National: New federal cybersecurity lead says ‘rumor control’ site will remain up through January | Maggie Miller/The Hill

Brandon Wales, the nation’s new top federal cybersecurity official, said Thursday that his agency intends to leave up its “rumor control” webpage that pushes back against election misinformation and disinformation until after the Georgia Senate runoff elections in January. Wales, who took over as acting director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) after former Director Christopher Krebs was fired by President Trump, said the webpage was “an important way for us to put out accurate information about the security of voting infrastructure.” “What I’ve told our staff is that our election security mission, particularly associated with the Protect 2020 effort, will continue until all the elections are complete,” Wales said at the Aspen Institute’s virtual Cyber Summit. “We will keep issuing rumor control entries as we think that the situation warrants it and where we can actually have an impact, and will we do that through the end of this cycle, which hopefully will happen sometime in early January,” he added. The Georgia Senate runoff elections, which will determine control of the Senate, are set to take place the first week of January.  CISA’s “rumor control” page was updated to include two new items Wednesday, with CISA detailing ballot protection efforts that prevent destruction, and outlining the lengthy process voting systems go through to be certified for use by state and federal testing programs. The website recently came under fire by President Trump, as the page helped to debunk voter fraud and election interference concerns Trump voiced in the days after the election.

Full Article: New federal cybersecurity lead says ‘rumor control’ site will remain up through January | TheHill

National: How Trump’s Hill allies could take one last shot to overturn the election | Kyle Cheney and Melanie Zonona/Politico

President Donald Trump’s arsenal for overturning the election will soon be down to one final, desperate maneuver: pressing his Republican allies on Capitol Hill to step in and derail Joe Biden’s presidency. Although the Electoral College casts the official vote for president on Dec. 14, it’s up to Congress to certify the results a few weeks later. And federal law gives individual members of the House and Senate the power to challenge the results from the floor — a rarely used mechanism meant to be the last of all last resorts to safeguard an election. But several House Republican lawmakers and aides now tell POLITICO they’re considering this option to aid Trump’s quest. “Nothing is off the table,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.). Gaetz pointed out that in January 2017, a handful of House Democrats took this precise procedural step before their efforts flamed out during a joint session of Congress presided over by none other than Biden, then the outgoing vice president. “It is over,” Biden said at the time, gaveling down Democrats as Republicans cheered. This time, Vice President Mike Pence will be in the chair for any potential challenges — a potentially awkward scenario as his boss continues to deny the reality of the election he lost.

Full Article: How Trump’s Hill allies could take one last shot to overturn the election – POLITICO

National: Lawmakers Push to Preserve Pandemic Voting Access | Matt Vasilogambros/Stateline

Bolstered by a presidential election with the highest voter turnout in more than a century, state election officials and lawmakers—mostly Democrats, but also some Republicans—are working to codify many of the pandemic-specific changes that broadened ballot access over the past year. But officials who want to permanently expand mail-in voting and other changes still face an uphill battle in conservative-leaning states where many Republican lawmakers, already hostile to expanding voting access, are parroting President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Since Election Day, Democratic and Republican lawmakers in at least seven states have introduced legislation to expand ballot access by improving mail-in and early voting systems, according to an analysis by Stateline. Legislators in at least eight other states have said they plan to introduce similar bills. In three states, lawmakers have introduced measures to restrict mail-in voting. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat and one of the frontrunners to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate, said in an interview with Stateline that he hopes many of these temporary changes will be made permanent nationwide. “We saw how successful the election was in all the states,” he said. “I’m hoping that is proof to the wisdom of these changes.”

Full Article: Lawmakers Push to Preserve Pandemic Voting Access | The Pew Charitable Trusts

National: GOP Officials Push Back On Trump’s Election Disinformation | Miles Parks/NPR

Republicans at the national level have mostly stayed quiet during President Trump’s month-long baseless crusade against November’s election results. But at the state and county level it’s been a different story. Local election administrators, most of whom are elected along partisan lines, are in charge of the nuts and bolts of voting in America’s decentralized elections system. In many cases, it’s been Republican officials who have held firm in their position that the results were not tainted by a widespread cheating scheme, despite a pressure campaign by the president unlike any in American history. “This was unprecedented scrutiny,” said Martha Kropf, an elections administration expert at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. “For two reasons: the amount of pressure that Donald Trump has been putting on the election officials, but also for the unprecedented amount of things those officials had to do to prepare for this election.” The officials Trump is targeting oversaw a shift towards more voting options this year to reduce the risk of people getting sick due to the pandemic.

