Electoral College Vote Officially Affirms Biden’s Victory | Nick Corasaniti and Jim Rutenberg/The New York Times

It began at 10 a.m. in New Hampshire, where electors met in a statehouse chamber festooned with holiday decorations and gave their four votes to Joseph R. Biden Jr. By noon on Monday, the battleground states of Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania, ground zero for many of President Trump’s fruitless lawsuits, had backed Mr. Biden too. In New York, Bill and Hillary Clinton voted for Mr. Biden along with 27 other electors. And when California cast its 55 votes for Mr. Biden around 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, it pushed him past the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency, putting the official seal on his victory after weeks of efforts by Mr. Trump to use legal challenges and political pressure to overturn the results. With the Electoral College vote behind him, Mr. Biden called for unity while forcefully denouncing the president and his allies for their assault on the nation’s voting system. In an address in Wilmington, Del., on Monday night, he said the Republican efforts to get the Supreme Court to undo the result represented a “position so extreme we’ve never seen it before,” and called the attacks on election officials at the local level “unconscionable.” Mr. Biden said that “it is time to turn the page” on the election. Praising officials who stood up for the integrity of the system, he added: “It was honest, it was free and it was fair. They saw it with their own eyes. And they wouldn’t be bullied into saying anything different.” For all of the turmoil that Mr. Trump had stirred with his conspiracy theories, lawsuits and baseless claims of fraud, the Electoral College vote that sealed Mr. Biden’s victory was mostly a staid, formal affair, devoid of drama. As it always is.

Full Article: Electoral College Vote Officially Affirms Biden’s Victory – The New York Times

Amid a fusillade of baseless claims, Georgia sees a normal start to early voting in Senate runoffs | Cleve R. Wootson Jr./The Washington Post

Around 3 p.m. Monday, Tania Thompson pulled her car into the parking lot of the C.T. Martin Natatorium and Recreation Center for the second time in a day. She and her neighbor had first come to cast their ballots shortly after the early-voting location had opened, but they found a line nearly wrapped around the building. They opted to return in the afternoon, hoping for a shorter line and warmer temperatures. “I want to feel like my voice has been heard,” Thompson, 47, an immigrant originally from Jamaica, told The Washington Post. She said it was especially important at a time when her state is in the national spotlight and its voting system is under attack by President Trump. “It’s nonsense,” she said of the president’s voting fraud claims. “I don’t feel like there is any merit to what he has been saying. All he’s doing is causing division. I just feel like he’s grasping at straws.” Georgia voters streamed to early-voting locations Monday, the first day they could cast ballots in the extraordinary pair of runoffs that will culminate Jan. 5 and determine which party controls the Senate. Voters cast ballots despite — and in some cases because of — the fusillade of baseless claims Trump has directed at Georgia officials in the weeks since he lost the state to President-elect Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 general election. For the first time since Trump began to wage his failed effort to overturn the results here and in several other swing states, voting commenced once again — with many casting ballots using the same Dominion machines the president’s allies have falsely claimed were rigged to benefit Biden.

Full Article: Early voting begins in crucial Georgia Senate run-offs amid a fusillade of baseless claims – The Washington Post

National: Electoral College makes it official: Biden won, Trump lost | Mark Sherman/Associated Press

The Electoral College decisively confirmed Joe Biden on Monday as the nation’s next president, ratifying his November victory in an authoritative state-by-state repudiation of President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede he had lost. The presidential electors gave Biden a solid majority of 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, the same margin that Trump bragged was a landslide when he won the White House four years ago. Heightened security was in place in some states as electors met to cast paper ballots, with masks, social distancing and other pandemic precautions the order of the day. The results will be sent to Washington and tallied in a Jan. 6 joint session of Congress over which Vice President Mike Pence will preside. For all Trump’s unsupported claims of fraud, there was little suspense and no change as every one of the electoral votes allocated to Biden and the president in last month’s popular vote went officially to each man. On Election Day, the Democrat topped the incumbent Republican by more than 7 million in the popular vote nationwide. California’s 55 electoral votes put Biden over the top. Vermont, with 3 votes, was the first state to report. Hawaii, with 4 votes, was the last.

Full Article: Electoral College makes it official: Biden won, Trump lost

National: Electoral college affirms Biden’s victory on a relatively calm day of a chaotic election | Elise Viebeck, Dan Simmons, Amy Worden and Omar Sofradzija/The Washington Post

President-elect Joe Biden achieved formal victory over President Trump on Monday, winning his 306 votes in the electoral college and advancing one more step toward inauguration even as die-hard Trump supporters redoubled their efforts to stop the normal transfer of power. Electors gathered in every state and the District of Columbia for a day-long series of votes that delivered no surprises for either Trump or Biden. The proceedings harked back to more typical presidential elections and stood in contrast with the unprecedented — though fruitless — six weeks of legal and procedural chaos triggered by Trump’s refusal to accept his loss. There were signs Monday that some of the president’s most ardent supporters would not abandon his cause, as groups of Republicans in six key battleground states held their own unofficial electoral-college-style votes for Trump. Though major protests did not materialize, threats of harassment and violence cast a shadow over elector meetings in several states.

