New York: Still no ruling in Brindisi-Tenney election, but judge’s comments give hints about what could come next |Patrick Lohmann/Syracuse.com

Judge Scott DelConte had sharp words Monday for both sides in a court hearing that could decide whether Republican Claudia Tenney will defeat incumbent Anthony Brindisi in New York’s 22nd Congressional District. More than a month after election day, DelConte is considering how to proceed with an election so far marked by errors and delay. The issues with various counties’ attempts at counting arose over two days of hearings about what the judge should do with 809 contested ballots. Brindisi, a Democrat, is asking for a partial recount after, for example, Oneida County election officials admitted losing track of disputed ballots that had been marked with sticky notes. Those notes apparently fell off the ballots before a court hearing. Tenney’s lawyers are asking the judge to order counties to certify the election now, cementing her lead of just 12 votes in an election where more than 318,000 votes were cast. This is the only election still contested of all 435 Congressional Districts.

Full Article: Still no ruling in Brindisi-Tenney election, but judge’s comments give hints about what could come next – syracuse.com

Pennsylvania: Trump asks House speaker for help overturning election results, personally intervening in a third state | Amy Gardner, Josh Dawsey and Rachael Bade/The Washington Post

President 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, reflecting a broadening pressure campaign by the president and his allies to try to subvert the 2020 election result. The calls, confirmed by House Speaker Bryan Cutler’s office, make Pennsylvania the third state where Trump has directly attempted to overturn a result since he lost the election to former vice president Joe Biden. He previously reached out to Republicans in Michigan, and on Saturday he pressured Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in a call to try to replace that state’s electors. The president’s outreach to Pennsylvania’s Republican House leader came after his campaign and its allies decisively lost numerous legal challenges in the state in both state and federal court. Trump has continued to press his baseless claims of widespread voting irregularities both publicly and privately. “The president said, ‘I’m hearing about all these issues in Philadelphia, and these issues with your law,’ ” said Cutler spokesman Michael Straub, describing the House speaker’s two conversations with Trump. “ ‘What can we do to fix it?’ ” A White House spokesman declined to comment on the calls to Cutler, and a Trump campaign spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. Cutler told the president that the legislature had no power to overturn the state’s chosen slate of electors, Straub said. But late last week, the House speaker was among about 60 Republican state lawmakers who sent a letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional representatives urging them to object to the state’s electoral slate on Jan. 6, when Congress is set to formally accept the results.

Full Article: Trump asks Pennsylvania House speaker for help overturning election results, personally intervening in a third state – The Washington Post

Pennsylvania: With time running out, GOP state reps file new challenge to election results, citing already rejected claims of fraud | eremy Roebuck/Philadelphia Inquirer

They requested the court withdraw Pennsylvania’s final vote tally — a case they supported with already debunked conspiracy theories and a bevy of complaints that have previously been rejected by state and federal judges in earlier legal fights. Meanwhile, in a separate filing, several of the same lawmakers joined more than 30 other GOP state House colleagues in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to consider a push from U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R., Pa.) to roll back Pennsylvania’s certified results based on his arguments that the state’s vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional. All this came as President Donald Trump’s lawyers waged a smaller-scale — but likely equally quixotic fight — over roughly 2,000 mail ballots they are seeking to disqualify in Bucks County in what has become the campaign’s last active legal challenge in the state. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where the campaign is pressing that case, already rejected similar suits involving ballots from Philadelphia and Montgomery County challenged over identical issues.With legal briefs flying, Lyndsay Kensinger, a spokesperson for Gov. Tom Wolf, dismissed the Republicans’ latest efforts Monday as “just another attempt … to spread disinformation and ignore reality.”

Full Article: With time running out, GOP state reps file new challenge to Pa.’s election results, citing already rejected claims of fraud

Texas: Rep. Ron Wright calls for investigation of election amid unsubstantiated fraud claims | Brian Lopez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Wright of Arlington is calling for an investigation into the 2020 election after Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Since Joe Biden won the election, President Donald Trump has challenged the result in key states with lawsuits, but Trump has found no success. In a statement Monday, Wright said he urges Barr to appoint a special counsel as it would ensure that allegations of voter fraud are investigated to the fullest extent by the Justice Department. Wright said an investigation would “ultimately restore the American people’s utmost faith in our democratic system.” The statement did not clarify if Wright was talking only about the presidential election or every election, which would include his victory. The Star-Telegram reached out to Wright, but his office did not immediately respond. Wright joins Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick as Texas officials who have at one point refused to acknowledge Biden as the winner and have claimed that all legal votes need to be counted. Political experts have said Republicans don’t want to get on the bad side of the party and Trump, who is still in office, so they still voice support for him.

