course I was surprised, but at the same time, it was pretty clear that these people were trying to discredit the election and they were throwing out 25 conspiracy theories in parallel,” he told me in an interview last week from Barbados, where his company has an office. “I thought it was so absurd that it was not going to have legs.” But by Nov. 14, he knew he had a problem. That’s when Rudy Giuliani, serving as the president’s lawyer, suggested that one voting company, Dominion Voting Systems, had a sinister connection to vote counts in “Michigan, Arizona and Georgia and other states.” Mr. Giuliani declared on Twitter that the company “was a front for SMARTMATIC, who was really doing the computing. Look up SMARTMATIC and tweet me what you think?”

Full Article: The ‘Red Slime’ Lawsuit That Could Sink Right-Wing Media – The New York Times

National: Republicans strategize for next elections: ‘Their plan is to make it harder for voters to participate’ | Sam Levine/The Guardian

After record turnout in the 2020 presidential election, Republicans in some states are already signaling they will pursue measures that make it harder to vote in the coming years. The Republican efforts come after an election in which nearly 160 million people voted, the highest in a presidential election in over a century. About half of voters cast their ballots by mail, a big increase from 2016, while about another quarter cast their ballots in person ahead of election day. The GOP backlash underscores how swiftly and severely the party is willing to cut off access to the ballot amid signs of a changing electorate. The baseless accusations of fraud that Donald Trump and other allies continue to levy about the election has offered election officials justification for passing the measures. “There will be some states where it is very clear that the existing power structure is worried about their voters. And part of their job security plan is to make it harder for their voters to participate,” said Myrna Pérez, director of the voting rights and elections program at the Brennan Center for Justice. Two states that appear to be at the center of the push are Georgia and Texas, where Republicans are already advocating measures to scale back mail-in voting and other access to the ballot. Both states, traditionally seen as Republican strongholds, are increasingly seen as politically competitive because of demographic shifts, with the electorate becoming much more diverse. In Georgia, there has been significant growth among Black, Hispanic and Asian eligible voters over the last two decades, while Texas has seen a surge in its Latino population.

Full Article: Republicans strategize for next elections: ‘Their plan is to make it harder for voters to participate’ | US news | The Guardian

National: Trump campaign told to preserve all documents related to Sidney Powell and Dominion Voting Systems | Kaitlan Collins, Kevin Liptak and Pamela Brown/CNN

President Donald Trump’s campaign legal team sent a memo to dozens of staffers Saturday instructing them to preserve all documents related to Dominion Voting Systems and Sidney Powell in anticipation of potential litigation by the company against the pro-Trump attorney. The memo, viewed by CNN, references a letter Dominion sent to Powell this week demanding she publicly retract her accusations and instructs campaign staff not to alter, destroy or discard records that could be relevant. A serious internal divide has formed within Trump’s campaign following the election with tensions at their highest between the campaign’s general counsel, Matt Morgan, who sent the memo Saturday, and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Though the campaign once distanced itself from Powell, Trump has been urging other people to fight like she has, according to multiple people familiar with his remarks. He has asked for more people making her arguments, which are often baseless and filled with conspiracy theories, on television. Morgan wrote in the memo, “The Allegations within the letter dated December 16, 2020 reference the Campaign and lawyers who may have performed work for the Campaign. Even with references to the Campaign and some of its outside lawyers, the Campaign does not reasonably anticipate litigation against the Campaign at this time. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Campaign views it as prudent to establish a litigation hold at this time to protect and preserve all rights and privileges that may exist under the law.” The Trump campaign has declined to comment.

Full Article: Trump campaign told to preserve all documents related to Sidney Powell and Dominion Voting Systems – CNNPolitics

National: Michael Flynn: Trump could deploy military to ‘rerun’ election | Jordan Williams/The Hill

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn on Thursday said that President Trump could deploy the military to “rerun” the 2020 election. During an appearance on Newsmax’s “Greg Kelly Reports,” Flynn was asked about the actions the president could take to undo the results of the election. After Flynn suggested that the president could seize every voting machine across the country, he then suggested deploying the military in swing states that the president lost to President-elect Joe Biden. “He could order, within the swing states if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities and basically rerun an election each in those states,” Flynn said. Flynn added that using the military is “not unprecedented,” saying that people talk about it “like it’s something that we’ve never done,” but he also said he was “not calling for that.” “Martial law has been instituted 64 times,” he said. “So I’m not calling for that. We have a constitutional process, and that has to be followed.”

Full Article: Michael Flynn: Trump could deploy military to ‘rerun’ election | TheHill

National: Lou Dobbs debunks his own claims of election fraud — after Smartmatic sends Fox a legal demand | Jeremy Barr/The Washington Post

Something surprising happened Friday night on Lou Dobbs’s top-rated show on the Fox Business Network. Dobbs, an opinion host and conservative ally of President Trump who has consistently raged over the past month that the president was robbed of a second term by a rigged election, introduced a segment that calmly debunked several accusations of…

National: Trump Discussed Naming Sidney Powell as Special Counsel on Election Fraud | Maggie Haberman and Zolan Kanno-Youngs/The New York Times

President Trump on Friday discussed naming Sidney Powell, who as a lawyer for his campaign team unleashed conspiracy theories about a Venezuelan plot to rig voting machines in the United States, to be a special counsel overseeing an investigation of voter fraud, according to two people briefed on the discussion. It was unclear if Mr. Trump will move ahead with such a plan. Most of his advisers opposed the idea, two of the people briefed on the discussion said, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. In recent days Mr. Giuliani has sought to have the Department of Homeland Security join the campaign’s efforts to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss in the election. Mr. Giuliani joined the discussion by phone initially, while Ms. Powell was at the White House for a meeting that became raucous and involved people shouting at each other at times, according to one of the people briefed on what took place. Ms. Powell’s client, retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser whom the president recently pardoned, was also there, two of the people briefed on the meeting said. Some senior administration officials drifted in and out of the meeting. During an appearance on the conservative Newsmax channel this week, Mr. Flynn pushed for Mr. Trump to impose martial law and deploy the military to “rerun” the election. At one point in the meeting on Friday, Mr. Trump asked about that idea.