Full Article: GOP Officials Push Back On Trump’s Election Disinformation : NPR

National: Pistols, a Hearse and Trucks Playing Chicken: Why Some Voters Felt Harassed and Intimidated at the Polls | Adriana Gallardo, Maryam Jameel and Ryan McCarthy/ProPublica

While the 2020 election went more smoothly than most had dared to hope, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan election protection group, nonetheless received a steady drumbeat of complaints to its hotline about voter intimidation and harassment during early voting and on Election Day. The reports described threats, overly aggressive electioneering,…

Alaska: Elections data exposure affected 113,000 Alaskans but had no impact on November results, state officials say | Aubrey Wieber/Anchorage Daily News

A data exposure caught by elections officials in October compromised the personal information of 113,000 Alaskans but had no impact on the actual election results, Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer said Thursday. The exposure involved the online voter registration database, which is separate from the voter tabulation system. “The results of the election are accurate, and we have been doing hand counts to verify that,” Meyer told reporters Thursday. State officials said “outside actors” accessed the data through a flaw in the online voter registration system, which has since been patched. They were able to pull registered voters’ names, dates of birth, state identification numbers, last four digits of Social Security numbers, addresses and party affiliations. (Party affiliations, names and addresses are already publicly available through the state’s voter information database.) The online voter registration system, which is only 5 years old, is separate from the overall registered voter database. It only includes people who have updated their voter information in the past five years.

Full Article: Elections data exposure affected 113,000 Alaskans but had no impact on November results, state officials say – Anchorage Daily News

Alaska officials say hackers stole voter info, didn’t compromise election integrity | Nathaniel Herz/Alaska Public Media

State officials said Thursday that hackers stole personal information including birth dates and driver’s license numbers of more than 100,000 Alaska voters, though they stressed there was no effect on the results of last month’s election. The hackers gained unauthorized access to data in the state’s online voter registration system, which was built and maintained by a contractor and operated by the Alaska Division of Elections, officials said in a prepared statement Thursday. Republican Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, who supervises Alaska’s election system, learned of the hack Oct. 27, his office said in the statement. “I have some sad news. The state of Alaska was the victim of data exposure by outside actors,” Meyer said at a news conference Thursday. While personal information was exposed, he added, “No other election systems or data were affected.” Officials said the flaw that exposed the data has been fixed, and Alaskans’ information is now secure, but it’s still not known exactly which records were stolen. The exposed data includes names, birth dates, driver’s license numbers, addresses, party affiliations, and the last four digits of social security numbers.

Full Article: Alaska officials say hackers stole voter info, didn’t compromise election integrity – Alaska Public Media

Arizona: Judge hears testimony in election challenge | Howard Fischer/Arizona Capitol Times

A court-ordered inspection of more than 1,600 ballots cast in the general election found just nine with errors in the presidential race — not enough even if the error rate ran through all similar ballots to declare Donald Trump the victor here. The disclosure came as Jack Wilenchik, attorney for state GOP Chair Kelli Ward, presented a series of witnesses Thursday who testified about seeing errors in how Maricopa County handled ballots that needed to be duplicated. This happens when an entire ballot — or some of the races on it — is unreadable to automatic scanning equipment. That could be due to physical damage, stains or extraneous marks. The idea is for a bipartisan group of election workers to examine the ballot, attempts to ascertain the intent of the voter and crafts what is supposed to be a mirror ballot that can be fed through the machine. The witnesses told Warner they saw various errors in the process, with both individuals and rescanning machines taking ballots that should have been marked for Trump and either re-marking them for Biden or otherwise altering them so that Trump would not get the vote. Scott Jarrett who works for the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office testified that a review of that sample of more than 1,600 ballots showed there were some mistakes made by county workers in duplicating the originals. But he said a review of a random sample of these duplicated ballots ordered by the court turned up just 9 with errors.

Full Article: Judge hears testimony in election challenge – Arizona Capitol Times

Florida: Disgraced Republican lawmaker planted no-party candidate in key Senate race, sources say | Ana Ceballos and Samantha J. Gross/Miami Herald

The confession came on election night. Over drinks at an Irish pub in Seminole County, as television screens began to show the latest election results for key state Senate races, former Miami state Sen. Frank Artiles was getting excited. Miami Republican Ileana Garcia, a first-time candidate, was leading Democratic incumbent Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez in the race to represent Miami-Dade’s Senate District 37. It was tight, but she was winning. And Artiles wanted to brag. “That is me, that was all me,” Artiles told a crowd at Liam Fitzpatrick’s restaurant in Lake Mary, where Sen. Jason Brodeur was holding his election night party, according to a person who was there and who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation. “He was so loud,” the person said. Artiles boasted that he planted a no-party candidate in the Miami-Dade Senate race, which Garcia won after a three-day recount by just 32 votes out of more than 215,000 cast. Artiles recruited Alexis (Alex) Rodriguez, a longtime acquaintance and Facebook friend. Sources with direct knowledge have indicated that Artiles’ involvement in launching Rodriguez’s bid was extensive. When asked by the Herald about his involvement in the no-party candidate’s race Thursday, Artiles did not respond. Numerous attempts to reach him by phone and text messaging Monday and Thursday were unsuccessful. The no-party candidate with the same surname as the incumbent Democrat had been a registered Republican until just before his qualifying papers were filed to make him a candidate for the Florida Senate. He received 6,382 votes in the election.

