Arizona: Republicans to hold meeting on Nov. 3 election, Trump defeat | Associated Press

Arizona Republicans have scheduled a meeting at a hotel in downtown Phoenix on Monday to discuss the Nov. 3 election and President Donald Trump’s defeat. The event was billed as a “fact-finding hearing” featuring members of Trump’s legal team and members of the Arizona Legislature, but top leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature told The Associated Press that the planned gathering was not an official legislative event. According to press release by state Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro-Valley, the gathering is intended “to hear testimony and view evidence related to allegations of electoral compromise related to the 2020 election.” A similar event was held Wednesday in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. No evidence of fraud or hacking of voting machines has emerged during this election in Arizona. Five challenges have been filed in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix since Nov. 3 and four of those have been dismissed. An initial hearing on the fifth is scheduled Monday, the same day as the hotel event and the state election canvass at the state Capitol.

Full Article: Republicans to hold meeting on Nov. 3 election, Trump defeat

 

Georgia: Lacking Evidence Of Fraud, Calls For Audit Of Signatures On Absentee Ballots Fizzle | Paul Moffatt/WABE

No evidence has been presented that there was widespread fraud or irregularities with absentee ballots in Georgia in the November election. But that hasn’t stopped supporters of President Donald Trump from calling for an audit of the signatures on absentee ballots. “It seems simple enough to conduct a sample audit of signatures on the absentee ballot envelopes and compare those to the signatures on applications and on file at the Secretary of State’s office,” said Gov. Brian Kemp shortly after he certified Georgia’s election results on Nov. 20. Kemp reiterated that call at a press conference at the capitol on Tuesday. But neither Kemp, nor President Trump, nor Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are offering any proof of why the audit is actually needed. A statewide audit of the presidential election took place earlier this month. It included a hand count of all 4.9 million ballots. Counties are currently sending every ballot through a scanner again as part of a recount requested by the Trump administration. But officials in the Secretary of State’s office have rejected calls for an audit of absentee ballot signatures.

Full Article: Lacking Evidence Of Fraud, Calls For Audit Of Signatures On Georgia Absentee Ballots Fizzle | 90.1 FM WABE

 

Georgia recount costs some counties hundreds of thousands of dollars | David Wickert, Tyler Estep and Meris Lutz/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Counting and recounting ballots in the presidential race in Georgia is costing taxpayers in some metro Atlanta counties hundreds of thousands of dollars. Though the full cost is not clear, Fulton County officials said Wednesday that the combined price tag for last week’s hand count and this week’s machine recount will approach $400,000. Among other things, that includes staff time and rent through January for the Georgia World Congress Center, where counting takes place. DeKalb County believes the hand recount alone will cost $180,000. Other counties have not yet released cost estimates. But it’s clear taxpayers will pay a steep price for recounts that state officials say will not change the outcome of the presidential race. While some states require candidates to pay for recounts, in Georgia taxpayers pay the bill. Last week Georgia officials certified Joe Biden the winner in the state by 12,670 votes out of some 5 million ballots cast. The certification followed a hand recount that closely mirrored the initial machine tally of votes. On Saturday President Donald Trump requested the latest recount, which Georgia law permits because Biden’s margin of victory was less than half a percent. That recount entered its second day Wednesday and must be completed by midnight Dec. 2.

Full Article: Georgia recount costs some counties hundreds of thousands of dollars

 

Iowa: Scott County Auditor: 95% chance Iowa 2nd district US House race headed to court | Tom Barton/Quad City Times