Full Article: Electoral college affirms Biden’s victory on a relatively calm day of a chaotic election – The Washington Post

National: Election tech company Smartmatic demands retractions from Fox, Newsmax, OAN over conspiracy theories | Kevin Breuninger/CNBC

Smartmatic, the election technology company that has become embroiled in unfounded conspiracy theories about rigged voting in the 2020 presidential race, on Monday said it is issuing legal notices to three conservative media outlets demanding retractions “for publishing false and defamatory statements.” The Florida-based company has been targeted by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who is leading the Trump campaign’s long-shot attempts to undo Joe Biden’s projected presidential victory. Smartmatic in a press release said its letters to Fox News, Newsmax and One America News Network make clear that the company “is reserving all its legal rights and remedies, including its right to pursue defamation and disparagement claims.” The legal notice to Fox, shared with CNBC, accuses the news outlet of engaging “in a concerted disinformation campaign against Smartmatic.” That 20-page letter cites dozens of claims, most of which were made on Fox’s air by Giuliani and attorney Sidney Powell, who was formerly affiliated with the campaign and has filed multiple unsuccessful lawsuits alleging fraud in key swing states won by Biden. The majority of those statements were delivered in mid-November on programs hosted by Maria Bartiromo or Lou Dobbs, both of whom are also accused of making their own defamatory claims about Smartmatic. Additionally, the letter includes references to statements made on a Fox program hosted by Jeanine Pirro, along with one statement made by Fox host Jesse Watters.

Source: Smartmatic demands retractions from Fox, Newsmax, OAN

National: There is not and has not been any credible evidence of significant fraud in the 2020 election | Philip Bump/The Washington Post

One of the most striking parts of Tim Alberta’s interviews of 20 Americans who did — and didn’t — vote in this year’s presidential election is how often they based their assumptions on untrue claims. “It seems a Republican for president always has to win by a large enough margin to overcome the widespread election fraud that Democrats seem so comfortable with and prone toward. He failed to do that,” an Illinois Trump voter said to Alberta in an email. “I thought it remarkable that what I regard as credible-sounding fraud allegations are getting so little attention.” Asked about the source of this claim, the voter pointed to articles from the right-wing website American Spectator. We have evaluated this claim over and over since the election, but it persists within the public imagination quite stubbornly. Given that the results of the election have moved past any serious point of contention with the votes of the presidential electors on Monday, it’s worth delineating as robustly as possible why the assertion that the contest was marred by fraud are meritless. It’s worth, in other words, trying to explain why skepticism of the result is often based on erroneous logic and bad information. At the outset, I’ll note that I fully recognize that this article will be treated with skepticism of its own simply because it originates at The Washington Post. There has been a lengthy effort to paint this publication as untrustworthy that predates President Trump’s time in office, just as there has been an effort to suggest that electoral results are subject to rampant fraud for much longer than the past four years. I just ask that any such skepticism be set aside for the moment, so that the evidence can be considered on its own merits.

Full Article: There is not and has not been any credible evidence of significant fraud in the 2020 election – The Washington Post

National: Suspected Russian hackers spied on U.S. Treasury emails – sources | Christopher Bing/Reuters

Hackers believed to be working for Russia have been monitoring internal email traffic at the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments, according to people familiar with the matter, adding they feared the hacks uncovered so far may be the tip of the iceberg. The hack is so serious it led to a National Security Council meeting at the White House on Saturday, said one of the people familiar with the matter. U.S. officials have not said much publicly beyond the Commerce Department confirming there was a breach at one of its agencies and that they asked the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the FBI to investigate. National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot added that they “are taking all necessary steps to identify and remedy any possible issues related to this situation.” The U.S. government has not publicly identified who might be behind the hacking, but three of the people familiar with the investigation said Russia is currently believed to be responsible for the attack. Two of the people said that the breaches are connected to a broad campaign that also involved the recently disclosed hack on FireEye, a major U.S. cybersecurity company with government and commercial contracts.

Full Article: Suspected Russian hackers spied on U.S. Treasury emails – sources | Reuters

National: Hack at Treasury and Commerce spurs emergency order from CISA | Justin Katz/FCW

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency late Sunday night issued an emergency directive in response to a sophisticated cyberattack mandating all federal civilian agencies stop using SolarWinds’ Orion products “immediately.” “The compromise of SolarWinds’ Orion Network Management Products poses unacceptable risks to the security of federal networks,” said CISA acting Director Brandon Wales. The “directive is intended to mitigate potential compromises within federal civilian networks, and we urge all our partners — in the public and private sectors — to assess their exposure to this compromise and to secure their networks against any exploitation.” CISA also said that federal agencies using SolarWinds products should provide a completion report to the CISA by noon Monday. SolarWinds, which provides IT management and monitoring products, boasts a long list of government customers including the Defense Department, NASA and NSA as well as “425 of the U.S. Fortune 500″ companies,” according to company’s website, The order is just the fifth binding operational directive issued by CISA in its history. Hackers – likely backed by Russia, according to analysts and government sources – breached both the Commerce and Treasury Departments’ networks, Reuters first reported Sunday afternoon. The news hit several days after FireEye announced its own network was compromised and cyber exploits used to test client networks were stolen.