Full Article: Frank Artiles behind no-party candidate in FL Senate race | Miami Herald

Georgia: QAnon harassment campaign reportedly led to noose at contractor’s home | Rachel E. Greenspan/Insider

A harassment campaign within the QAnon conspiracy-theory movement, based on conspiracy theories boosted by President Donald Trump, has led to death threats and a noose at the door of a 20-year-old contractor for Dominion Voting Systems, a Georgia official said. “It all gone too far. All of it,” Gabriel Sterling, a Republican and Georgia’s voting system implementation manager for Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, said in a press conference on Tuesday night. “I can’t begin to explain the level of anger I have right now over this. And every American, every Georgian, Republican and Democrat alike, should have that same level of anger.” Believers in QAnon, a baseless far-right conspiracy theory alleging that Trump is fighting a “deep-state cabal” of pedophiles, have been among the loudest voices claiming without evidence that President-elect Joe Biden’s win was somehow “rigged.” The QAnon community has focused its efforts to undermine the election results on Dominion Voting Systems, an election-software company that was used by several battleground states in the 2020 election. False claims that Dominion’s software was used to change votes for Trump to votes for Biden, which the company and election-security experts have categorically disputed, have continued to spread in the weeks since the November 4 election.

Full Article: QAnon harassment campaign reportedly led to noose at contractor’s home – Insider

Georgia GOP senators say they’ll push election changes in 2021 | Maya T. Prabhu and David Wickert/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Georgia Republican senators said after what happened in the 2020 election they will seek to make changes in state voting laws during the upcoming legislative session. Democratic nominee Joe Biden beat Republican President Donald Trump in Georgia. Trump has spent the past month claiming fraud, putting pressure on GOP officials who run the state to do something about it because many of his supporters believe his unproven allegations. “I’m going to try to build this statement based on a consensus of what I’m hearing from the people that I represent: We have totally lost confidence in our election system this year,” Senate Republican Whip Steve Gooch of Dahlonega said during a committee hearing Thursday. “I’m here on behalf of those citizens. I have a duty to let you know that this issue isn’t going to go away unless we make some changes.” The hearing was one of two Senate Republican leaders scheduled Thursday. At the second Senate hearing, attorneys for Trump said they planned to file a lawsuit in Fulton County that seeks to overturn the election results. Among other things, they said they had evidence that tens of thousands of ineligible voters cast ballots in the election. And they called on the General Assembly to send a slate of electors to Washington who would elect Trump as president. After the initial hearing in which myriad “problems” in this year’s elections were aired, Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller, a Gainesville Republican, said the Senate would pursue legislation to make changes to the election system next year.

Full Article: GOP senators say they’ll push election changes in 2021

Michigan: State elections director knocks down Trump claims about TCF, fraudulent vote count | Todd Spangler/Detroit Free Press

A top elections official for Michigan’s Secretary of State Office this week forcefully rebutted claims made by President Donald Trump and his allies that the Nov. 3 balloting was flawed, saying there is no evidence software changed votes and explaining that minor discrepancies in vote-counting at TCF Center in Detroit were far too small to change the outcome. In a sworn statement filed Wednesday in a lawsuit before U.S. District Judge Linda Parker, Jonathan Brater, the director of the state Bureau of Elections, said not only does the fact that Trump won more votes in Detroit in 2020 than he did in 2016 undermine Trump’s claims that the election was rigged or fraudulent but that discrepancies between the number of absentee ballots counted at TCF Center and the number of names of voters shown to have voted absentee was less than 150. About 174,000 absentee ballots from Detroit were tabulated at TCF on Nov. 3-4. President-elect Joe Biden beat Trump in the city by more than 200,000 votes and won statewide by more than 154,000 votes. “(The) various insinuations that large numbers of ballots were illegally counted or altered in Detroit are easily dismissed by a cursory review of election data,” Brater wrote in the affidavit, which is part of a lawsuit filed by attorney Sidney Powell asking that the results of the election awarding Michigan’s 16 Electoral College votes to Biden be set aside.