Full Article: Arlington TTX congressman wants investigation of election | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

National: Republicans Pushed to Restrict Voting. Millions of Americans Pushed Back. | Nick Corasaniti and Jim Rutenberg/The New York Times

Nearly 160 million Americans voted in the 2020 elections, by far the most in history and a level of turnout not seen in over a century, representing an extraordinary milestone of civic engagement in a year marked by a devastating pandemic, record unemployment and political unrest. With all but three states having completed their final count, and next week’s deadline for final certification of the results approaching, the sheer volume of Americans who actually voted in November was eye-opening: 66.7 percent of the voting-eligible population, according to the U.S. Election Project, a nonpartisan website run by Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor who tracks county-level data. It is the highest percentage since 1900, when the voting pool was much smaller, and easily surpasses two high-water marks of the modern era: the 1960 election of John F. Kennedy and the 2008 election of Barack Obama. Since the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which gave women the right to vote and roughly doubled the voting eligible population, turnout had never surpassed 64 percent. The shifts that led to this year’s surge in voting, in particular the broad expansion of voting options and the prolonged period for casting ballots, could forever alter elections and political campaigns in America, providing a glimpse into the electoral future. A backlash from the right could prevent that, however. In many ways, the increase in voting is what Mr. Trump and the Republican Party are now openly campaigning against in their floundering bid to overturn his clear loss to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. — whose popular vote lead grew to seven million on Friday. Republicans have portrayed the burgeoning voting ranks as nefarious and the expanded access to voting options as ripe for fraud — despite the fact that the record turnout provided them numerous victories down ballot.

Full Article: Republicans Pushed to Restrict Voting. Millions of Americans Pushed Back. – The New York Times

It didn’t need to take that long: What Pennsylvania’s election could have looked like with earlier counting | Jonathan Lai/Philadelphia Inquirer

Polls had been closed in Florida for only a few hours last month when elections offices started closing up shop for the night, too. Almost all the votes were counted and reported, and there just wasn’t much left to do at that moment. News organizations had already projected President Donald Trump as the state’s winner. Things in Tampa, for example, shut down by 1 a.m., the county supervisor of elections said. In Philadelphia, meanwhile, elections officials weren’t even halfway through a 50-hour stretch without sleep, at the start of an around-the-clock vote counting process that would continue for days. “I wanted to take a 12-hour break to let people get some sleep, and it was just impossible,” said Lisa Deeley, Philadelphia’s chief elections official. “And there was no way I would be able to get away with that, because the sky would fall, and all anybody wanted was for us to keep counting.” It wasn’t until Saturday, four days after Election Day, that enough Pennsylvania votes had been counted for news organizations to declare that Joe Biden had won the state — and with it, the presidency. The long wait created an opening for false claims of fraud that Trump and his supporters have exploited. There are multiple reasons the full picture of Pennsylvania’s results took longer to emerge than in other large battleground states this year, but one stands out: Pennsylvania doesn’t allow mail ballots to be opened until Election Day. That prohibition was the major factor for the timing of Pennsylvania’s vote count, elections officials and experts said, and an Inquirer analysis of results reported by the Associated Press shows other large battleground states that began counting ballots earlier reported their results much sooner.

Full Article: It didn’t need to take that long: What Pennsylvania’s election could have looked like with earlier counting

National: 220 congressional Republicans won’t say whether Biden or Trump won the election, Washington Post survey finds | Paul Kane and  Scott Clement/The Washington Post

Just 27 congressional Republicans acknowledge Joe Biden’s win over President Trump a month after the former vice president’s clear victory of more than 7 million votes nationally and a convincing electoral-vote margin that exactly matched Trump’s 2016 tally. Two Republicans consider Trump the winner despite all evidence showing otherwise. And another 220 GOP members of the House and Senate — about 88 percent of all Republicans serving in Congress — will simply not say who won the election. Those are the findings of a Washington Post survey of all 249 Republicans in the House and Senate that began the morning after Trump posted a 46-minute video Wednesday evening in which he wrongly claimed he had defeated Biden and leveled wild and unsubstantiated allegations of “corrupt forces” who stole the outcome from the sitting president. A team of 25 Post reporters contacted aides for every Republican by email and phone asking three basic questions — who won the presidential contest, do you support or oppose Trump’s continuing efforts to claim victory and if Biden wins a majority in the electoral college, will you accept him as the legitimately elected president — and also researched public statements made by the GOP lawmakers in recent weeks to determine their stance on Biden’s win.

