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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Article: Detroit elections expert refutes allegations during Senate hearing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National: Trump’s options dwindle as safe harbor deadline looms | Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney/Politico

President Donald Trump’s effort to snatch a second term through a series of state and federal court challenges has been flaming out for weeks. Now, the calendar has all but extinguished it. Dec. 8 is the so-called “safe harbor” date for the presidential election, a milestone established in federal law for states to conclude any disputes over the results. Trump’s failure to gain traction in litigation, with his lawyers and allies failing to block crucial states from declaring Joe Biden the winner, means the safe harbor deadline stands as another potentially insurmountable reason for the courts to decline to intervene. Trump’s legal team publicly says the safe harbor deadline is meaningless and they’ll simply disregard it. Set by a 140-year-old statute, the date isn’t enshrined in the Constitution, they say. But the campaign’s legal filings tell another story, as Trump’s lawyers pressed courts for urgent action ahead of the deadline midnight on Tuesday and warned of irreparable consequences if they don’t. The last time a presidential election was resolved at the Supreme Court, the safe harbor deadline proved pivotal. And several legal actions seem to be hurtling toward a potential resolution on Tuesday — including a Pennsylvania dispute where Justice Samuel Alito initially asked for responses by Wednesday but decided to expedite further to Tuesday amid speculation about the safe harbor deadline.

Full Article: Trump’s options dwindle as safe harbor deadline looms – POLITICO

‘This Must Be Your First’ – Acting as if Trump is trying to stage a coup is the best way to ensure he won’t. | Zeynep Tufekci/The Atlantic

On the evening of September 11, 1980, my mom was approached by a neighbor who held rank in the Turkish military. He told her to stock up on bread and rice. “Oh, another coup,” she immediately groaned. The neighbor was aghast—he wasn’t supposed to tell anyone what was coming. But my mom, of course, had immediately understood what his advice must have meant. Turkey is the land of coups; this was neither the first nor the last coup it would face. A little more than two decades later, I walked up to a counter in Antalya Airport to tell a disbelieving airline employee that our flight would shortly be canceled because the tanks being reported in the streets of Istanbul meant that a coup attempt was under way. It must be a military exercise, she shrugged. Some routine transport of troops, perhaps? If so, I asked her, where is the prime minister? Why isn’t he on TV to tell us that? Another woman approached the counter. “This must be your first,” she said to the young woman behind the counter, who was still shaking her head. “It’s my fourth.” I told the airline employee that we were not getting on that plane, destined for the Istanbul airport, which I knew would be a primary target. The other woman and I nodded at each other, becoming an immediate coup pod. I went out to secure transportation for us—this airport was not going to be safe either—while she and my 7-year-old son went to retrieve our luggage. “His first too,” I said to her. In political science, the term coup refers to the illegitimate overthrow of a sitting government—usually through violence or the threat of violence. The technical term for attempting to stay in power illegitimately—such as after losing an election—is self-coup or autocoup, sometimes autogolpe.

Full Article: Is Trump Trying to Stage a Coup? – The Atlantic

National: A trio of brutal rulings for Trump’s voter fraud push | Aaron Blake/The Washington Post

Time is running very short on attempts by President Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election. In many ways, it’s already too late. Electors are required to cast their votes for president in each state on Dec. 14, and the “safe harbor” law means states have to resolve any outstanding issues by six days before then. That would be Tuesday. If the last three days are any indication, the Trump team is about to go out in a blaze of not-exactly-glory. Key rulings in Georgia and Michigan are the latest setbacks for the efforts, with judges in three cases issuing significant rebukes — a couple of which were scathing. In Georgia, the legal team representing Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and other top officials, including Kemp’s fellow Republicans, filed a brutal response to the continued litigation. Kemp has been under fire from Trump, including receiving a call from Trump this weekend in which Trump again pressured him to do something to help overturn the state’s election results. The call came shortly before Trump appeared at a rally in the state for the upcoming Senate runoff elections. Kemp, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, all Republicans, have repeatedly rebuked the claims made by Trump and his allies. But in a filing the same day as Trump’s rallies, their legal team went quite a bit further.

Full Article: Legal filings thwart Trump voter fraud effort – The Washington Post

National: Trump’s fired election-security chef compared the president’s false claims about voter fraud to Russian disinformation | Tom Porter/Business Insider

Chris Krebs, the former top US election-security official, has described President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud to Russian disinformation designed to corrode faith in US democracy. In an interview with Axios, Krebs was asked for his view on Trump, who on November 18 fired him from his position as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the Department of Homeland Security. Krebs had rebutted the president’s claim that the result of the 2020 election was tainted by widespread ballot fraud. “The caller was inside the house,” Krebs told Axios’ Jonathan Swan. “The president is a big part of the disinformation that’s coming out there about the rigged election, but there are absolutely others.” He went on to describe how he coped with Trump’s attempts to undermine faith in the integrity of the election while he was still working for the administration: “One of the questions we asked: ‘What would we do if the Russians were doing this?'”