Full Article: Trump Discussed Naming Sidney Powell as Special Counsel on Election Fraud – The New York Times

National: Fox News retracts Smartmatic voting machine fraud claim in staged video | Richard Luscombe/The Guardian

Fox News has taken a further step back from Donald Trump’s baseless allegations of election fraud with a bizarre apparent legal retraction aired during shows hosted by some of the president’s most fervent supporters. First broadcast on Fox Business on Friday, on Lou Dobbs Tonight, and repeated over the weekend on shows hosted by Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro, the segment was presented as a news interview with election technology expert Eddie Perez. In the three-minute video, described as “a closer look at claims about Smartmatic”, Perez answers questions posed by an unidentified interviewer about a Florida company that provided voting systems for the November election. Perez is asked questions such as “Have you seen any evidence that Smartmatic software was used to flip votes anywhere in the US in this election?” and “Have you seen any evidence of Smartmatic sending US votes to be tabulated in foreign countries?” He says he has not seen any such evidence. … Speaking to CNN, Perez said: “My reaction was to observe, as many others have, how kind of strange and unique that particular way at presenting the facts was. “There was nothing in any of the preliminary conversations that I had with Fox News that gave me any indication that Smartmatic would be a matter of conversation. It was never mentioned that this was going to be a discussion about Smartmatic or even claims about private vendors. I was anticipating a broader discussion about the debate around the election [and] election integrity.” Perez said Fox News’ coverage of the election was “speculative and not based in fact” and conspiracy theories peddled by hosts were “harmful to enhancing public confidence in the legitimacy of election outcomes”. “I am not accustomed to seeing Lou Dobbs air very straightforward factual evidence,” he said.

Full Article: Fox News retracts Smartmatic voting machine fraud claim in staged video | Fox News | The Guardian

National: Dominion Voting Systems demands pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell retract ‘defamatory’ accusations | Jonathan Easley/The Hill

Attorneys for Dominion Voting Systems sent a letter to Sidney Powell, a onetime member of President Trump’s legal team, demanding she retract her claims that the voting machine company helped rig the 2020 election. The letter, from the Alexandria, Va.-based law firm Clare Locke, warns Powell that she will expose both herself and the Trump campaign to “substantial legal risk for defamation” if she refuses to publicly recant the many unsubstantiated claims she has made about the company. “As a result of your false accusations, Dominion has suffered enormous harm, and its employees have been stalked, have been harassed, and have received death threats,” the letter states. “We demand that you immediately and publicly retract your false accusations and set the record straight. If you refuse to do so and instead choose to stand by your defamatory falsehoods, that will be viewed as additional evidence of actual malice.” Powell has been among the most vocal and active proponents of allegations — none of which have held up in court — that the election was stolen from Trump through widespread fraud and corruption. Powell has claimed that Dominion used an algorithm to flip some votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden. She has also claimed that Dominion paid kickbacks to GOP officials in Georgia and elsewhere to keep quiet about the scheme, among many other allegations.

Full Article: Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell retract ‘defamatory’ accusations | TheHill

National: Democrats and Republicans are ending 2020 as far apart as ever on election security | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post

Any chance of Congress burying old gripes and working together on election security took a serious blow during 2020’s final hearing on the topic. That hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee pitted Christopher Krebs, the former cybersecurity chief fired for affirming the integrity of the election, against allies of President Trump who repeated many of the same debunked election fraud claims already tossed out in dozens of court cases. Republican senators repeatedly asserted the election result was compromised, even though no court has upheld those claims in more than 50 legal cases. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) declared “the election in many ways was stolen,” a claim that has not been endorsed by a single top state election official, Republican or Democrat. Republicans also repeatedly attacked Democrats for expressing concerns about the integrity of the 2016 election, but not the 2020 contest — ignoring the fact that Russian interference in the 2016 election was confirmed by U.S. intelligence agencies and a unanimous report from the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, while leading state and federal officials have declared there was no such interference in 2020. At one point the hearing even devolved into a shouting match between Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.), over unrelated investigations into Hunter Biden, the son of President-elect Joe Biden. Johnson said Peters “lied repeatedly in the press, that I was spreading Russian disinformation,” while Peters replied: “This is not about airing your grievances. … I don’t know what rabbit hole you’re running down.” Nor did Republicans acknowledge reforms that Democrats and election security experts have been pushing for years aimed at raising confidence in future elections. They include ensuring there are paper ballots in all counties that lack them, increasing post-election audits and mandating more transparency by voting-machine vendors.

Full Article: The Cybersecurity 202: Democrats and Republicans are ending 2020 as far apart as ever on election security – The Washington Post