Full Article: 220 congressional Republicans won’t say whether Biden or Trump won the election, Washington Post survey finds – The Washington Post

National: Trump loves to win but keeps losing election lawsuits | Alana Durkin Richer/Associated Press

For a man obsessed with winning, President Donald Trump is losing a lot. He’s managed to lose not just once to Democrat Joe Biden at the ballot box but over and over again in courts across the country in a futile attempt to stay in power. The Republican president and his allies continue to mount new cases, recycling the same baseless claims, even after Trump’s own attorney general declared the Justice Department had uncovered no widespread fraud. “This will continue to be a losing strategy, and in a way it’s even bad for him: He gets to re-lose the election numerous times,” said Kent Greenfield, a professor at Boston College Law School. “The depths of his petulance and narcissism continues to surprise me.” In an Associated Press tally of roughly 50 cases brought by Trump’s campaign and his allies, more than 30 have been rejected or dropped. About a dozen are awaiting action. Trump has notched just one small victory, a case challenging a decision to move the deadline to provide missing proof of identification for certain absentee ballots and mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania. Trump has refused to admit he lost, and this week posted a 46-minute speech to Facebook filled with conspiracies, misstatements and vows to keep up his fight to subvert the election. Five more losses came Friday. The Trump campaign lost its bid to overturn the results of the election in Nevada and the Michigan appeals court rejected a case from his campaign. The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a challenge brought by GOP lawmakers. And in Arizona, a judge threw out thrown out a bid to undo Biden’s victory there, concluding that the state’s Republican Party chairwoman failed to prove fraud or misconduct and that the evidence presented at trial wouldn’t reverse Trump’s loss. The Wisconsin Supreme Court also declined to hear a lawsuit brought by a conservative group over Trump’s loss.

Full Article: Trump loves to win but keeps losing election lawsuits

National: He did breakthrough work on hacking voting machines. Now he’s beloved by conspiracy trolls | Jeff Pillets/NJ Spotlight News

For right-wing commentators and conspiracy theorists challenging the 2020 election, it looked like the perfect get: a Princeton University professor who can hack a voting machine in seven minutes flat and flip an election without leaving a trace. The extraordinary research of computer scientist Andrew Appel helped fuel a wave of new laws that brought safer voting machines to states across the country. He’s appeared before Congress and has been an expert witness in landmark voting cases that led to electoral reform. Now, his work is being touted by the likes of Sean Hannity and featured in fact-free lawsuits seeking to overthrow the results of the 2020 election. The Trump campaign has gleefully weaponized Appel’s research as well, via misleading, baseless tweets that claim tens of thousands of votes were stolen. Appel, who chaired Princeton’s computer science department for six years, has published dozens of scholarly papers on arcane cyber topics ranging from “floating point proofs” to “deep specification” and “polymorphic lemmas.” His most recent paper is titled “Abstraction and Subsumption in Modular Verification of C Programs.” But it is Appel’s exposing the ability to hack paperless voting machines — identical to those still in use across New Jersey — that gets all the attention. In an interview with NJ Spotlight News, the bespectacled and soft-spoken academic appeared more amused than angry when asked about his scholarly work propping up the fantasies of Trump supporters.

Full Article: Hacking expert shrugs off the trolls | NJ Spotlight News

National: Trump’s false fraud claims are laying groundwork for new voting restrictions, experts warn | Jane C. Timm/NBC

Even before the final votes in the 2020 election were tallied, President Donald Trump sent his attorneys to court alleging voter fraud. When it became clear that he had lost to President-elect Joe Biden, his claims — and his campaign’s court filings — accelerated. Trump attacked cities with large shares of Black voters, who had come out in force for Biden, while his lawyers baselessly alleged a global conspiracy and filed dozens of suits in six states. The legal strategy failed in court after court — not a single incident of voter fraud has been proven in the lawsuits — but experts warn the narrative is laying the groundwork for disenfranchisement of voters across the country. “I don’t actually think that all of this leads to a different result in January, but I am really afraid about what Donald Trump is currently doing to the country for February and beyond,” said Justin Levitt, an election law expert and professor at Loyola Law School who worked at the Department of Justice during the Obama administration. Despite the large body of evidence that American elections are secure from both hacking and widespread voter fraud, federal and state politicians are already proposing new laws that will make it harder to vote.

Full Article: Trump’s false fraud claims are laying groundwork for new voting restrictions, experts warn

Editorial: Republicans are standing up to Trump. Unfortunately, it’s too little, too late | Rebecca Solnit/The Guardian

The first time I watched Georgia voting systems implementation manager Gabriel Sterling’s furious tirade about the threats against him and his coworkers, I was impressed. Here was a Republican, a self-described conservative, telling off the president and all the people making those threats. “Death threats. Physical threats. Intimidation. They have lost the moral high ground. I don’t have all the words for this because I am angry.” He was clearly furious. He talked about a young contract worker: “There’s a noose out there with his name on it. This kid just took a job and it’s just wrong. I just can’t begin to explain the level of anger I have right now … Mr President, it looks like you probably lost the state of Georgia. Stop inspiring people to commit acts of violence.” It didn’t take long for me to sour on his indignation. They never had the moral high ground. The death threats and intimidation against him and his co-workers are wrong. However, they’re not the first people to get them but in some sense the last, and if you care about people the president has attacked verbally and urged violence against, you could have started caring during the 2016 campaign. Nothing suggests Mr Sterling did, since he belongs to a party that has supported Trump and, more broadly, campaigns of hate and discrimination for the last 40 years and more. In recent years, Trump has urged police to treat arrestees more roughly, audiences to harass and even rough up journalists and dissidents in his crowds, and is well-known for the 26 credible accounts of sexual abuse and violence with which women have charged him. He’s the guy who pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2017 for his conviction for disobeying a judge’s order to stop racial profiling.