The historically close race for an open southeast Iowa congressional seat could be nearing a single-digit victory as the tally continues to narrow as counties work to complete their recount of votes. Whatever the outcome, the race results are almost certainly headed to a legal challenge. Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks, as of late Wednesday afternoon, had 196,880 votes to Democrat Rita Hart’s 196,845, according to unofficial results from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office. The U.S. House race is the closest federal race in the country, and could become a single-digit race. “The reality that this is going to a (legal) contest, I believe, is, you know, 95% probability. They’re going to be within 50 votes of each other,” Scott County Auditor Roxanna Mortiz said Wednesday. The three-member recount board — which includes one representative from each campaign and one neutral member — in Scott County adjourned Wednesday without addressing a 131-ballot discrepancy between its tabulation of the absentee ballots received by the Scott County Auditor and those included in the county’s certified canvass of election results after election day. Rather than conduct a full machine recount of absentee ballots, the board decided, 2-1, over the objections of the Miller-Meeks’ campaign, to adjourn, leaving the unexplained discrepancy. Michael Bousselot, chief of staff to former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and the Miller-Meeks’ campaign representative, did not sign the recount board report “that has this cloud over it.” The board adjourned after requesting and awaiting legal advice from the Scott County Attorney, which advises the recount board.

Full Article: Scott County Auditor: 95% chance Iowa 2nd district US House race headed to court | News – Local and National | qctimes.com

 

Kentucky: ‘Good, Honest, Capable, and Willing People:’ A Take on Election Administrators Goes Viral | Kate Elizabeth Queram/Route Fifty

With a background in election administration—first as the director of elections in Louisville, Kentucky and now working at a company that helps to make elections more accessible to people with disabilities—James Young is accustomed to fielding questions about voting. But the inquiries he got about this year’s election were different. In the days following the Nov. 3 contest, all of the questions—from friends, professional acquaintances and family members—focused on the same topic: whether the election had been rigged to ensure that President Donald Trump would lose to Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who prevailed in the race and is now the president-elect. “I had a very, very close, personal friend who is a registered Republican—as am I—send me a conspiracy theory suggesting that election administrators were knowingly coordinating to prevent Donald Trump from winning re-election,” said Young, who is now a regional sales manager for the company Inclusion Solutions. “Of course,” he added, “I realized there was nothing that was going to change this person’s mind, and after I again reiterated my work with these individuals that he was suggesting had the fix in, he asked, ‘Well, whose side are you on?’”

Full Article: ‘Good, Honest, Capable, and Willing People:’ A Take on Election Administrators Goes Viral – Route Fifty

 

Maine Secretary of State Dunlap says off-stage events are what he’ll remember most | Scott Thistle/Portland Press Herald

In his 14 years as Maine’s secretary of state, Matt Dunlap has played a high-profile role in a host of voting and election issues, ranging from lawsuits over ranked-choice voting to safely overseeing in-person voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. But Dunlap says it’s the things that never make the news that he will remember most. Like the time he made a teenager, battling terminal cancer, smile. As the top official in the agency that runs the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Dunlap takes a hands-on approach, including serving occasionally as a driver’s license examiner who gives road tests to license applicants. The 17-year-old girl had been unable to complete the 70 hours of supervised driving required under state law for taking a driver’s exam, so Dunlap helped arrange an honorary road test for her in the parking lot of a closed Kmart. The girl’s parents rode along in the back seat, Dunlap said, while the teen, “with a morphine pump slung over her shoulder,” completed the mock road test administered by Dunlap.Dunlap  told her she would have passed a real test, and when he presented her with a replica motor vehicle registration plate with her name stamped on it, she burst into a smile, hugged Dunlap and started to cry. She died three months later, and Dunlap received a thank you letter from her mother saying it was the first time she had seen her daughter smile in months.

Full Article: Dunlap says off-stage events are what he’ll remember most – Portland Press Herald

 

Michigan: Suit asks Supreme Court to take custody of all election materials for investigation | Beth LeBlanc/The Detroit News

A conservative legal group has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to take custody of all Nov. 3 election materials to give the Michigan Legislature time to audit the results, investigate all claims of ballot irregularities and fraud, and “finish its constitutionally-mandated work to pick Michigan’s electors.” The lawsuit filed Thursday seeking the collection of ballots, pollbooks and ballot boxes also asks the court to stop the Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the Board of State Canvassers from giving final certification to the state’s election results until a special master can be appointed to review alleged ballot irregularities and the legality of absentee ballots in Wayne County. It’s not likely the relief sought is possible given that state canvassers gave final certification Monday, though a lawyer for the Thomas More Society’s Amistad Project says he sent a letter to the canvassing board warning it not to certify.  The list of electors aligning with President-elect Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote win in Michigan was sent by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the U.S. Secretary of State that same day. Likewise, the Michigan Legislature already is holding hearings to review complaints related to the Nov. 3 election and Benson has said she will audit results statewide and in Wayne County specifically.