Full Article: Fired election security chief compares Trump claims to Russian disinfo – Business Insider

National: Scores of US poll workers tested positive for Covid over election period | Kira Lerner and Indrani Basu/The Guardian

On 5 November, two days after election day, an employee in the Onondaga county, New York, board of elections office went home early. She felt exhausted, according to the election commissioner Dustin Czarny, and assumed the long shifts were to blame. A week later she was hospitalized, tested for Covid-19, and learned she had contracted the virus. By then, unbeknown to the other employees, the virus had spread through the office where staff was working long shifts to count absentee ballots before New York’s certification deadline. Roughly 200 employees and volunteers who counted absentee ballots were sent home on 13 November and instructed to get tested. In total, 12 employees tested positive. “We had almost everybody in the office last week before Friday the 13th,” Czarny said. “Of course this all happened on Friday the 13th.” Czarny and the other commissioner closed the office and stopped vote counting for the week, informing New York they would miss the 28 November certification deadline. Czarny said the crisis is exactly what he’d hoped to avoid as they administered an election in the middle of a pandemic. “This is what we were fearing and it happened,” he said. For local election officials, the 2020 election was guaranteed to be a struggle. Record numbers of voters requested absentee ballots because of the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing election administrators to adapt to an unprecedented election. Officials had to hire additional staff, find warehouses and other locations to store ballots, and acquire protective equipment to ensure that their staff stayed healthy and safe. Despite their best efforts to stop the virus’s spread, several dozen poll workers and election officials across the country have tested positive for Covid-19, even as the link to election day in most cases is unclear. According to a Votebeat analysis of local reports, there were Covid-19 cases among election workers in at least nine counties in five states before election day, and at least 24 counties in 14 states reported positive cases among election workers in the days and weeks after.

Full Article: Scores of US poll workers tested positive for Covid over election period | US news | The Guardian

Editorial: There’s no room for complacency about our post-election crisis | Max Boot/The Washington Post

I am not remotely surprised that, more than a month after the election, President Trump refuses to concede that he lost — and that he keeps spouting cockamamie conspiracy theories to claim that he actually won. I am not surprised that Trump is filing lawsuits and lobbying Republican state officials — such as Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia — to throw out the state’s election results and appoint electors pledged to him. I am not surprised that most national Republicans are too cowardly to challenge Trump’s attempt to usurp our democracy. In a Post survey of GOP members of Congress, only 27 admitted that Joe Biden won the election, two said that Trump won, and 220 avoided the question. And I am not surprised that many rank-and-file Republicans are eager to follow Trump into coup-coup land. In polls, many Republicans say that the election was rigged despite the Trump campaign’s inability to document a single case of fraud. I’m only surprised that Trump’s tactics are failing so miserably. His campaign is 1-48 so far in court and the election results have already been certified by all of the battleground states. It seems a foregone conclusion that on Jan. 20 Biden will be inaugurated as president. In June, I took part in post-election “wargames” organized by the nonpartisan Transition Integrity Project. We foresaw Trump’s attempts to steal the election and even the mechanisms that he would use to do so. What we didn’t expect was that his power grab would fall so flat. As Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown Law, who was one of the organizers of this project, wrote in The Post, most of the exercises “reached the brink of catastrophe, with massive disinformation campaigns, violence in the streets and a constitutional impasse.”

Full Article: Opinion | There’s no room for complacency about our post-election crisis – The Washington Post

Arizona: These lawsuits challenging the election outcome are in courts this week | Maria Polletta/Arizona Republic

The failure of at least six election-related lawsuits has not deterred Republicans who continue to dispute the legitimacy of Arizona’s presidential results. An additional lawsuitchallenging President-elect Joe Biden’s 10,457-vote victory will make its way through the court system this week, and a ruling issued last week was appealed to the state’s highest court. But challengers seeking to overturn results and name new presidential electors are rapidly running out of time. State officials certified the election on Nov. 30, and Tuesday is “safe harbor day” — the deadline by which states must resolve election-related disputes if they want to guarantee Congress will count their electors’ votes. Some attorneys and lawmakers have argued states in reality have until Dec. 14 — the day electors will meet virtually to cast their votes — to address election challenges. But Arizona judges have largely attempted to stick to Tuesday’s deadline.