Full Article: Hack at Treasury and Commerce spurs emergency order from CISA — FCW

National: Top Judiciary Democrat’s bill would criminalize threats to election officials | John Kruzel/TheHill

A top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee launched an effort Monday to beef up criminal penalties for threats against election officials, which have escalated dramatically as President Trump has pressed baseless voter fraud claims following his electoral loss. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.), who serves as vice chair of the influential panel, urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) in a letter to investigate serious threats against election officials and poll workers that have come amid an increasingly hostile campaign of post-election misinformation. She also introduced a bill that would build on existing election-related legal protections and broaden criminal punishment against perpetrators. “You have to think about the fact that most of our elections are run by volunteers from our communities, who are [typically] seniors,” she told The Hill in an interview. “These are our friends and neighbors who suddenly found themselves very much in a bullseye of national attention, through no fault of their own and without any basis.” Scanlon’s election security push comes as state electors gathered across the country on Monday to finalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. That process normally occurs in relative obscurity and far away from the glare of partisan politics. But in the key battleground state of Michigan — which Biden won by more than 154,000 votes — security concerns forced legislative office buildings to close for electoral voting. State Rep. Kevin Hertel (D) tweeted on Sunday that the closure was occurring “because credible threats have been made as Michigan’s electors to the Electoral College will meet at the Capitol.”

Full Article: Top Judiciary Democrat’s bill would criminalize threats to election officials | TheHill

National: Trump backers hold their own vote as Electoral College formalizes Biden’s victory | Haisten Willis, Jeremy Duda, Kathleen Masterson and David A. Fahrenthold/The Washington Post

Republicans in six states won by President-elect Joe Biden held their own electoral college-style votes Monday for President Trump — hoping that future court decisions would throw out Biden’s votes and count the GOP ones instead. These votes have no legal meaning, according to election law experts. The law only recognizes votes from electors chosen according to state law — which, in every one of these states, is the Democratic electors. But many Republicans who had been chosen to cast electoral votes for Trump still gathered to cast them. They said they were employing a tactic used by Democrats in Hawaii in an election 60 years ago — casting votes that don’t count, in the hopes that a later court decision would give them force. This year, that seems very unlikely to work. Trump has already spent weeks trying to overturn Biden’s victory in the courts, and has failed: The president and his allies have been rejected by at least 86 judges, including at the U.S. Supreme Court. But — in another sign that Trump has pulled the GOP establishment into his baseless, unprecedented effort to subvert Biden’s victory — many Republicans met anyway, to cast votes by the electoral college’s legal deadline of Dec. 14. “We took this procedural vote to preserve any legal claims that may be presented going forward,” said Bernie Comfort, Trump’s Pennsylvania campaign chairman, in a statement put out by the Pennsylvania GOP. “This was in no way an effort to usurp or contest the will of Pennsylvania voters.” In Nevada, six Republicans met in the capital, Carson City, to cast their faux vote before an audience of 15. “There’s still legal action pending in all these states, so what we’re doing here is complying with the requirement to vote on this day, in the state capital in the event court cases are resolved favorably,” said Jim DeGraffenreid, who was set to be one of Trump’s electors before Biden won the state. “You could say this is our howdy-doody to the system,” said Shawn Meehan, another Republican who took part.

Full Article: Trump backers hold their own vote as Electoral College formalizes Biden’s victory – The Washington Post

Arizona Senate will subpoena Maricopa County for election audit | Jim Small and Laura Gómez/Arizona Mirror

Amid false claims of election fraud spread by President Donald Trump and Arizona Republican leaders, the Arizona Senate will issue subpoenas to inspect and audit ballot counting machines in Maricopa County, a top Republican senator announced Monday at the conclusion of a six-hour-long legislative hearing into the November election. During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, senators heard testimony from the county’s elections director, the chair of its board of supervisors, one of its chief attorneys about the 2020 election and two officials with the Arizona Attorney General’s Election Integrity Unit. They all testified that there was no evidence that President-elect Joe Biden’s win was achieved by fraud, manipulation or tampering, and repeatedly shot down questions from senators based on conspiracy theories. … The subpoena may prove moot, anyway, as county officials testified that they are likely to perform a forensic audit on the machines on their own. Clint Hickman, the chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, told the committee that he had been prepared to ask his fellow board members to approve just such an audit — and a hand-recount of all 2.1 million ballots cast — but was forced to shelve such plans because a case challenging the election results that was dismissed last week for a lack of evidence was immediately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Jarrett said that an audit and recount of the ballots cannot be completed while the litigation is ongoing, as the machines and ballots are potential evidence. Tom Liddy, a deputy county attorney who serves as legal counsel to the board of supervisors, said it’s possible that litigation could all be finished by the end of the week, clearing the path for the supervisors to approve an audit and recount.