Full Article: Suit asks Michigan’s high court to take custody of all ballots

 

Nevada’s Attorney General did not admit to changing signature verification manually in election | Doug Stanglin/USA Today

The aftermath of the presidential election has prompted a cascade of claims of deliberate manipulation of vote counting. One Facebook user on Nov. 16 claimed: “Nevada AG Admits to Changing Signature Verifications Manually for Over 200,000 Votes. Everyone Knows this, right?” At first, the claim seems puzzling, given the gravity of the charge and the fact that Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford is a Democrat. James Dehaven, political reporter for the Reno Gazette-Journal, says he has no knowledge of any such explosive quote by Ford. Jon Ralston, a political reporter and editor of The Nevada Independent, says the claim that the attorney general made the statement statement is “crazy talk.” “I don’t even know what to say about this because it’s so insane,” Ralston tells USA TODAY in an email. “Ford would not have the ability to do this, nor has he ever said he did so.”

Full Article: Fact check: False claim on Nevada AG and signature verifications

 

Pennsylvania: Trump’s Battle to Undermine the Vote | Eliza Griswold/The New Yorker

Since November 3rd, Malcolm Kenyatta, a Democratic state representative from Philadelphia, has received a stream of threatening text messages and e-mails from voters. “You must not certify the fraudulent results of this election until all LEGAL ballots are counted,” Steven P. wrote to Kenyatta. “If you do, I will work tirelessly to make sure you are not reelected.” Kenyatta has also received death threats; the most disturbing, sent from an e-mail account registered in his own name, was laden with expletives and included the words, “How much death? So much death!” Kenyatta, who is thirty, with a baby face, believes that the threats are a by-product of a near-constant campaign waged by Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues to undermine the results of a free and fair election. “There is a contingent of Republicans who are afraid of Trump,” he told me. “Others really believe him.” In recent weeks, Trump has claimed baselessly that he lost the Presidential election because of widespread voter fraud, and has launched lawsuits in key states to try to get ballots invalidated. He has also pressured Republican state legislatures to intervene on his behalf. In Pennsylvania, this legislative threat has taken different forms, but all have originated in the State Government Committee, a Republican-led group that focusses on oversight. Kenyatta is in the committee’s Democratic minority, and is one of its most vocal members. Before the election, it put forward a resolution to establish an Election Integrity Committee, tasked with investigating potential election irregularities, and to grant the panel the power to summon election officials and impound ballot boxes. The effort seemed designed to drum up claims of voter fraud to support Trump in the case, then theoretical, that he refused to concede. It also seemed intended to stall the count: by some interpretations of the state’s constitution, if the governor is not able to certify the vote before December 8th, the Republican legislature could appoint its own electors. Kenyatta argued so vociferously against the resolution that the previous chair of the committee threatened to call security and have him removed. After Kenyatta and others exposed the effort, several Republicans, worried about their Election Day prospects, withdrew their support, and the committee was forced to scuttle it.

Full Article: Trump’s Battle to Undermine the Vote in Pennsylvania | The New Yorker

 

Pennsylvania Supreme Court tosses GOP congressman’s suit seeking to throw out all ballots cast by mail | Jeremy Roebuck/Philadelphia Inquirer

The last active legal challenge to Pennsylvania’s presidential election results was tossed Saturday by the state’s highest court, which balked at a request from one of President Donald Trump’s top boosters in Congress to disenfranchise some 2.6 million voters by throwing out every ballot cast by mail. Had Kelly and the suit’s seven other Republican plaintiffs been forthright in their concerns over the constitutionality of the mail-voting statute, the court found, they would have filed their legal challenge before the new law was used in a primary and general election and would not have waited only until after it had become apparent that their favored candidate had lost. “It is not our role to lend legitimacy to such transparent and untimely efforts to subvert the will of Pennsylvania voters,” Justice David N. Wecht wrote in an opinion concurring with the full court’s terse, three-page order. “Courts should not decide elections when the will of the voters is clear.” A spokesperson for Kelly did not respond to requests for comment after the ruling Saturday evening. Sean Parnell — one of the suit’s other plaintiffs, who lost a bid this month to unseat incumbent Rep. Conor Lamb (D., Pa.) — declared in a tweet: “It’s not over. This was not unexpected. Stay tuned.” (Running in the GOP primary this spring, Parnell had endorsed the new “bipartisan system” created by the state’s vote-by-mail law in a tweet and encouraged his supporters to use it.)