Full Article: Arizona election challenges could wrap up in court this week

Arizona: Federal judge to hear another lawsuit Tuesday against election results | Howard Fischer/Arizona Daily Star

Attorneys for state and county election officials head to federal court Tuesday, Dec. 8 to try to quash one of the two remaining attempts to overturn Joe Biden’s win in Arizona. In legal papers filed in federal court, Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Tim Liddy said the lawsuit, filed by the 11 Republicans who hope to be electors for President Trump, is “woefully deficient.” He said the claim is based on “conspiracy-theory laden, unsigned, redacted declarations making wild accusations” about Dominion Software, which provides election equipment to the county. And Liddy told U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa that claims of hundreds of thousands of illegal votes appear to have come “out of thin air,” calling the lawsuit a “fishing expedition.” Roopali Desai, representing Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, was even more direct in saying there’s nothing to the allegations of a conspiracy to throw the election to Biden. Republican challengers contend that conspiracy involves Dominion and its officers converting Trump votes into votes for Biden. “Plaintiffs allege that this plan somehow originated in Venezuela more than a decade ago, over the year enlisted ‘rogue actors’ from various ‘countries such as Serbia’ and ‘foreign interference by Iran and China,’ compromised voting machines and software in states across the country in this election, and was ultimately executed with the assistance of thousands of Democratic, Republican, and nonpartisan election officials despite the presence of both parties in numerous states across the country, including Arizona,” Desai told Humetewa. She called it “dystopian fiction.”

Full Article: Federal judge to hear lawsuit Tuesday against Arizona’s election results | Local news | tucson.com

Colorado GOP demand for probe ofDominion Voting Systems part of “debunked conspiracy theories,” House speaker says | Saja Hindi/The Denver Post

A group of Colorado House Republicans is calling for a third-party investigation into the state’s election software and voting machines along with the formation of an election integrity commission, despite a lack of evidence for any claims of large-scale voter fraud. Colorado election officials — including Republican county clerks — have pointed to the state’s proven track record of election security that has served as a model for other states, and federal judges have dismissed allegations by President Donald Trump that the election was stolen from him. But seven Colorado House Republicans and one representative-elect penned a letter Monday to outgoing House Speaker KC Becker calling for an audit of the Dominion Voting Systems software used by the state and creation of a special committee. Becker quickly dismissed the request, accusing the Republicans who wrote the letter of trafficking in “debunked conspiracy theories.” The letter was signed by Rep. Kevin Van Winkle, of Highlands Ranch; Rep. Kim Ransom, of Douglas County; Rep. Dave Williams, of Colorado Springs; outgoing Minority Leader Patrick Neville, of Castle Rock; outgoing Rep. Perry Buck, of Windsor; Rep. Shane Sandridge, of Colorado Springs; outgoing Rep. Steve Humphrey, of Severance; and Rep.-elect Ron Hanks, of Penrose. “Free and fair elections are foundational to keeping our Republic and voters must have confidence in the election system,” they wrote in the letter. “The committee through educational hearings and sworn witness testimony from experts can help uncover any fraud or weaknesses in Colorado systems to help restore faith in the election process.”

Full Article: GOP demand for probe of Colorado’s Dominion voting system part of “debunked conspiracy theories,” House speaker says

Georgia: Federal judge throws out ‘kraken’ lawsuit challenging election results | Mark Niesse  and David Wickert/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A federal judge threw out a lawsuit Monday that relied on conspiracy theories to try to invalidate Georgia election results showing Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump. U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten dismissed the lawsuit brought by former Trump attorney Sidney Powell in an attempt to decertify Georgia’s election. He said overturning the election would have amounted to “judicial activism.” “They want this court to substitute its judgment for the 2.5 million voters who voted for Biden,” Batten, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, said in court in Atlanta. “This I’m unwilling to do.” The decision leaves Georgia’s results intact, supporting state elections officials’ statements that there was no evidence of widespread fraud. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Monday recertified the election results after a second recount again confirmed Biden defeated Trump. Powell’s lawsuit had combined a series of theories, many of them discredited, about how the election could have been rigged for Trump to lose in Georgia.