Full Article: Donald Trump claims about Michigan election knocked down

Michigan hearings gave Trump campaign a venue to spread election misinformation | Malachi Barrett/MLive.com

Michigan legislative committees provided a platform this week for Trump supporters and the president’s personal lawyer to air unproven claims of election fraud and wild conspiracies that are now spreading across the internet. President Donald Trump directed millions of online viewers to a four-hour Wednesday night House Oversight Committee meeting attended by lawyer Rudy Giuliani and witnesses who shared testimony that has largely been disputed by Michigan election officials, judges and independent media reports. Giuliani claimed certified election results approved by bipartisan county boards and the Board of State Canvassers – which show Trump lost by 154,000 votes — “is a complete phony” and should be ignored by the Legislature. “It’s a false statement made to the United States government,” Giuliani said Wednesday. “Those are prosecutable, by the way. That’s not the vote by any means in Michigan. I don’t know what the vote in Michigan is, but it’s at least 300,000 or 400,000 votes off for what the real vote in Michigan is. You heard the anger and the upset of your citizens. They seem to have more passion about it than you do.” Giuliani’s count, which he did not substantiate, goes far beyond the number of votes experts say would be affected by unbalanced poll books. A miscount of 300,000 votes would be greater than all the votes cast in Detroit, a central area of focus in Trump’s fraud allegations. Michigan Bureau of Elections Director Jonathan Brater has previously said there’s no evidence of such inaccuracies, other than “occasional human errors” experienced every election year. Jake Rollow, a spokesperson for the Michigan Secretary of State, called Wednesday’s hearing a “sham” seeking to “erode the public’s confidence in what was a well-run election.”

Full Article: Michigan hearings gave Trump campaign a venue to spread election misinformation – mlive.com

Nevada: Trump’s attempt to overturn election to be ruled on Friday | Rory Appleton/Las Vegas Review-Journal

A Carson City district court judge will rule Friday on an attempt by President Donald Trump’s campaign to overturn the state’s presidential election results and bar electors for President-elect Joe Biden from formalizing his victory when the Electoral College meets later this month. Judge James Russell heard arguments in the case Thursday but did not make a determination, saying he needed the evening to review the evidence cited in both campaign attorneys’ arguments to decide. He pledged to issue a ruling on Friday. “It is important for all Americans to have confidence that their government officials have conducted a fair, open and free election with every vote filed legally and counted honestly,” Russell said to open the hearing. Trump’s proposed slate of electors filed the challenge last month against Biden’s proposed electors, who were confirmed as Nevada’s representatives in the Electoral College when the state certified the election last week. Biden’s official margin over Trump in Nevada was 33,596 votes, or about 2.4 percentage points.

Full Article: Trump’s attempt to overturn Nevada’s election to be ruled on Friday | Las Vegas Review-Journal

North Carolina: No decision: Recount ends without determining state’s chief justice | Jordan Wilkie/Carolina Public Press

Late Wednesday night, Forsyth County completed its recount in the race for the chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court. It was the last county to cross the finish line in  process that was supposed to be completed a week earlier. Off camera in the livestream of the county’s election warehouse, someone said, “Bye, guys. See you at the second recount.” Much to the chagrin of election officials — and reporters — around the state, that joke will come true, as the race for the chief justice of the state Supreme Court remains undecided, possibly for weeks to come. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, a Democrat whose term ends on Dec. 31, currently trails her opponent, Republican Paul Newby, by 401 votes, or eight-thousandths of a percent out of the almost 5.4 million votes cast in the race. Even if Beasley loses her seat, Democrats retain 4-3 control of the state Supreme Court. The chief justice position holds power through a variety of duties in the state’s court system. The role is responsible for appointing other judicial leaders, including commission members, three-judge panels for certain cases and the director and assistant director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. The chief justice also designates the chief judge of the Court of Appeals.

Full Article: No decision: Recount ends without determining state’s chief justice – Carolina Public Press

Pennsylvania GOP Lawmakers Make Clear They Won’t Overturn The Election As Trump Wants | Alison Durkee/Forbes

Republican state lawmakers in Pennsylvania will not make any attempt to overturn the state’s popular vote by appointing their own presidential electors, the legislature’s leadership said in a statement Thursday, killing the Trump campaign’s hopes of contesting President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the state even as other Pennsylvania Republicans take an election challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court. Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, House Speaker Bryan Cutler, Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward and House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff said they “cannot take steps to appoint electors for this election,” as the Trump campaign has expressly asked state lawmakers to do. The Trump campaign pushed the tactic at a recent unofficial hearing with some Pennsylvania Republicans and has asked the courts to order that lawmakers step in, as part of a broader long-shot strategy targeting GOP-led legislatures in battleground states that elected Biden. The lawmakers said the state legislature “lacks the authority…to overturn the popular vote” by appointing its own electors and would violate Pennsylvania’s Election Code and Constitution if they did, as well as set a bad precedent.