Full Article: Republicans are standing up to Trump. Unfortunately, it’s too little, too late | US news | The Guardian

Editorial: America may not be so lucky next time | Benjamin L. Ginsberg/The Washington Post

The country was lucky that President Trump and his reelection campaign were so inept. He ultimately lost by a wide margin, and his challenges to the results have been farcical. His rhetoric ramped up in inverse proportion to his ability to produce evidence supporting his charges of systemic “fraud” or “rigged” elections. The United States might not be so lucky next time. What if the 2020 election had been as close as it was in 2000, and the outcome hinged on a state (or states) with a truly narrow margin? How would the country have fared under a Trump-style assault on democracy’s foundations? Trump’s attempts to negate millions of votes by challenging state certifications revealed cracks in those foundations. Some shoring-up is clearly needed before the next election cycle begins. A good place to start might be with the appointment of a bipartisan commission that would propose election reforms to Congress and the states. Here are half a dozen suggestions to get things started: Revise the Electoral Count Act of 1887, a law that came perilously close to being invoked for the first time in its history. Its muddled language would not have provided clear answers to myriad crucial questions. What happens if a state submits competing slates of electors? How to determine if a “majority” of the electoral college refers to all 538 electors or only those present and voting? If choosing the president fell to the House, with a single vote for each state, could a majority of members prevent the swearing-in of enough minority members (who nonetheless represented more states) so that the majority’s presidential candidate would win? The 1887 law clearly needs updating and clarifying.

Full Article: Opinion | Ben Ginsberg: Here are the election reforms we need, because America won?t be so lucky next time – The Washington Post

Arizona GOP Speaker of the House rejects calls to overturn election | Ryan Randazzo, Jen Fifield, Andrew Oxford/Arizona Republic

Republican Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Rusty Bowers said Friday that pleas from some GOP lawmakers to overturn the results of the state’s presidential election are illegal and “cannot and will not” happen. State Reps. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, and Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, spent much of the day imploring their fellow legislators on social media to overturn the election results in favor of President Donald Trump. Bowers said such action would be both illegal and inappropriate. “As a conservative Republican, I don’t like the results of the presidential election,” Bowers said in a prepared statement. “I voted for President Trump and worked hard to reelect him. But I cannot and will not entertain a suggestion that we violate current law to change the outcome of a certified election.” He noted that such an action would violate the oath lawmakers took to uphold the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions, along with, “the basic principles of republican government and the rule of law if we attempted to nullify the people’s vote based on unsupported theories of fraud. Under the laws that we wrote and voted upon, Arizona voters choose who wins, and our system requires that their choice be respected.”

Full Article: Arizona GOP Speaker of the House rejects calls to overturn election

Arizona: Judge throws out lawsuit, finds no fraud or misconduct in election | Howard Fischer/Arizona Daily Star

A judge tossed out a bid by the head of the Arizona Republican Party to void the election results that awarded the state’s 11 electoral votes to Democrat Joe Biden. The two days of testimony produced in the case brought by GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward produced no evidence of fraud or misconduct in how the vote was conducted in Maricopa County, said Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall Warner in his Friday ruling. Warner acknowledged that there were some human errors made when ballots that could not be read by machines due to marks or other problems were duplicated by hand. But he said that a random sample of those duplicated ballots showed an accuracy rate of 99.45%. Warner said there was no evidence that the error rate, even if extrapolated to all the 27,869 duplicated ballots, would change the fact that Biden beat President Trump. The judge also threw out charges that there were illegal votes based on claims that the signatures on the envelopes containing early ballots were not properly compared with those already on file.