Full Article: Arizona Senate will subpoena Maricopa County for election audit

Georgia: Governor blasts ‘ridiculous’ attacks over refusal to overturn election | Greg Bluestein/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Gov. Brian Kemp criticized “ridiculous” attacks from fellow Republicans outraged that he won’t call a special session to overturn the election results, as he faces unrelenting criticism from President Donald Trump and his allies infuriated by Joe Biden’s election victory. Although Georgia’s 16 Democratic electors formally cast their ballots for Biden on Monday, Kemp told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he still wasn’t prepared to concede Trump’s defeat, saying he would respect the legal process and “reevaluate that when all that plays out.” Nor did he directly criticize Trump, who overnight called him a “clown” and has openly invited U.S. Rep. Doug Collins to challenge the governor in a Republican primary in 2022. Instead, Kemp expressed frustration that he’s been blamed for following state laws by certifying, and later re-certifying, three separate tallies of roughly 5 million votes. “I’m disappointed in the results so far, in regards to the election, but also I’ve got to follow these laws and the Constitution and that’s what I’m doing,” Kemp said. “It’s a little frustrating that there are some out there who don’t know where these duties fall, and I’m being blamed for a lot of things.” In the interview, he pointed to his record as Secretary of State for much of a decade, saying he fought to “make sure it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat, and that we have secure, accessible and fair elections in the state. “It’s ridiculous, quite honestly, that many are blaming me for being responsible for what happened in the election,” he said.

Full Article: AJC Interview: Kemp blasts ‘ridiculous’ attacks over refusal to overturn election

Georgia orders audit of voter signatures on absentee ballots in Cobb County | Mark Niesse and David Wickert/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Investigators will audit voter signatures on absentee ballot envelopes in Cobb County, a step announced Monday by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to further verify election results. The move follows intense pressure from President Donald Trump and other Republicans who have continued to make unsupported claims that last month’s election wasn’t legitimate. The review of absentee ballot signatures won’t change the results of the presidential election. Machine and hand counts showed Democrat Joe Biden won Georgia by about 12,000 votes, and the Electoral College voted for Biden on Monday. The unprecedented signature audit could show whether signatures on absentee ballot envelopes really did match the voter signatures kept on file. But there’s no way to match voter signatures to ballots after envelopes were opened. The right to cast a secret ballot is guaranteed by the state Constitution.

Source: Georgia orders audit of voter signatures on absentee ballots in one county

Kansas: US Supreme Court won’t revive voting law requiring proof of citizenship | Robert Barnes/The Washington Post

The Supreme Court declined Monday to revive a Kansas law that required showing specific proof-of-citizenship documents before registering to vote, ending a fight that had continued for years. A trial court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit had declared it unconstitutional. It was championed by former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, a Republican who had led the short-lived voter fraud commission President Trump formed to try to substantiate his unproven claims that millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States were voting. Kobach was defeated in his attempts for higher office in the state. The court did not give a reason for rejecting the appeal of the state’s new secretary of state, Scott Schwab. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) had opposed the effort asking for Supreme Court review. Kansas had been the only state to require a physical document such as a birth certificate or passport to register to vote. The state said it did not deter legitimate voters because it allowed additional kinds of identification forms.

Full Article: Supreme Court won?t revive Kansas voting law requiring proof of citizenship – The Washington Post

Michigan: State, company officials dispute report on Antrim County voting | Paul Egan/Detroit Free Press

State officials are disputing a report on Antrim County’s voting equipment — signed by a consultant who confused Michigan and Minnesota voting districts in an earlier election analysis — that says the county’s equipment “is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results.” Michigan Elections Director Jonathan Brater said in a weekend court filing the report “makes a series of unsupported conclusions, ascribes motives of fraud and obfuscation to processes that are easily explained as routine election procedures or error corrections, and suggests without explanation that elements of election software not used in Michigan are somehow responsible for tabulation or reporting errors that are either nonexistent or easily explained.” And Dominion Voting Systems, the company whose equipment is used in Antrim, issued a statement saying it is the subject of a “continuing malicious and widespread disinformation campaign” intended to undermine confidence in the Nov. 3 election. Judge Kevin Elsenheimer of Michigan’s 13th Circuit Court ordered the release of the report Monday, following minor redactions of references to software coding that were agreed to by both sides. State and county officials withdrew earlier objections to the report’s release. The report is signed by Russell Ramsland of Allied Security Operations Group. Ramsland, a cybersecurity analyst and former Republican congressional candidate, mistook voting jurisdictions in Minnesota for Michigan towns in one recent flawed analysis of voter turnout in the Nov. 3 election. In another, filed in support of a federal lawsuit filed in Michigan, he made wildly inaccurate claims about voter turnout in various Michigan municipalities claiming that Detroit, where turnout was 51%, had turnout of 139%, and that North Muskegon, which had turnout of 78%, had voter turnout of 782%.