Full Article: Pennsylvania Supreme Court tosses GOP congressman’s suit seeking to throw out all ballots cast by mail

 

Pennsylvania: US appeals court rejects Trump appeal over election results | Maryclaire Dale/Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected its latest effort to challenge the state’s election results. Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite the judge’s assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit.” “Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote for the three-judge panel. The case had been argued last week in a lower court by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania. However, Giuliani failed to offer any tangible proof of that in court. U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann had said the campaign’s error-filled complaint, “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together” and denied Giuliani the right to amend it for a second time.

Full Article: US appeals court rejects Trump appeal over Pennsylvania race

Tennessee: Dispute Over Shelby County Election Machines Remains Unsettled | Jackson Baker/Memphis Flyer

The tug-of-war between Shelby County Election Administrator Linda Phillips and the adherents of paper-ballot voting over the purchase of new election machines continues apace. The most recent development, detailed in a November 18th Flyer article, involved the administrator’s purchase of three new ballot-marking devices for the ongoing runoff elections in Collierville.  The machines are manufactured by the ES&S Company and are of a type previously preferred by a 4-1 vote of the Shelby County Election Commission but rejected for funding by the Shelby County Commision, which, in the interests of transparency, had established its own preference for handmarked paper-ballot devices in several prior votes. The funding source for the three machines had been — publicly, at least — something of a mystery. According to SCEC sources, the machines were paid for by the office of the Secretary of State in Nashville  The purchase of the machines had been revealed last week in a formal SCEC press release, which contended that there had been no alternative to acquiring them, inasmuch as the old machines used by Collierville in the city’s first round of elections earlier this month were tied up, pending certification this week of the November 3rd results.

Full Article: Dispute Over Election Machines Remains Unsettled | Politics Beat Blog

 

Wisconsin recount confirms Biden’s win over Trump, cementing the president’s failure to change the election results | Rosalind S. Helderman/The Washington Post

The recount of presidential ballots in Wisconsin’s two largest counties finished Sunday, reconfirming that President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Trump in the key swing state by more than 20,000 votes. After Milwaukee County completed its tally Friday and Dane County concluded its count Sunday, there was little change in the final breakdown of the more than 800,000 ballots that had been cast in the two jurisdictions. As a result of the recount, Biden’s lead over Trump in Wisconsin grew by 87 votes. Under Wisconsin law, Trump was required to foot the bill for the partial recount — meaning his campaign paid $3 million only to see Biden’s lead expand. The results of the Wisconsin recount cemented Trump’s failure to alter the results of the November election in a series of states where he has falsely alleged there was widespread fraud and irregularities. His efforts to stop Michigan officials from certifying the vote there earlier this month ran aground. A hand recount of ballots in Georgia confirmed Biden’s win in that state. Two new court decisions in Pennsylvania late last week rejected the Trump campaign’s attempts to halt the vote count there, the latest in a series of forceful judicial opinions that have tossed out claims by the president and his allies around the country. On Monday, Arizona — the fifth of the six states where Trump has tried to upend the vote certification process — is set to finalize its results. The Wisconsin Election Commission is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, at which time state law says the election results will be certified by the chairwoman of the six-member panel, who is a Democrat.