Full Article: Judge throws out lawsuit, finds no fraud or misconduct in Arizona election | Local news | tucson.com

Georgia: Trump calls governor to pressure him for help overturning Biden’s win in the state | Amy Gardner, Colby Itkowitz and Josh Dawsey/The Washington Post

President Trump called Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Saturday morning to urge him to persuade the state legislature to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state and asked the governor to order an audit of absentee ballot signatures, the latest brazen effort by the president to interfere in the 2020 election. Hours before he was scheduled to hold a rally in Georgia on behalf of the state’s two GOP senators, Trump pressed Kemp to call a special session of the state legislature for lawmakers to override the results and appoint electors who would back the president at the electoral college, according to two people familiar with the conversation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private call. Trump also asked the governor to demand an audit of signatures on mail ballots, something Kemp has previously noted he has no power to do. Kemp declined the president’s entreaty, according to the people. The governor later referred to his conversation with Trump in a midday tweet, noting that he told the president that he’d already publicly advocated for a signature audit. Kemp’s spokesman, Cody Hall, confirmed that the two men spoke. Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh declined to comment. The latest example of Trump’s extraordinary personal effort to overturn Biden’s win comes as his legal team has met with resounding failure in its attempts to use the courts to upend the election. On Friday, the president and his allies suffered legal defeats in six states, including decisive rejections in Arizona and Nevada of their claims of fraud and other irregularities.

Full Article: Trump calls Georgia governor to pressure him for help overturning Biden’s win in the state – The Washington Post

Georgia: Pro-Trump election lawsuit may ‘significantly hinder’ preparations for Senate runoffs, state says | Olivia Rubin and Matthew Mosk/ABC

Full Article: Pro-Trump election lawsuit may ‘significantly hinder’ preparations for Georgia Senate runoffs, state says – ABC News

Michigan: Armed protesters rally outside Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s home | Samuel Dodge/MLive.com

About 20-30 protesters, some open-carrying guns, gathered outside Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s home Saturday night to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s win in Michigan, police said. Officers responded to a public disturbance around 9:50 p.m., Dec. 5 outside of Benson’s Detroit residence, said the Michigan State Police. Some of the protesters carried weapons, police said, and the crowd dispersed once officers arrived. No protesters were arrested, police said. Detroit police were called to the scene, as well. Protesters posted two livestream videos of the rally, which showed people chanting for election audits and to “Stop the steal.” At least one individual shouted “you’re murderers” in the videos, according to a joint statement by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. The rally was a threat against not only Benson and her family, but also Michigan voters, Benson said in a statement. “The demands made outside my home were unambiguous, loud and threatening,” she said in the release. “They targeted me in my role as Michigan’s Chief Election Officer. But the threats of those gathered weren’t actually aimed at me – or any other elected officials in this state. They were aimed at the voters.” She noted in the release that she and her 4-year-old son were decorating the house for Christmas when the protesters arrived.

Full Article: Armed protesters rally outside Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s home – mlive.com

Michigan Court of Appeals rejects another Trump lawsuit | Paul Egan/Detroit Free Press

he Michigan Court of Appeals on Friday rejected an appeal from the Trump presidential campaign challenging Michigan’s election results, in the latest in a series of court defeats for the president. In a 2-1 decision, the court 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. Trump and his supporters have filed a series of lawsuits in battleground states around the country and in Michigan, where no judge has given credence to any of the claims. The ruling upholds an earlier decision by Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens, who said Nov. 5 there was no legal basis or evidence to grant what the campaign requested in a suit filed the day after the Nov. 3 election. The Trump campaign tried to appeal that decision Nov. 6, but the “emergency” appeal was rejected because lawyers for the campaign did not file the required paperwork. They then did not correct the filing until Nov. 30. In the meantime, the Board of State Canvassers certified Michigan’s election results Nov. 23.

Full Article: Michigan Court of Appeals rejects another Trump lawsuit

Michigan: Trump attorney: ‘Our team’ examining Antrim voting equipment | Paul Egan/Detroit Free Press

President Donald Trump’s legal team is examining and taking images from 22 vote tabulators in Antrim County Sunday morning after a judge issued an order later Friday, a Trump attorney said. “A judge actually granted our team access … for us to conduct a forensic audit,” Trump attorney Jenna Ellis told Fox News on Sunday. Antrim County is solidly Republican but its unofficial results initially showed Democrat Joe Biden winning more votes on Nov. 3 than Trump did. The results were soon corrected and county and state officials have said the initial reporting inaccuracies were due to programming errors by the Republican clerk and not due to errors by the Dominion Voting Systems election equipment or related software. “That was an unexplained and so-called glitch,” said Ellis, an attorney who has been prominent in the Trump campaign’s efforts to overturn election results that show Biden won the presidency. “So our team is going to be able to go in there this morning and we’ll be there for about eight hours to conduct that forensic examination and we’ll have the results in about 48 hours and that will tell us a lot about these machines.”