Full Article: State, company officials dispute report on Antrim County voting

Michigan Republican leaders affirm state’s electoral votes and reprimand lawmaker who suggested there might be violence. | Sydney Ember, Kathleen Gray and Glenn Thrush/The New York Times

The two most senior leaders in the Michigan legislature, both Republicans, on Monday affirmed the state’s electoral votes that would formalize Joseph R. Biden’s victory, as a fellow lawmaker was punished for suggesting there may be violence at the meeting of electors. In blistering terms, House Speaker Lee Chatfield wrote that he “can’t fathom risking our norms, traditions and institutions to pass a resolution retroactively changing the electors for Trump, simply because some think there may have been enough widespread fraud to give him the win,” describing such a move as “unprecedented for good reason.” “That’s why there is not enough support in the House to cast a new slate of electors,” he added. “I fear we’d lose our country forever. This truly would bring mutually assured destruction for every future election in regards to the Electoral College. And I can’t stand for that. I won’t.” Last month, Mr. Chatfield and Mike Shirkey, the state Senate majority leader, were both summoned by President Trump to the White House in a bid to get lawmakers to substitute their own slate of electors. The two men, both rumored to be interested in higher office, went through with the visit but rebuffed Mr. Trump’s request. Mr. Biden won Michigan by about 150,000 votes, a much greater margin than in the other most hotly contested battlegrounds. The electors upheld those results on Monday afternoon.

Full Article: Michigan Republican leaders affirm state’s electoral votes and reprimand lawmaker who suggested there might be violence. – The New York Times

New York: New challenges raised to 67 ballots in undecided Brindisi-Tenney House race | Mark Weiner/Syracuse Post-Standard

Lawyers for Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney began battling for more votes Monday in the month-old 22nd Congressional District election by raising new challenges to uncounted ballots. The campaigns asked for 67 ballots rejected by Madison County elections officials to be counted, a decision that will ultimately be left to a state Supreme Court judge to decide. Most of the 67 challenges to the decisions of election commissioners were made by the Brindisi campaign, said Laura Costello, Madison County’s Democratic elections commissioner. About six challenges were lodged by Tenney’s campaign, Costello said. Madison was one of three counties in the 22nd District that began reviewing disputed ballots Monday and correcting counting errors at the order of state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte. Tenney, a Republican from New Hartford, leads by 12 votes over Brindisi, D-Utica. Tenney led by 28,422 votes election night before the count of some 60,000 absentee ballots.

Full Article: New challenges raised to 67 ballots in undecided Brindisi-Tenney House race – syracuse.com

Pennsylvania: Mailed ballots, tight deadlines caused a crunch for elections officials. Now, comes the reckoning. Tom Lisi/Spotlight PA

Just a week out from Nov. 3, Sara May-Silfee had hundreds of mail ballots from last-minute applications that she knew had to get to voters as soon as possible. Instead of sending the ballots to a printing and mailing company to handle, the Monroe County elections director immediately mailed them from her office, and even drove some straight to voters’ homes. “I was trying to save time and get them out as quickly as possible,” May-Silfee said. The last-minute scramble was part of a chaotic first run at Pennsylvania’s no-excuse vote-by-mail system. Among the factors that put more pressure on county officials, they said, was the Oct. 27 deadline for mail-ballot applications — just a week before Election Day. “There’s no way that somebody can apply for a mail-in ballot seven, eight, nine days before the election, expect they’re going to get that, and have enough time to return it to the county,” said Forrest Lehman, Lycoming County’s elections director. More than 3.1 million people in Pennsylvania applied to vote by mail in November, and the state’s 67 counties processed every request, according to the Department of State. That means a mail ballot should have been sent or delivered to all voters who applied.

Full Article: Mailed ballots, tight deadlines caused a crunch for Pa. elections officials. Now, comes the reckoning. – pennlive.com

Washington: Threat made against state elections official amid anger over Trump loss | Joseph O’Sullivan/The Seattle Times

The Washington secretary of state’s office has reported a “doxxing” threat made against one of its workers as attempts continue to intimidate elections officials and politicians in both major political parties for administering the vote that led to President Donald Trump’s loss. Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s office learned of the threat over the weekend made against Elections Director Lori Augino, according to spokesperson Kylee Zabel. It was posted on a website describing “enemies of the people.” The site features photos and notes on elected officials and elections workers, along with home addresses and contact information. “The following individuals have aided and abetted the fraudulent election against Trump,” the post states, and: “Changing votes and working against the President is treason and patriotic Americans should never forget those who helped overthrow our democracy! Let’s make sure this list is distributed to everyone.” Augino’s home address and some contact information were posted on the site, as well as a photo of her with crosshairs superimposed over it and a note about her leadership role in a national association for elections directors. The post concluded with “Your days are numbered” and a timer clock that was ticking down. State officials have notified the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the state Fusion Center — a collaboration among law enforcement agencies sharing information about criminal activity — of the website, Zabel said in an email.