Full Article: Pennsylvania GOP Lawmakers Make Clear They Won’t Overturn The Election As Trump Wants

Pennsylvania: US Supreme Court again asked to block Biden win | Marc Levy/Associated Press

Fresh off another rejection in Pennsylvania’s courts, Republicans on Thursday again asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state, while the state’s lawyers say fatal flaws in the original case mean justices are highly unlikely to grant it. Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of northwestern Pennsylvania and the other plaintiffs are asking the high court to prevent the state from certifying any contests from the Nov. 3 election, and undo any certifications already made, such as Biden’s victory, while its lawsuit is considered. They maintain that Pennsylvania’s expansive vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional because it required a constitutional amendment to authorize its provisions. However, in a sign that the case is likely too late to affect the election, Justice Samuel Alito ordered the state’s lawyers to respond by Dec. 9, a day after what is known as the safe harbor deadline. That means that Congress cannot challenge any electors named by this date in accordance with state law. Biden beat President Donald Trump by more than 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, a state Trump had won in 2016. Most mail-in ballots were submitted by Democrats. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court threw out the case Saturday. Kelly’s lawyers sought an injunction Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court, then withdrew it while they asked the state’s high court to halt any certifications until the U.S. Supreme Court acts. The state’s justices refused Thursday, and Kelly’s lawyers promptly refiled the case in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Full Article: Supreme Court again asked to block Biden win in Pennsylvania

Wisconsin high court declines to hear Trump election lawsuit | Scott Bauer/Associated Press

A split Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear President Donald Trump’s lawsuit attempting to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, sidestepping a decision on the merits of the claims and instead ruling that the case must first wind its way through lower courts. The defeat on a 4-3 ruling was the latest in a string of losses for Trump’s post-election lawsuits. Judges in multiple battleground states have rejected his claims of fraud or irregularities. Dissenting conservative justices said the decision would forever “stain” the outcome of the election. Trump asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. His lawsuit echoed claims that were earlier rejected by election officials in those counties during a recount that barely affected Biden’s winning margin of about 20,700 votes. Trump had wanted the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly, saying there wasn’t enough time to wage the legal battle by starting first with a lower court given the looming Dec. 14 date when presidential electors cast their votes. But attorneys for Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and the state Department of Justice argued the the lawsuit had to start with lower courts. Swing Justice Brian Hagedorn joined three liberal justices in denying the petition without weighing in on Trump’s allegations.

Full Article: Wisconsin high court declines to hear Trump election lawsuit

Wisconsin: Trump sues in federal court to put state lawmakers in charge of election outcome | Molly Beck/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Donald Trump and his allies are bombarding state and federal judges across the country with lawsuits seeking to change the outcome of the presidential election — the latest in a Wisconsin federal court. Trump called on a federal judge late Wednesday to respond to the case within 48 hours as the president seeks to find a foothold in a courtroom before the Electoral College meets in 11 days to finalize the election for President-elect Joe Biden. The lawsuit by the Trump campaign challenges absentee voting in Wisconsin by arguing it discriminates against “able-bodied” voters, that broad availability of voting by mail contradicts the Wisconsin Legislature’s disfavor of such voting, and because ballot drop boxes were not manned. “While everyone understands that public officials working in cities and towns across Wisconsin are dedicated and selfless, it should not be a moment of pride that the Wisconsin Elections Commission offered so little guidance that absentee ballots could be intermingled with library books and utility bills,” the suit argues. On Thursday, the case was assigned to Judge Brett Ludwig in the eastern district court in Milwaukee. Trump named Ludwig to the seat earlier this year to fill the long-vacant seat of Judge Rudolph Randa, who died in 2016. The U.S. Senate confirmed Ludwig on Sept. 9. That action came hours before the Wisconsin Supreme Court declined to hear a separate case filed by Trump attorneys. That case, which seeks to nullify more than 200,000 votes cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties, is likely to be refiled in state circuit court.

Full Article: Trump files federal court challenge to Wisconsin election outcome

Alaska: Lawsuit challenges new ranked-choice voting ballot measure | James Brooks/Anchorage Daily News

The Alaskan Independence Party, its chairman and two Anchorage residents are suing the state of Alaska to overturn Ballot Measure 2, a sweeping election reform initiative that would install ranked-choice voting in Alaska’s general elections. Their lawsuit, filed Tuesday, claims that the measure would violate the plaintiffs’ rights “to free political association, free speech, right to petition, right to due process” and other rights guaranteed by the Alaska and U.S. constitutions. Filed against the state of Alaska and the Alaska Division of Elections, the lawsuit requests that the measure be nullified, that it not be used in future elections, and for “costs, damages, and attorney fees as may be appropriate.” If plaintiffs win, Alaska would keep its existing elections system. Attorney Ken Jacobus, also one of the plaintiffs, said he wrote the lawsuit broadly in hopes that other plaintiffs will join. Christine Hutchison, a member of the Alaska Republican Party Central Committee, said she will request that the party’s leaders discuss the lawsuit at their next meeting on Dec. 7. Hutchison shared her thoughts Tuesday afternoon as a caller on the KSRM Kenai talk radio show hosted by the Independence Party’s chairman, Bob Bird. Earlier this year, Republican Party chairman Glenn Clary told lawmakers that if the measure passed, his party would consider a legal challenge.