Full Article: Trump attorney: ‘Our team’ examining Antrim voting equipment

Minnesota State Supreme Court rejects GOP challenge to election results | Stephen Montemayor/Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a Republican lawsuit to stop certification of Minnesota’s Nov. 3 election results and order a full recount, the latest in a long line of failed legal attempts around the country to challenge the outcome of the 2020 vote. In a five-page order rejecting the case, Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea cited the late filing of the petition — just hours before the state canvassing board met to certify the election’s results on Nov. 24 — and errors in the manner in which the case was brought. Unsuccessful GOP congressional candidate Tyler Kistner, numerous other Minnesota Republicans who lost their elections and members of a breakaway GOP state House caucus were behind the petition. Their challenge took aim at a consent decree agreed to earlier this year by Secretary of State Steve Simon that suspended witness requirements for absentee and mail ballots. The Republican petitioners also challenged the process used in some counties for conducting their postelection reviews. The petitioners argued that they were not unreasonable to wait until hours before the canvassing board meeting because they filed their challenge just days after the final postelection review in Minnesota. But Gildea pointed out that two of their key arguments, including the witness requirement suspension, centered on events that took place months before early voting began on Sept. 18. The witness requirement suspension also survived a state appellate court challenge.

Full Article: State Supreme Court rejects GOP challenge to Minn. election results – StarTribune.com

Nevada judge rejects Trump campaign lawsuit seeking to block state’s presidential election results, says no evidence election was affected by fraud | Riley Snyder/Nevada Independent

President Donald Trump’s legal effort to overturn presidential results in Nevada has fallen short after a Carson City District Court judge rejected his team’s request to award the state’s six electoral votes to the incumbent. Judge James Russell ruled Friday against the Trump campaign’s unprecedented request to either block certification of the state’s presidential election results or award the state’s electoral votes to Trump, saying in a written order that the campaign’s claims of voter fraud to the level needed to bring the state’s presidential results into question fell far short of the evidentiary standard needed to contest the results of the presidential election. In his 35-page order, Russell wrote that he found the evidence offered by the Trump campaign to have “little to no value,” and failed to provide under any standard of proof that the campaign’s long list of alleged fraud and vote irregularities could be backed up under any evidentiary standard. “Contestants did not prove under any standard of proof that any illegal votes were cast and counted, or legal votes were not counted at all, for any other improper or illegal reason, nor in an amount equal to or greater than 33,596, or otherwise in an amount sufficient to raise reasonable doubt as to the outcome of the election,” Russell wrote in the order. “Reasonable doubt is one based on reason, not mere possibility.”

Full Article: Judge rejects Trump campaign lawsuit seeking to block state’s presidential election results, says no evidence election was affected by fraud

New York: Confusion in Brindisi-Tenney House race exposes state’s election dysfunction | Mark Weiner/syracuse.com

The undecided House race between Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney has exposed deep flaws in New York’s election system that undermine public faith in the state’s electoral process, voting rights advocates say. Those advocates say they will push for a series of state election reforms next year to make sure that the debacle in New York’s 22nd Congressional District won’t be repeated. The vote count has been marked by a series of bizarre twists, including missing ballots that suddenly surfaced, lost sticky notes that had been attached to ballots, a lack of transparency and a frustrated judge – all calling into question the competency of election officials. The Brindisi-Tenney race is the only one of 435 House seats nationwide that hasn’t been decided, more than a month after Election Day. Tenney leads Brindisi by only 12 votes – after more than 318,000 were cast – as the two sides head toward a showdown in court Monday. A judge will decide what to do about hundreds of ballots disputed by both campaigns. The concerns voiced around the state about this race have nothing to do with the unfounded conspiracy theories President Donald Trump and his supporters have promoted after his loss to Joe Biden.

Full Article: Confusion in Brindisi-Tenney House race exposes New York’s election dysfunction – syracuse.com

Pennsylvania: U.S. Supreme Court moves up deadline in congressman’s bid to upend election results | Jeremy Roebuck/Philadelphia Inquirer

The U.S. Supreme Court moved up a key deadline Sunday for Pennsylvania officials to respond to a last-minute bid by one of President Donald Trump’s top boosters in Congress to decertify the state’s elections results. Previously, Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who oversees emergency matters arising out of Pennsylvania for the court, had given state election administrators until Wednesday to file their response to the appeal from U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R., Butler), who has argued that Pennsylvania’s vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional and that every mail ballot cast in the state should be thrown out. But on Sunday, Alito moved up the schedule in Kelly’s case by a day, ordering state officials to respond by 9 a.m. Tuesday, instead. The difference of just a day is significant, given that the previous deadline of Wednesday fell one day after what is known as the “safe harbor date,” the federal cutoff date for states to resolve any remaining election disputes and lock in their slate of electors for the Dec. 14 Electoral College vote. Many legal observers read Alito’s initial selection of Dec. 9 as a sign that the court had no intention of acting on the Kelly’s case in a way that would interfere with Pennsylvania awarding its 20 electoral votes to President-elect Joe Biden. The new deadline falls on the same day as the “safe harbor date” and now would give the court a few hours Tuesday to act on Kelly’s request if it chooses to do so — though Alito did not offer any explanation Sunday for the change in schedule.