Full Article: Threat made against Washington elections official amid anger over Trump loss | The Seattle Times

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Trump Election Challenge ‘Unreasonable In The Extreme’ | Vanessa Romo/NPR

It was close but in the end, the conservative-led Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday rejected the Trump campaign’s bid to throw out more than 220,000 ballots from two Democratic county strongholds. The move, which came just shortly before Electoral College voters were due to cast their ballots, ensured President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn sided with the court’s three liberal members in the 4-3 ruling, finding Trump’s legal challenge to change Wisconsin’s certified election results “unreasonable in the extreme” and was filed too late. “The challenges raised by the Campaign in this case … come long after the last play or even the last game; the Campaign is challenging the rulebook adopted before the season began,” Hagedorn said in the 81-page decision. “Striking these votes now — after the election, and in only two of Wisconsin’s 72 counties when the disputed practices were followed by hundreds of thousands of absentee voters statewide — would be an extraordinary step for this court to take. We will not do so.”

Full Article: Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Trump Election Challenge ‘Unreasonable In The Extreme’ : NPR

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds Biden’s win, rejects Trump lawsuit | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The state Supreme Court upheld Democrat Joe Biden’s Wisconsin win Monday, handing President Donald Trump a defeat less than an hour before the Electoral College met. The 4-3 ruling was the latest in a string of dozens of losses for the president across the country as Republicans pursue last-gasp efforts to give Trump a second term. Just after the decision was issued, the Electoral College cemented Biden’s national victory. In the majority, conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn joined the court’s three liberals to confirm Biden’s win. They found one of Trump’s arguments was without merit and his others were brought far too late. Trump’s challenges to Wisconsin’s voting laws “come long after the last play or even the last game,” Hagedorn wrote for the majority. “(Trump) is challenging the rulebook adopted before the season began.” The three other conservatives on the court dissented, writing they believed clerks violated the law with some election practices. They argued the majority should have taken on the merits of Trump’s arguments instead of sidestepping them by saying he’d filed his lawsuit too late.

Full Article: Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds Biden’s win, rejects Trump lawsuit

‘An Indelible Stain’: How the G.O.P. Tried to Topple a Pillar of Democracy | Jim Rutenberg and Nick Corasaniti/The New York Times

The Supreme Court repudiation of President Trump’s desperate bid for a second term not only shredded his effort to overturn the will of voters: It also was a blunt rebuke to Republican leaders in Congress and the states who were willing to damage American democracy by embracing a partisan power grab over a free and fair election. The court’s decision on Friday night, an inflection point after weeks of legal flailing by Mr. Trump and ahead of the Electoral College vote for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Monday, leaves the president’s party in an extraordinary position. Through their explicit endorsements or complicity of silence, much of the G.O.P. leadership now shares responsibility for the quixotic attempt to ignore the nation’s founding principles and engineer a different verdict from the one voters cast on Election Day. Many regular Republicans supported this effort, too — a sign that Mr. Trump has not just bent the party to his will, but pressed a mainstay of American politics for nearly two centuries into the service of overturning an election outcome and assaulting public faith in the electoral system. The G.O.P. sought to undo the vote by such spurious means that the conservative majority on the Supreme Court quickly rejected the argument. Even some Republican leaders delivered a withering assessment of the 126 G.O.P. House members and 18 attorneys general who chose to side with Mr. Trump over the democratic process, by backing a lawsuit that asked the Supreme Court to throw out some 20 million votes in four key states that cemented the president’s loss. “The act itself by the 126 members of the United States House of Representatives, is an affront to the country,” said Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee. “It’s an offense to the Constitution and it leaves an indelible stain that will be hard for these 126 members to wipe off their political skin for a long time to come.” Full Article: ‘An Indelible Stain’: How the G.O.P. Tried to Topple a Pillar of Democracy – The New York Times

Editorial: The Republicans Who Embraced Nihilism | The New York Times

What is left to say about a political party that would throw out millions of votes? The substance of a lawsuit filed by the State of Texas, and backed by more than 17 other states, would be laughable were it not so dangerous. Texas’ attorney general, Ken Paxton — who is under indictment for securities fraud — asked the Supreme Court to overturn the results of the presidential election in four other states. As a legal matter, this is the rough equivalent of objecting on the grounds that the other side is winning. As political rhetoric, however, it is incendiary. The Supreme Court was right to toss out the lawsuit. But that the Republican Party tried and failed doesn’t make the attempt any less odious. There are a lot of Republican leaders who, the history books will record, wanted it to succeed. What makes this entire episode so sad is that the nation needs a vibrant, honest, patriotic opposition party. A party that argues in good faith to win more votes the next time around. Many Republicans, particularly at the state and local level, stood tall and proud against the worst instincts of the national party. The health of a democracy rests on public confidence that elections are free and fair. Questioning the integrity of an election is a matter of the utmost seriousness. By doing so without offering any evidence, Mr. Paxton and his collaborators have disgraced themselves. Attorneys general are sworn to uphold the rule of law. At least 126 Republican members of Congress — more than half of all House Republicans — rushed to sign a court filing endorsing the Texas lawsuit. That misuse of the legal system was not restricted to the fringes of the party. The minority leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, said Friday that his name was inadvertently omitted from the original list.