Full Article: Lawsuit challenges Alaska’s new ranked-choice voting ballot measure – Anchorage Daily News

National: Calls for martial law and US military oversight of new presidential election draws criticism | Howard Altman , Davis Winkie , Sarah Sicard , Meghann Myers , and Leo Shane III/Military Times

The idea that the U.S. military would oversee a new nationwide presidential election — ordered under martial law by President Donald Trump — is “insane in a year that we didn’t think could get anymore insane,” a defense official tells Military Times. Yet retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn promoted that exact idea Tuesday evening when he tweeted a press release from an Ohio-based conservative political organization. Calling former Vice President Joe Biden’s Nov. 3 victory over Trump “fraudulent,” the Ohio-based “We The People Convention” took out a full-page ad in the Washington Times on Tuesday urging Trump to “immediately declare a limited form of Martial Law, and temporarily suspend the Constitution and civilian control of these federal elections, for the sole purpose of having the military oversee a re-vote.” The organization called for the revote to include only registered voters with photo IDs, to be limited to only paper ballots, to be hand counted and with members of both Democrat and Republican parties observing. “Unfortunately, we are at the point where we can only trust our military to do this because our corrupt political class and courts have proven their inability to act fairly and within the law,” the group argued. The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the call for martial law. But during a press briefing Wednesday afternoon, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany referred to Flynn as “a valiant hero who served his country both on the battlefield and then in government” but did not reference his calls for military action in response to the election results.

Full Article: Calls for martial law and US military oversight of new presidential election draws criticism

National: Krebs describes threats to election officials as ‘undermining democracy’ | Maggie Miller/The Hill

Christoper Krebs, the nation’s former top cybersecurity official, said Wednesday that recent threats against election officials were “undemocratic” and “undermined democracy.” “I’ve received death threats, a number of these officials have received death threats, and to me, there aren’t good words to describe how un-American and undemocratic it is that the actual individuals responsible for the process of this most sacred democratic institution of elections are the ones that are getting the blowback here,” Krebs, the former director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said during a virtual event hosted by The Washington Post. “We are actively undermining democracy. We are actively undermining confidence in the electoral process,” Krebs said. Krebs was fired by President Trump last month after pushing back against Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and election interference through CISA’s “rumor control” webpage, and after CISA signed on to a statement with state and local officials calling the 2020 election the “most secure in American history.” His comments came two days after Joe diGenova, an attorney for Trump’s reelection campaign, appeared on “The Howie Carr Show” and called for Krebs to be “drawn and quartered” and “taken out at dawn and shot” due to Krebs’s comments backing the high security of the election. The attorney later walked back his comments and said they were made “in jest,” according to a statement given to the National Review, though Krebs in a separate interview on NBC’s “Today” threatened legal action.”

Source: Krebs describes threats to election officials as ‘undermining democracy’ | TheHill

National: Trump Delivers 46-Minute Diatribe on the ‘Rigged’ Election From White House | Michael D. Shear/The New York Times

President Trump on Wednesday released a 46-minute videotaped speech that denounced a “rigged” election and was filled with lies the day after his own attorney general joined election officials across the country in attesting to his defeat. Mr. Trump recorded what he said “may be the most important speech I’ve ever made” in the Diplomatic Room of the White House and delivered it behind a lectern bearing the presidential seal. He then posted a two-minute version on Twitter, with a link to the full version on his Facebook page. The president once again refused to concede defeat in his bid for re-election almost a month after Election Day, repeating a long list of false assertions about voter fraud and accusing Democrats of a conspiracy to steal the presidency. Twitter quickly labeled the post “disputed.” Facebook added a note that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who received almost 81 million votes and 306 electoral votes, is the projected winner of the election. The video, which a White House official said was recorded last week, was the in-person embodiment of Mr. Trump’s staccato tweets over the past three weeks: one falsehood after another about voting irregularities in swing states, attacks on state officials and signature verifications, and false accusations against Democrats. The president’s rambling assertions in the video were drastically undercut on Tuesday, when Attorney General William P. Barr told The Associated Press that despite inquiries by the Justice Department and the F.B.I., “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

Full Article: Trump Delivers 46-Minute Diatribe on the ‘Rigged’ Election From White House – The New York Times.