Full Article: Wisconsin recount confirms Biden’s win over Trump, cementing the president’s failure to change the election results – The Washington Post

 

Wisconsin: Milwaukee County recount wraps up with Biden adding to his margin | Alison Dirr/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee County’s recount of the presidential election vote tally came to an end Friday, with Democratic President-elect Joe Biden adding 132 votes to his margin of victory over President Donald Trump in Milwaukee County. In all, Biden gained 257 votes and Trump added 125. The results came Friday evening, seven days after the effort to recount nearly 460,000 ballots cast in the county began at the downtown Wisconsin Center. The final tally totaled 459,723. Before the recount, Biden had 317,270 votes in Milwaukee County to Trump’s 134,357. The recount boosted the totals to 317,527 for Biden and 134,482 for Trump. Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said after the Milwaukee County Board of Commissioners adjourned at 5:30 p.m. that the recount demonstrated that elections in the county are fair, transparent, accurate and secure. “I promised that this would be a transparent and fair process, and it was,” Christenson said. “There was an examination of every ballot by election workers, a meticulous recounting of every ballot that was properly cast, a transparent process that allowed the public to observe, a fair process that allows the aggrieved candidate who sought the recount an opportunity to observe and object to ballots they believe should not be counted.”

Full Article: Milwaukee County recount wraps up with Biden adding to his margin

Wisconsin election system Donald Trump is attacking was built by Republicans | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In his move to overturn Wisconsin’s election results, President Donald Trump is attacking a voting system built entirely by Republicans. The state’s voting laws and procedures were overhauled repeatedly during eight years of GOP control of state government. Republicans dissolved the body that oversees elections and replaced it with one equally divided by Republicans and Democrats. They put in place a voter ID law, shortened the early voting period to two weeks, eliminated straight-ticket voting and barred voter registration drives. Now Trump and his team are vilifying the very system Republicans put in place, arguing that it is rife with irregularities. Trump’s campaign is using a recount in the Democratic strongholds of Dane and Milwaukee counties to try to throw out thousands of ballots. He hopes to flip the results in Wisconsin, which went for Democrat Joe Biden by nearly 21,000 votes. But with more states certifying their results, it wouldn’t be enough to give him the presidency.  Republicans rewrote Wisconsin’s election laws over the years because they said they wanted to improve voting integrity and ensure the public had confidence in it. Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said he doesn’t buy those claims. “Really it’s just about power,” said McDonell, a Democrat who is overseeing the recount in Dane County. “The tip off is when they’re trying to throw out their own ballots.”

Full Article: The Wisconsin voting system Donald Trump is attacking was built by Republicans

 

How Government Officials Delivered a Disaster-Free Election | Carl Smith/Governing

The 2020 general election was an epic test of election official fortitude. Added to the usual complexities of planning and executing a national election was responsibility for the very lives of voters during a pandemic that has claimed twice as many American lives as two years of fighting in World War I. As they prepared, election officials were on constant watch for potential cyberattacks and foreign disinformation designed to disrupt their operations and American democracy itself. This work was further complicated by a campaign undertaken by President Trump, who vigorously used the power of his office, social media and campaign rallies to cast doubt on their plans and to undermine confidence in the election process. Despite all, they prevailed. Election Day disasters that had been imagined as real possibilities did not materialize. A statement released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency called the election “the most secure in American history.” Wendy Underhill, director of elections and redistricting and the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), isn’t surprised. “These are people who, when you give them a job, they say, ‘Let me make a list. Let me make a plan. Now I’m going to execute it,’” she says. “Worrying about the political universe floating about them is not on that list.”

Full Article: How Government Officials Delivered a Disaster-Free Election

The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal | Tim Alberta/Politico

After five years spent bullying the Republican Party into submission, President Donald Trump finally met his match in Aaron Van Langevelde. Who? That’s right. In the end, it wasn’t a senator or a judge or a general who stood up to the leader of the free world. There was no dramatic, made-for-Hollywood collision of cosmic egos. Rather, the death knell of Trump’s presidency was sounded by a baby-faced lawyer, looking over his glasses on a grainy Zoom feed on a gloomy Monday afternoon, reading from a statement that reflected a courage and moral clarity that has gone AWOL from his party, pleading with the tens of thousands of people watching online to understand that some lines can never be uncrossed. “We must not attempt to exercise power we simply don’t have,” declared Van Langevelde, a member of Michigan’s board of state canvassers, the ministerial body with sole authority to make official Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. “As John Adams once said, ‘We are a government of laws, not men.’ This board needs to adhere to that principle here today. This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election.” Van Langevelde is a Republican. He works for Republicans in the Statehouse. He gives legal guidance to advance Republican causes and win Republican campaigns. As a Republican, his mandate for Monday’s hearing—handed down from the state party chair, the national party chair and the president himself—was straightforward. They wanted Michigan’s board of canvassers to delay certification of Biden’s victory. Never mind that Trump lost by more than 154,000 votes, or that results were already certified in all 83 counties.