Full Article: Federal judge throws out ‘kraken’ lawsuit challenging Georgia election results

Georgia Recertifies Election Results, Affirming Biden’s Victory | Richard Fausset and Nick Corasaniti/The New York Times

Georgia election officials on Monday recertified the results of the state’s presidential race after another recount reaffirmed Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory over President Trump, the third time that results showed that Mr. Trump had lost the state. The announcement delivered the latest blow to Mr. Trump’s tumultuous attempts to subvert the outcome of the election in Georgia, an effort that has caused infighting and name-calling among some Republicans. “We have now counted legally cast ballots three times, and the results remain unchanged,” Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said at a news conference. Mr. Biden has prevailed in three separate counts of the ballots: the initial election tally; a hand recount ordered by the state; and the latest recount, which was requested by Mr. Trump’s campaign and completed by machines. The results of the machine recount on the secretary of state’s website show Mr. Biden with a lead of about 12,000 votes. Mr. Raffensperger’s announcement came less than 48 hours after Mr. Trump appeared in the state at a rally intended to support the candidacies of Georgia’s two Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who are locked in high-stakes runoff races on Jan. 5 that will determine control of the Senate. The president, however, spent much of his appearance airing a long list of personal grievances over his loss to Mr. Biden in Georgia and elsewhere, claiming falsely that fraudulent voting had stolen the election from him.

Full Article: Georgia Recertifies Election Results, Affirming Biden’s Victory – The New York Times

Georgia: Why Governor Kemp won’t call a special session to illegally overturn election | Greg Bluestein/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Gov. Brian Kemp has already defied President Donald Trump’s calls to illegally overturn Georgia’s election results. Now he and other Republican leaders are shooting down an effort by pro-Trump legislators to demand a special session to brazenly award Georgia’s 16 electoral votes to the GOP. The governor and other Republican leaders first ruled out a special session to help Trump undo Joe Biden’s victory on Nov. 10, and he rejected the president’s extraordinary personal plea to intervene in the election results on Saturday. But Kemp elaborated on his stance late Sunday after four Republican state senators – Brandon Beach, Greg Dolezal, William Ligon and Burt Jones – drafted a petition seeking an emergency special session because of “systemic failures” in the election system. State elections officials have said there is no widespread evidence of fraud and Georgia courts have thrown out several complaints seeking to block the certification of the vote. But Trump’s false narrative of a “stolen” election has seeped deeply into the Georgia GOP and sparked a bitter internal feud. The petition circulating over the weekend seeks to allow the Republican-controlled Legislature to “take back the power to appoint electors.” Jones, one of the organizers, said “untrustworthy” election results compelled the demand. “It is time for our legislative body to do its job,” he said. Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who acknowledged Joe Biden’s victory on CNN on Sunday, issued a lengthy statement detailing that a special session is “not an option that is allowed under state or federal law” – a lengthier way of saying it was illegal. In the 1960s, the General Assembly decided that Georgia’s presidential electors would be determined by the winner of the state’s popular vote. Under Georgia law, the Legislature can only outline a new method of choosing electors if the timing of the vote was shifted from the date set in federal law.

Full Article: Why Kemp won’t call a special session to illegally overturn Georgia’s election

Michigan: Armed pro-Trump protesters gather outside Secretary of State’s home | Reuters

Michigan’s secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, said dozens of armed protesters gathered in a threatening manner outside her home on Saturday evening chanting “bogus” claims about electoral fraud. Michigan officials last month certified the state’s election results showing President-elect Joe Biden had won Michigan, one of a handful of key battleground states, in the course of his 3 November election victory. Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed, contrary to evidence, that the outcome was marred by widespread fraud in multiple states. State and federal officials have repeatedly stated that there is no evidence of fraud on any significant scale, and Biden is to be sworn in on 20 January. The protesters who rallied outside Benson’s home held up placards saying “Stop the Steal” and chanted the same message, according to various clips uploaded on social media. In a Twitter statement on Sunday, Benson said the protesters were trying to spread false information about the security and accuracy of the US election system. “The demands made outside my home were unambiguous, loud and threatening.” The Michigan attorney general, Dana Nessel, in a separate Twitter post, accused the pro-Trump demonstrators of “mob-like behavior [that] is an affront to basic morality and decency”. “Anyone can air legitimate grievances to Secretary Benson’s office through civil and democratic means, but terrorizing children and families in their own homes is not activism.”