Full Article: Opinion | Republicans Faced Trump’s Loss by Embracing Nihilism – The New York Times

National: Electors meeting to formally choose Biden as next president | Mark Sherman/Associated Press

Presidential electors are meeting across the United States on Monday to formally choose Joe Biden as the nation’s next president. Monday is the day set by law for the meeting of the Electoral College. In reality, electors meet in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to cast their ballots. The results will be sent to Washington and tallied in a Jan. 6 joint session of Congress over which Vice President Mike Pence will preside. The electors’ votes have drawn more attention than usual this year because President Donald Trump has refused to concede the election and continued to make baseless allegations of fraud. Biden is planning to address the nation Monday night, after the electors have voted. Trump, meanwhile, is clinging to his false claims that he won the election, but also undermining Biden’s presidency even before it begins. “No, I worry about the country having an illegitimate president, that’s what I worry about. A president that lost and lost badly,” Trump said in a Fox News interview that was taped Saturday. Following weeks of Republican legal challenges that were easily dismissed by judges, Trump and Republican allies tried to persuade the Supreme Court last week to set aside 62 electoral votes for Biden in four states, which might have thrown the outcome into doubt.

Full Article: Electors meeting to formally choose Biden as next president

National: Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Challenging Biden’s Victory | Adam Liptak/The New York Times

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected an audacious lawsuit by Texas that had asked the court to throw out the presidential election results in four battleground states captured by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. The court, in a brief unsigned order, said Texas lacked standing to pursue the case, saying it “has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections.” The move, coupled with a one-sentence order on Tuesday turning away a similar request from Pennsylvania Republicans, signaled that the court has refused to be drawn into President Trump’s losing campaign to overturn the results of the election last month. There will continue to be scattered litigation brush fires around the nation from Mr. Trump’s allies, but as a practical matter the Supreme Court’s action puts an end to any prospect that Mr. Trump will win in court what he lost at the polls. Texas’ lawsuit, filed directly in the Supreme Court, challenged election procedures in four battleground states: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It asked the court to bar those states from casting their electoral votes for Mr. Biden and to shift the selection of electors to the states’ legislatures. That would have required the justices to discard millions of votes. Mr. Trump has said he expected to prevail in the Supreme Court, which includes three justices he appointed. One of them, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, was rushed onto the court in October in part in the hope that she would vote in Mr. Trump’s favor in election disputes.

Full Article: Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Challenging Biden’s Victory – The New York Times

National: If You Didn’t Vote for Trump, Your Vote Is Fraudulent – What the GOP Really Means by ‘Voter Fraud’ | Adam Serwer/The Atlantic

Armed protesters gathered outside the home of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson Saturday night, demanding that she overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in her state. “We will not stand down, we will not stop, we will continue to rise up, we will continue to take this election back for the president that actually won it by a landslide,” one protester at the scene declared, NPR reported. Benson told the outlet that “their threats and their attacks are aimed at the heart of democracy itself, trying to erode the public’s confidence in the democratic process, trying to sow seeds of doubt among everyone that their votes counted, that their voices were heard, that the results of the election are accurate.” Armed protesters showing up at the homes of elected officials to force them to overturn the outcome of the presidential election, especially in a state where Trump-supporting militants were caught plotting to kidnap the governor, Gretchen Whitmer, is obviously disturbing. Protesting government officials, even for grievances you or I might find absurd, is a fundamental constitutional right. The presence of firearms among the protesters, however, as well as the decision to protest at her residence instead of her workplace, add elements of coercion. But what’s really surprising is not that some people who believe that the will of the people has been subverted, and that the election results are fraudulent, have resorted to armed protests and intimidation—it’s that so few have.

Full Article: What the GOP Really Means by ‘Voter Fraud’ – The Atlantic

National: Fears of violence grow amid threats to election officials, lawmakers | Celine Castronuovo/The Hill

Intimidation and threats to election officials and lawmakers are feeding fears about violence amid calls by President Trump’s supporters to stop the certification of election results. Reports about threats began circulating within weeks of the election, with Arizona officials announcing on Nov. 17 that they were looking into an apparent death threat against Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D). In Georgia, state lawmakers have come under threat. In an interview with The Hill this week, Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia, criticized President Trump for continuing to “feed the fire” of voter fraud disinformation and urged him to “act more responsibly.” Sterling the previous week made an emotional and widely broadcast appeal to Trump and other Republicans to condemn violent threats against election officials. “Someone’s going to get hurt. Someone’s going to get shot,” he said during a press conference. Sterling told The Hill he was motivated to issue his plea after he received a call about a young IT contractor for Dominion Voting Systems who had been targeted with a tweet that included a picture of a noose and accused the contractor of “treason.”