 

 

National: Election officials warn Trump’s escalating attacks on voting are putting their staffs at risk | Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Emma Brown/The Washington Post

Intensifying attacks on the integrity of the vote by President Trump and his allies are fueling deep alarm among state and local officials, who have watched with dread in recent weeks as election workers have been targeted by fast-spreading conspiracy theories. They echoed calls by Gabriel Sterling, a top Republican election official in Georgia who on Tuesday urged Trump and other GOP politicians to tamp down their baseless claims of widespread fraud. In an impassioned statement, Sterling blamed the president for “inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.” He noted that a 20-year-old contractor for Dominion Voting Systems has been besieged with online attacks after QAnon supporters falsely claimed a video showed him manipulating voting data, when he was in fact simply using a computer and thumb drive. Similar threats have cropped up across the country since Election Day. In Arizona, authorities are investigating calls for violence against the family and staff of Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D). In Vermont, state election officials received multiple voice mails Tuesday from an individual who urged violence against the staff — including execution by firing squad, according to the secretary of state’s office. “When it rises to the level of obscenities being shouted at my staff on a regular basis, or threats of physical violence, it has gone too far,” Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos (D) said in a statement to The Washington Post. “The conspiracy theories and unfounded rhetoric being pushed by the President and his team only serve to inspire this dangerous behavior, and deepen the divide between the American people — THIS HAS TO STOP.”

Full Article: Election officials warn Trump’s escalating attacks on voting are putting their staffs at risk – The Washington Post

National: For Trump supporters primed to disbelieve defeat, challenging the election was a civic duty | Dennis Wagner, Ryan Miller, Nick Penzenstadler, Kevin McCoy, and Donovan Slack/USA Today

In the days after the election, Trump’s allies and attorneys mobilized to stop the counting, delay certification of the results and challenge the legitimacy of ballots. People like Seely provided statements about what they saw, heard and suspected. These statements were the foundation upon which the lawsuits were built. In Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia – all swing states – they swore they had witnessed poll workers filling out blank ballots, changing votes, processing and backdating flawed ballots, delivering suspicious trunks to counting rooms and blocking, ignoring or intimidating GOP monitors. Many of those allegations crumbled under scrutiny. Their beliefs have not. Those who submitted statements under penalty of perjury reflect a cross-section of America: blue- and white-collar workers, homemakers, retirees, students, military personnel. Their statements generally seem sincere and straightforward.

Full Article: Meet the Americans involved in Trump lawsuits challenging the election

National: Army Hits Back Against False Claim that Soldiers Died in CIA Op to Nab Election Servers | Gina Harkins/Military.com

A retired Air Force three-star general reignited baseless conspiratorial claims about U.S. troops’ involvement in clandestine missions in the wake of the presidential election — claims an Army official said are 100% false. No Special Forces soldiers were killed while seizing computer servers in Germany as part of a CIA operation after the presidential election. There was, in fact, no mission of the sort. And members of the 305th Military Intelligence Battalion are not “the Kraken” that an attorney for President Donald Trump said last month she’d be unleashing. The unit is not involved in any post-election missions supporting the White House — a move that would be highly unlikely considering it’s an entry-level training battalion where new soldiers who haven’t yet picked up their military occupational specialty are assigned. “The allegations are false,” an Army official told Military.com. Retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney made the claims last weekend on a show hosted by Brannon Howse on the far-right WVW Broadcast Network, which streamed the discussion on YouTube. The claims quickly spread on social media, with users tying the retired general’s comments to unsubstantiated allegations of fraud during November’s presidential election. WVW Broadcast Network did not respond to requests for comment from McInerney or Howse. The network also did not respond to questions about whether it would issue a correction about the claims made about soldiers dying in Germany or picking up missions for the CIA and White House.

Full Article: Army Hits Back Against False Claim that Soldiers Died in CIA Op to Nab Election Servers | Military.com

Editorial: If William Barr can admit Trump lost, why can’t other Republicans? | Jennifer Rubin/The Washington Post