Full Article: The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal – POLITICO

National: Foreign observers shocked by chaos over U.S. election | Carol Morello/The Washington Post

These are challenging times for foreigners whose job it is to interpret American politics for people in other countries. As President Trump has used a string of maneuvers to attack the election he lost as fraudulent and illegitimate, many observers are perplexed as they watch the country they have known and admired floundering in a constitutional crisis and growing mistrust of democratic institutions.  For many, it is a struggle to maintain confidence that America’s principles and ideals will prevail. “People who know the U.S. are shocked it’s going on so long,” said Michal Baranowski, the German Marshall Fund director of the office in Warsaw, of the post-election uncertainty and Trump’s refusal to concede. “We still say it will work out, because of the strength of U.S. institutions. But, man, it’s taking a long time, and I’m beginning to worry.” Some foreign observers are also struggling to explain the U.S. political drama to their baffled friends and colleagues. Beyond the usual questions about the electoral college and why anyone cares about the vote in Broward County, Fla., Barry Eidlin, a sociologist at McGill University in Montreal, keeps getting asked whether a country considered the beacon of democracy will have a peaceful transition of power come January.

Full Article: Foreign observers shocked by chaos over U.S. election – The Washington Post

National: How Trump’s legal battles to overturn the election undermine the Black vote | Janell Ross and Janelle Griffith/NBC

For the Rev. Steve Bland, the day’s agenda was dominated by one thing. He drove about 90 miles west from Detroit, where he is the senior pastor of the Liberty Temple Baptist Church, to Lansing, Michigan. With several members of the state’s Interfaith Council, Bland stood on the steps of the Capitol complex where the Michigan Board of Canvassers would vote on whether to certify the November general election ballot counts. The group prayed that the board’s four members — including two Republicans — would reject the baseless claims made by President Donald Trump and his allies that something was wrong with the ballots cast in Detroit and other cities around the country with large Black populations. Bland, president of the region’s Council of Baptist Pastors, and other clergy took turns praying that voters in Detroit, where half of that state’s Black population resides, would see their legal rights stand. “What we are seeing, in this press of activities here in Michigan and around the country,” Bland said as he drove toward Lansing, “what we have witnessed is a fight to remain in the grips of total white domination or to accept that Black voters and the ballots they cast are every bit as essential and definitive in what this country can and should be as anyone else’s. Anything less is not a democracy but it would be sadly very consistent with the pattern of American history.”

Full Article: How Trump’s legal battles to overturn the election undermine the Black vote

National: Trump’s assault on the election could leave a lasting mark on American democracy | Toluse Olorunnipa, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Rosalind S. Helderman/The Washington Post

When President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20, he will face a fundamental challenge unlike any incoming president before him: Tens of millions of Americans who doubt his legitimacy and question the stability of the country’s democratic traditions — in part because of his predecessor’s unprecedented attempt to set both ablaze before leaving office. For the past three weeks, as President Trump has refused to concede the election, the federal government, the Trump campaign legal team and whole swaths of the Republican Party have worked in tandem to interfere with the peaceful transition of power. By lodging baseless claims of voter fraud and embracing — or declining to reject — outlandish conspiracy theories about the electoral process, Trump and his allies have normalized the kind of post-election assault on institutions typically seen in less-developed democracies, according to historians, former administration officials, and lawmakers and diplomats from across the political spectrum. Lingering damage to the U.S. electoral system could be among the most consequential legacies of the Trump presidency, said Michael Chertoff, a homeland security secretary under President George W. Bush. Trump’s effort to overturn the election results in the days after the race has so far proved unsuccessful, as Biden has moved ahead with hallmarks of a presidential transition such as building a Cabinet. But Chertoff and others said the harm inflicted on the democratic process since Nov. 3 should not be underestimated.