Full Article: U.S. Supreme Court moves up deadline in congressman’s bid to upend Pa. election results

Texas could soon enact same-day voter registration on Election Day | Jay R. Jordan/Houston Chronicle

Texas saw record-breaking voter turnout in 2020. Nearly 68 percent of the state’s 17 million registered voters cast ballots in the presidential election, the highest rate in decades. Even with such a massive turnout, there’s always room for improvement. In nearly half of all states, residents are able to register to vote on Election Day. But in Texas, the deadline to register is an entire month before Election Day. A Houston-area lawmaker hopes to change that. State Rep. Ron Reynolds, a Democrat representing parts of Fort Bend County, filed a bill Thursday for the upcoming legislature that, if enacted, would allow anyone to register and vote on Election Day throughout the state starting in late 2021. The bill states that two voter registrars must be present at each polling location to register new voters, according to text of the bill. Voters will cast a provisional ballot and fill out a voter registration form, which will then be corroborated by the registrar and Texas Secretary of State.

Full Article: Texas could soon enact same-day voter registration on Election Day

Wisconsin: Despite a surge in absentee voting, changes to ballot processing languish | Nora Eckert/Wisconsin Watch

As Claire Woodall-Vogg stood in the middle of an empty Central Count facility days before the Nov. 3 election, it wasn’t just the national spotlight on the city of Milwaukee or the swirling claims of voter fraud that weighed heavily on her mind. It was the frustration that she, and hundreds of other Milwaukee election workers, were facing an unprecedented pile of absentee ballots — and no permission to process them. For years, Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, and other election officials have pushed for absentee vote processing to start before Election Day. While momentum on this front has built since 2008, with two pieces of legislation proposed in the last legislative session alone, Wisconsin still bars workers from opening absentee ballots before an election. “I get pretty frustrated by it and pretty angry that we’re being forced to risk our own health,” Woodall-Vogg said, her voice straining as she explained that more than 400 election workers would take shifts counting absentee ballots until all were tabulated. Woodall-Vogg had hoped workers would have more time to process absentee ballots, so they wouldn’t have to work around the clock in the enclosed Central Count space on Election Day. Earlier processing also would have allowed Wisconsin to avoid unwarranted charges by President Donald Trump and his allies of middle-of-the-night “dumps” of absentee ballots that in most places tended to favor former Vice President Joe Biden. Rules for processing ballots vary across the country. Wisconsin is one of a handful of states that doesn’t allow workers to process ballots until Election Day, while others, such as Massachusetts, Washington and Colorado, allow workers to process ballots as soon as they receive them.

Full Article: Despite a surge in absentee voting, changes to ballot processing languish in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Supreme Court deals Trump election challenges 3rd defeat | Patrick Marley and Molly Beck/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

For the third time in less than 30 hours, four justices on the state Supreme Court dealt President Donald Trump a setback Friday, saying they wouldn’t accept a lawsuit by Trump allies who wanted to let Republican lawmakers instead of voters decide how to cast the state’s electoral votes. As with two decisions Thursday, Friday’s ruling was 4-3, with conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn joining the court’s liberals to rebuff the president as he seeks to take away Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow win of the state. “The relief being sought by the petitioners is the most dramatic invocation of judicial power I have ever seen,” Hagedorn wrote. “While the rough and tumble world of electoral politics may be the prism through which many view this litigation, it cannot be so for us. In these hallowed halls, the law must rule.” The ruling came just hours after a federal judge appointed by Trump expressed skepticism toward a separate challenge to the election results brought by the president. The case before the state Supreme Court was filed by the Wisconsin Voters Alliance, a conservative group formed this fall in Kewaunee County that maintained the election was conducted improperly. The group raised some of the same arguments Trump did in a lawsuit that the justices threw out on Thursday. Hagedorn expressed alarm at the group’s request to throw out nearly 3.3 million votes, calling it a “real stunner.” “We are invited to invalidate the entire presidential election in Wisconsin by declaring it ‘null’ — yes, the whole thing,” wrote Hagedorn, who served as chief counsel to Republican Scott Walker when he was governor.

Full Article: Wisconsin Supreme Court deals Trump election challenges 3rd defeat

Pennsylvania: Supreme Court order, state GOP leaders effectively end Trump’s hope for legislators to reverse election results | Jeremy Roebuck/Philadelphia Inquirer

If its fate had not been abundantly clear already, President Donald Trump’s dream of having Pennsylvania’s GOP-controlled legislature overturn the state’s election results received what appeared to be its final death blows Thursday with a late-night order from the U.S. Supreme Court and an unequivocal statement from the General Assembly’s Republican leadership that they had no intention of doing so. The Supreme Court order came in response to a request from one of the president’s top boosters in Congress, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R., Pa.), who has asked the justices to declare the state’s vote-by-mail law unconstitutional and to “decertify” Pennsylvania’s results, which cemented President-elect Joe Biden’s victory by roughly 81,000 votes last week. But just hours after Kelly filed that appeal Thursday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. crafted a telling schedule for the case, giving state officials until Dec. 9 to file their reply. The date set by Alito — who oversees emergency petitions arising from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware for the court — comes one day after what is known as the “safe harbor date,” the federal deadline for states to resolve outstanding challenges to their elections. Once it has passed, the state’s slate of appointed electors is considered to be locked in for the Dec. 14 Electoral College vote.