Full Article: Fears of violence grow amid threats to election officials, lawmakers | TheHill

National: Judges across the political spectrum rejected Trump’s efforts to overturn the election | Rosalind S. Helderman and Elise Viebeck/The Washington Post

They are both elected and appointed, selected by Democrats and Republicans alike. Some have served for decades — while others took the bench only months ago. One is a former high school teacher, another the first Native American woman appointed to a federal judgeship. A third worked for years for a Republican governor who has been a vocal supporter of President Trump. Since the November election, they have all ruled in court against Trump or one of his allies seeking to challenge or overturn the presidential vote. In a remarkable show of near-unanimity across the nation’s judiciary, at least 86 judges — ranging from jurists serving at the lowest levels of state court systems to members of the United States Supreme Court — rejected at least one post-election lawsuit filed by Trump or his supporters, a Washington Post review of court filings found. The string of losses was punctuated Friday by the brief and blunt order of the Supreme Court, which dismissed an attempt by the state of Texas to thwart the electoral votes of four states that went for President-elect Joe Biden. Taken together, the judges’s decisions — some short and to the point and others sweeping defenses of American democracy — have comprehensively dismantled the arguments advanced by Trump in his effort to get the courts to subvert Biden’s victory.

e: Judges across the political spectrum rejected Trump?s efforts to overturn the election – The Washington Post

National: Trump Is Looking for Fraud in All the Wrong Places | Julian Sanchez/The Atlantic

After losing to Joe Biden in November, President Donald Trump has been amplifying conspiracy theories about electronic voting without knowing or caring just how much this year’s swing states have done to protect the integrity of their elections. False claims that voting machines were “rigged” to change or delete votes—accepted by a disturbingly large percentage of Trump supporters—are harmful for obvious reasons: They wrongly undermine confidence in the democratic process, and have spurred harassment and threats aimed at election officials and poll workers. But they also give the public a wildly distorted picture of election cybersecurity, ignoring states with real security problems to address while perversely sowing doubts about states that have followed all the best expert advice.After a federal judge condemned Georgia’s antique voting machines as unreliable, Republican officials there scrambled to roll out and test more than 30,000 new voting machines—at a cost of more than $100 million—before the state’s presidential primary earlier this year. To Peach State election administrators, Trump supporters’ baseless fraud allegations are infuriating. “They’re part of a fever dream,” fumed Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting-implementation manager, in a PBS interview. “They’re made up out of whole cloth.” … Tall tales of hacked voting machines and hijacked tabulation software gain an air of plausibility by citing the essential work done by serious cybersecurity experts in recent years to document vulnerabilities in widely deployed voting technology. Until angels learn to code, all software, whether installed on a laptop, smartphone, or voting machine, will have flaws and vulnerabilities an attacker might exploit. A robust approach to cybersecurity, therefore, requires more than just finding and closing those loopholes. It means designing systems that will work reliably even if compromised—a level of resiliency that discourages hackers from attacking them in the first place. For election systems, that means ensuring that a voter-verified physical ballot—an auditable paper trail—exists for every vote cast. Manual counts of a sample of those paper ballots, known as risk-limiting audits, can then be used to confirm that the digital tallies are accurate.

Full Article: Trump Is Looking for Fraud in All the Wrong Places – The Atlantic

National: Sidney Powell’s secret ‘military intelligence expert,’ key to fraud claims in election lawsuits, never worked in military intelligence | Emma Brown, Aaron C. Davis and Alice Crites/The Washington Post

The witness is code-named “Spyder.” Or sometimes “Spider.” His identity is so closely guarded that lawyer Sidney Powell has sought to keep it even from opposing counsel. And his account of vulnerability to international sabotage is a key part of Powell’s failing multistate effort to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Powell describes Spyder in court filings as a former “Military Intelligence expert,” and his testimony is offered to support one of her central claims. In a declaration filed in four states, Spyder alleges that publicly available data about server traffic shows that voting systems in the United States were “certainly compromised by rogue actors, such as Iran and China.” Spyder, it turns out, is Joshua Merritt, a 43-year-old information technology consultant in the Dallas area. Merritt confirmed his role as Powell’s secret witness in phone interviews this week with The Washington Post. Records show that Merritt is an Army veteran and that he enrolled in a training program at the 305th Military Intelligence Battalion, the unit he cites in his declaration. But he never completed the entry-level training course, according to Meredith Mingledorff, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, which includes the battalion. “He kept washing out of courses,” said Mingledorff, citing his education records. “He’s not an intelligence analyst.” In an interview, Merritt maintained that he graduated from the intelligence training program. But even by his own account, he was only a trainee with the 305th, at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and for just seven months more than 15 years ago.

Full Article: Sidney Powell’s secret ‘military intelligence expert,’ key to fraud claims in election lawsuits, never worked in military intelligence – The Washington Post