Full Article: Trump’s assault on the election could leave a lasting mark on American democracy – The Washington Post

National: As States Certify Election Results, An Extraordinary Election Ends | Pam Fessler/NPR

Signs of a tattered, but resilient, voting system were on full display this week, as one of the most contentious elections in U.S. history rolled toward completion. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina put the final stamp of approval on their official vote counts, as workers re-tallied millions of ballots in Georgia and Wisconsin to assure the Trump campaign that the initial count was accurate. Courts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and elsewhere reviewed and almost uniformly, rejected legal challenges for lack of merit. The 2020 election was extraordinary in so many ways. A pandemic forced election workers to shift their attention from guarding against Russian phishing attacks to acquiring adequate supplies of hand sanitizers and printing millions of mail-in ballots. But more extraordinary were the unrelenting attacks on the legitimacy of the system, primarily by President Trump and his allies, and the resulting decline in public trust. The depth of these partisan divisions was reflected in almost every action taken to resolve the disputed outcome. In Luzerne County, Pa. — where earlier news that a few Trump ballots had been discarded by a temp worker was widely, and inaccurately, touted by the President as Exhibit A of a system riddled with fraud — the election board voted on Monday to certify that Trump had indeed won the county over Joe Biden. But, in a sign of the times, the board split 3-2 along party lines.

Full Article: As States Certify Election Results, An Extraordinary Election Ends : NPR

Editorial: We Need Election Results Everyone Can Believe In. Here’s How. | Zeynep Tufekci/The New York Times

Since 2008, partisan distrust of presidential election results has been substantial. In 2016, only 43 percent of Democrats believed that the election was free and fair; now, only 30 percent of Republicans do. Each party’s supporters are more likely to believe that the vote was free and fair if they won, and those on the losing side are becoming more suspicious of the results. With a defeated president trying for weeks to overturn an election he has falsely called fraudulent, our partisan breach will be hard to repair. But electoral reform can still provide a better foundation of trust. Two decades since the 2000 Florida recount debacle revealed the shoddiness of how America votes, we should be able to provide a straightforward, sensible answer to anyone who asks, “How do you know the results are correct?” Yet, we still do not have nationwide standards and procedures to assure Americans that results are reliable. Claims of widespread fraud are false, but we can do much more to provide stronger answers to those who might want to question the process or the results. The true scandal is that we know what we need to do and have even begun to implement reforms in many states, but we have not instituted the changes nationwide.

Full Article: Opinion | We Need Election Results Everyone Can Believe In. Here’s How. – The New York Times

Arizona: Legislative leaders say hearing announced by Trump campaign is news to them | Jeremy Duda/Arizona Mirror

President Donald Trump’s campaign announced that Arizona and two other states had scheduled legislative hearings to look into allegations surrounding the 2020 general election, which came as a surprise to leaders in both chambers, neither of whom had approved any such hearing. In a press statement on Tuesday, the Trump campaign announced that the legislatures in Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania would hold public hearings “in an effort to provide confidence that all of the legal votes have been counted and the illegal votes have not been counted in the November 3rd election.” The Pennsylvania Senate will hold a hearing on Wednesday, followed by Arizona on Nov. 30 and Michigan on Dec. 1, the campaign claimed. In Arizona, neither House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, nor Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, have scheduled or approved any such hearing. “News to me at this time,” Fann said in a text message to the Arizona Mirror, while Andrew Wilder, a spokesman for Bowers, said, “Speaker Bowers has not authorized any such hearing in the Arizona House of Representatives.”