The Post reports: “Attorney General William P. Barr told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he has ‘not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,’ undercutting claims that President Trump and his allies have made — without evidence — of widespread and significant voting irregularities.” Barr also batted down the incoherent and utterly false assertion from Trump’s lawyers that, as he put it during an interview with the Associated Press, “machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results.” Clearly, the attorney general has come a long way from his efforts to foment the false assertion that voting by mail was inherently vulnerable to fraud. While some may feel tempted to praise Barr for acknowledging reality, the critical issue is why he so enthusiastically joined Trump’s attempt before Nov. 3 to delegitimize our election. Moreover, why has he not admonished Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Trump for seeming to put pressure on state election officials to refuse certifying valid results? And why did he appoint U.S. Attorney John Durham on Tuesday as special counsel into the origins of the Russia probe — an outrageously partisan and likely illegal move that guarantees the investigation will continue into the incoming Biden administration? Barr apparently needs reminding that, without hope of cover from the president, his hyperpoliticization of the Justice Department (e.g., spinning the Mueller report, intervening in the Michael Flynn case) might come under scrutiny in the next administration. In any case, a voice of sanity — once more from outside D.C. — reminds us just how irresponsible congressional Republicans have been by remaining silent about Trump’s ongoing efforts to undermine the election. Georgia voting official Gabe Sterling, a Republican, denounced the president’s behavior as well as the public suggestion from Trump lawyer Joe diGenova that fired cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs be “executed.” (DiGenova later implausibly claimed he was joking).

Full Article: Opinion | If William Barr can admit Trump lost, why can’t other Republicans? – The Washington Post

Arizona: Trump supporters file federal suit seeking to overturn election results | Local news | Howard Fischer/Arizona Daily Star

Supporters of President Trump filed suit in federal court Wednesday in their latest bid to throw out the certified popular vote results that awarded Arizona’s 11 electors to Joe Biden. The lawsuit alleges “widespread ballot fraud,” due in part to Dominion Voting Systems machines used in Maricopa County, which they assert were designed purposely to take votes away from Trump. Attorney Sidney Powell specifically blames that on Eric Coomer, an executive with the company, and “his visceral and public rage against the current U.S. president.” She said it is part of a criminal conspiracy. Dominion officials have repeatedly said the company’s software and hardware are secure. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward, among others, also claims poll watchers were unable to adequately monitor that the signatures on envelopes of mail-in ballots were verified. It refers to “biased and partisan Maricopa County poll referees.” It also says not enough people were allowed to observe the process. Overall, the lawsuit claims, there were at least 412,494 illegal ballots counted in Arizona, far more than Biden’s 10,547-vote margin over Trump.

Full Article: Trump supporters file federal suit seeking to overturn Arizona’s election results | Local news | tucson.com

Florida: Republican election official rips ‘baseless’ and ‘destructive’ voter fraud conspiracies | Steve Contorno/Tampa Bay Times

Brian Corley, the Pasco County Supervisor of Elections and a Republican, issued a blistering condemnation on Wednesday of the “baseless claims and misinformation intent upon undermining the election results” that have emanated from his party in the last month. In a lengthy statement, Corley called on Americans to accept the results of “the most secure, transparent election in history.” As Corley made clear, that result is that Joe Biden is the president-elect and will be sworn into office Jan. 20. “It’s time to stop the destructive rhetoric and to stop prioritizing politics at the expense of our country’s founding principles,” Corley said in the statement. Corley was compelled to speak, he wrote, after watching Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling on Tuesday plead for President Donald Trump to stop inflaming conspiracies about the election. In a speech that has been watched by millions of people in the past 24 hours, Sterling warned that “someone is going to get killed” if Trump doesn’t back away from the baseless attacks on voting, election workers and Republicans who dare to suggest he lost.

Full Article: Republican election official in Florida rips ‘baseless’ and ‘destructive’ voter fraud conspiracies

Georgia: Voting rights groups sue over removal of registered voters | David Wickert/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Voting rights groups filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday that accuses the Georgia secretary of state’s office of improperly removing nearly 200,000 people from the state’s voter registration list last year. The lawsuit says the state removed tens of thousands of voters from the list because it believed they had moved away when, in fact, they had not. It also challenges a “use it or lose it” provision in state law that allows Georgia to purge voters who do not cast ballots for many years. That allowed the state to remove tens of thousands more voters, the lawsuit says. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta by the Black Voters Matter Fund, the Transformative Justice Coalition and the Rainbow Push Coalition. Latosha Brown, a co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, said at a press conference Wednesday announcing the lawsuit that the purge amounted to “massive-scale voter suppression.” The secretary of state disputed the claim of a faulty voter purge when it first arose in September, and it did so again Wednesday. Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voter system manager, said the office follows federal rules for maintaining its voter registration list. “Let’s not call it a purge,” Sterling said. “It’s federally mandated list maintenance.” Georgia maintains a database of millions of registered voters. It must keep the list up to date to prevent anyone not eligible to vote in Georgia from casting a ballot. It removes voters from the list if they have died, moved away, been convicted of a felony or failed to vote or contact election officials for many years.

Full Article: Voting rights groups sue Georgia over removal of registered voters