Full Article: Armed pro-Trump protesters gather outside Michigan elections chief’s home | Michigan | The Guardian

Michigan: Trump campaign appeals election case to state Supreme Court | Paul Egan/Detroit Free Press

President Donald Trump’s campaign went to the Michigan Supreme Court on Monday in connection with its earliest Michigan case challenging ballot counting in Detroit and elsewhere in the Nov. 3 election. “Unfortunately, some local election jurisdictions, including Wayne County, did not conduct the general election as required by Michigan law,” lawyers for the campaign said in a court filing. “And Secretary of State (Jocelyn) Benson did not require local election jurisdictions to allow challengers to meaningfully observe the conduct of the election and the tabulation and tallying of ballots.” Similar claims have been rejected by Michigan judges at both the state and federal levels and the specific claims in this case were rejected by Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens on Nov. 5 and by the Michigan Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, on Friday. The Court of Appeals chastised the campaign for dragging its feet on the appeal, said the certification of Michigan’s election results by the Board of State Canvassers in the interim had made the lawsuit moot, and said that if the Trump campaign wanted to challenge the results it could have requested a recount, but did not. “Plaintiff failed to follow clear law in Michigan relative to such matters,” the court said. The campaign wanted an order directing Benson to require “meaningful access” for campaign poll watchers to the counting of state ballots, plus access to videotaped surveillance of ballot drop boxes installed around the state after Oct. 1. It had asked for a pause in ballot counting while the case was heard.

Full Article: Trump campaign appeals election case to Michigan Supreme Court

Michigan: Federal judge upholds election: ‘The people have spoken’ | Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

A federal judge has rejected a last-minute push by Michigan Republicans who sought an emergency order to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state, saying the effort aimed to “ignore the will of millions of voters.” The suit seemed “less about achieving the relief” the GOP plaintiffs sought and “more about the impact of their allegations on people’s faith in the democratic process and their trust in our government,” wrote Detroit U.S. District Court Judge Linda Parker of Michigan’s Eastern District. “The People have spoken,” wrote Parker, who issued the ruling in the early morning hours of Monday, a week before the nation’s presidential electors will meet. Trump lost Michigan 51%-48% or by 154,000 votes to President-elect Joe Biden, and the Board of State Canvassers certified the tally on Nov. 23. On Nov. 25, six Michigan Republicans, represented by conservative attorney Sidney Powell, filed their lawsuit asking for “emergency relief,” including a court order requiring Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to sign off on certified election results that state “President Donald Trump is the winner of the election.” The suit also asked the federal judge to impound “all voting machines and software in Michigan for expert inspection.” The defendants in Powell’s suit are Whitmer, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the Board of State Canvassers.

Full Article: Federal judge upholds Michigan election: ‘The people have spoken’

Michigan: Federal judge rejects GOP effort to overturn election results | Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein/Politico

A federal judge on Monday tore apart Republican efforts to overturn the election results in Michigan, calling the lawsuit itself — brought by President Donald Trump’s electors in the state — an apparent effort to damage democracy. “In fact, this lawsuit seems to be less about achieving the relief Plaintiffs seek — as much of that relief is beyond the power of this Court — and more about the impact of their allegations on People’s faith in the democratic process and their trust in our government,” said Judge Linda Parker, of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Michigan. Parker’s 35-page opinion, released after midnight Monday morning, found the legal argument of the Trump electors defective for multiple reasons, most notably that it was moot because the state had already certified President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the state, sending his electors to the Electoral College. She also found that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the suit, and brought it too late to be heard. But Parker was at her most forceful when she considered the GOP electors’ goal: reversing Michigan’s entire election, disenfranchising millions of voters and declaring Trump the winner. “With nothing but speculation and conjecture that votes for President Trump were destroyed, discarded or switched to votes for Vice President Biden, Plaintiffs’ equal protection claim fails,” Parker said.

Full Article: Federal judge rejects GOP effort to overturn Michigan election results – POLITICO

New Jersey Audit of Flawless Vote Could Change Future Elections | Josh Axelrod/Governing

In most election cycles, after the excitement and crisp chill of Election Day passes, inauguration comes quickly after, without a whole lot of attention paid to the bureaucratic processes in between. Only, 2020 is not like other years. Instead, New Jersey election officials have spent the past few days hunched over tables, parsing through thousands of ballots and ensuring they match up with their recorded totals. All the while, President Donald Trump continues to cast doubt over the results of the election, placing national focus on recounts, certifications and audits. In New Jersey, the auditing process has been mandated for more than a decade, and yet, due to a legislative anomaly, has never truly been carried out before. Now, in a year of many other firsts, the audit law is kicking in due to New Jersey’s vote-by-mail election. And the timing is just right, as election audits have never been a more crucial mechanism of democracy. “We really saw this past election how incredibly critical that’s been,” Penny Venetis, Director of Rutgers University’s International Human Rights Clinic, whose been litigating election security cases in New Jersey for years, told NJ Advance Media. “If we didn’t have these ways to independently count ballots, then there would have been a cloud over votes in Georgia and Wisconsin. We need the ability to do this, especially in such a polarized political environment.”

Full Article: New Jersey Audit of Flawless Vote Could Change Future Elections