Full Article: Supreme Court order, state GOP leaders effectively end Trump’s hope for Pa. legislators to reverse election results

Here Are the Threats Terrorizing Election Workers | Michael Wines/The New York Times

In his urgent demand on Monday that President Trump condemn his angry supporters who are threatening workers and officials overseeing the 2020 vote, a Georgia elections official focused on an animated image of a hanging noose that had been sent to a young voting-machine technician. “It’s just wrong,” the official, Gabriel Sterling, a Republican, said at a news conference. “I can’t begin to explain the level of anger I have over this.” But the technician in Georgia is not alone. Far from it. Across the nation, election officials and their staff have been bombarded in recent weeks with emails, telephone calls and letters brimming with menace and threats of violence, the result of their service in a presidential election in which the defeated candidate’s most ardent followers have refused to accept the results. The noose may be approaching meme status among the recipients of the abuse. Amber McReynolds, the head of the National Vote at Home Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes voting by mail, said she had experienced a spike in online threats since Election Day, when Mr. Trump ratcheted up false claims that fraudulent mail votes had cost him the election. One serial harasser on Twitter, she said, has been especially venomous. “He sent me a picture of a noose and said, ‘You’re a traitor to the American people,’” she said. “All because I run a nonprofit that tries to make voting by mail easier and more secure.” “I personally have gotten 10 or 12 of those — emails with the nooses, images of people who have been hung,” said the chief election official of one Western state, who refused to be named for fear of drawing even more threats. “They don’t reference anything you’re doing wrong. They’re just, ‘This election was stolen. We know you had something to do with it. We’re going to come for you.’”

Full Article: Here Are the Threats Terrorizing Election Workers – The New York Times

Rudy Giuliani took a road trip to push claims of election fraud. He was rebuffed | Nicholas Wu/USA Today

Seated in front of Michigan state lawmakers and a largely unmasked audience on Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Guiliani waved binders, floated baseless conspiracy theories and urged lawmakers to stop what he called the “theft of an election.” Just a day earlier in Washington, Attorney General William Barr had contradicted claims of malfeasance that Trump and Giuliani have promoted in their efforts to overturn the election won by President-elect Joe Biden. Barr told the Associated Press the Justice Department had not found evidence of widespread voter fraud. Michigan lawmakers were equally unreceptive to the claims of a stolen election, including the Republican legislators who had invited Giuliani to make his case. The lawmakers made clear the state had already certified Biden as the winner in Michigan and that the outcome wouldn’t change. The Lansing event was the latest stop on a postelection tour of battleground states – including Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan – that put Four Seasons Total Landscaping on the map. The Philadelphia landscaping company was the backdrop for a Nov. 7 event that made headlines because of conspiracy theories floated by the president’s legal team. In the courts, Trump’s legal team has faced blistering rebukes and a series of defeats.  With the legal effort headed toward a dead end, experts said the tour by Trump’s legal team may help fire up the president’s base while harming faith in the country’s election systems.

Full Article: Giuliani’s election claims rebuffed in Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania

National: Violent threats only make elections more vulnerable, experts fear | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post

A volley of violent threats against election workers will only make it harder to administer elections safely and securely in the future, experts fear. The threats, many of which were sparked by baseless claims of fraud by President Trump and his allies, could make it tougher to staff polling places. The threats could also make it harder for people who do show up to focus on the complexities of their work – or force officials to make election work less transparent and accessible because of security concerns. “The danger of intimidation is that it become a downward spiral,” Edward Perez, an executive at OSET Institute, a nonprofit election technology organization, told me. “Whether you have scared election officials who hunker down and are perceived as less accessible, or poll workers who don’t show up to staff polling places, the net effect can be an election that fewer people have confidence about. And that is a security issue,” said Perez, who formerly worked for Hart InterCivic, one of the top election machine vendors. … “Election work demands concentration, so existential distractions are a direct threat to that,” Mark Lindeman, interim co-director of the election security organization Verified Voting, told me. “Poll workers need to consistently conduct procedures the same way for every voter and also attend to unexpected concerns voters raise. That requires discipline and this is absolutely pushing in the wrong direction.”

Full Article: The Cybersecurity 202: Violent threats only make elections more vulnerable, experts fear – The Washington Post