Full Article: Legislative leaders say hearing announced by Trump campaign is news to them • Arizona Mirror

Arizona GOP asks court to throw out Biden’s win in the state | Howard Fischer/Arizona Daily Star

The head of the Arizona Republican Party is asking a court to declare the election results that gave the state’s 11 electoral votes to Joe Biden are void. Legal papers filed late Wednesday on behalf of party chairwoman Kelli Ward claim the system used in Arizona to check signatures on mail-in ballots lacks sufficient safeguards to ensure they came from the registered voters whose envelopes were submitted. The lawsuit also contends legally required observers were unable to see the process from where they were placed. Ward asserts as well that the process for dealing with damaged ballots did not result in them being accurately recorded. She most immediately wants a court to order production of a reasonable sampling of the signatures on the ballot envelopes so they can be compared to signatures on file. Ward also wants inspection to compare damaged ballots with the duplicates that were created by election workers to allow them to be scanned. But the real goal is to have the court set aside the results of the election.

Full Article: Head of Arizona GOP asks court to throw out Biden’s win in the state | Local news | tucson.com

How California reached historic voter turnout despite pandemic, distrust | Lewis Griswold/CalMatters

Californians faced the naysayers and voted by mail in record numbers this election, potentially avoiding a pandemic super spreader event and showing the nation it could be done. CalMatters interviewed voting officials in most of the state’s 58 counties and their verdict is in: The experiment with voting by mail saw few glitches, little drama and, instead, might well provide a blueprint for future elections across the country. Indeed, state officials are already talking about plans to make voting by mail permanent for the biggest state in the union and its 22 million registered voters. Besides the unprecedented challenge of conducting the election in a pandemic, voting officials also had to deal with a deep, partisan divide that helped to fuel widespread misinformation about election security. Yet by the time polls closed at 8 p.m. Nov. 3, voter registrars say they had little need for law enforcement help and reported insignificant incidents affecting ballot safety. They reported historic numbers of ballots cast, about 17.6 million at last count, and almost 208,000 more still to process as of 5 p.m. Monday.

Full Article: How California reached historic voter turnout despite pandemic, distrust | cbs8.com

Colorado: Jefferson County GOP asks for an election audit, expressing doubts about Dominion Voting Systems | Meghan Lopez/The Denver Channel

The Jefferson County GOP is calling for an audit of the 2018 and 2020 elections, expressing concerns with the Dominion Voting Systems technology the county and 61 others across the state use in elections. The criticism is part of growing national rhetoric against the company, even as states certify their election results. Most publicly, during a press conference last week, President Trump’s personal legal team made a series of unsubstantiated claims against the company, many of which have since been debunked. On its website, Dominion Voting Systems dedicated its main page to clearing up some of the misinformation that has been going around, insisting that the systems are secure and have been certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The company told Denver7 that the allegations are so serious its employees are being harassed and threatened, there are protests at its Denver headquarters and that one employee even had a bounty put out on them.

Source: Jefferson County GOP asks for an election audit, expressing doubts about Dominion Voting Systems

Georgia: Counties juggle multiple elections as recount begins | David Wickert/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Georgia began its third tally of votes in the presidential election Tuesday — a recount that is taxing the ability of some counties to juggle multiple election duties. The recount commenced Tuesday morning in many of the state’s 159 counties. They have until midnight Dec. 2 to complete the task. The recount is not expected to change the outcome of the election — Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump by just 12,670 votes out of some 5 million ballots cast. State election officials say the latest tally likely will closely mirror the results of the initial count as well as the hand recount completed last week before the state certified the election. Meanwhile, Gov. Brian Kemp renewed his call for an audit of voter signatures — an audit the secretary of state’s office sees no need for. And he repeated his support of the recount. “I continue to stand with the president, and I support his decision to ensure that every legal vote is counted,” Kemp said at a press conference at the Georgia Capitol. There has been no proof anything but legal votes have been counted in Georgia. Trump requested the recount over the weekend, as he is entitled to do under state law because Biden’s margin of victory is by less than half a percent. The recount comes as election officials in Georgia are preparing for a hotly contested Jan. 5 runoff election for two U.S. Senate seats that will determine which party controls the chamber beginning in January.

Full Article: Counties juggle multiple elections as Georgia recount begins

Georgia state senators call for special session to address voting issues | David Wickert/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Four Republican state senators are calling for a special session of the General Assembly to address voting concerns before the January runoff — an idea that top Georgia leaders have already rejected. In a statement released late Tuesday, the senators called for the session to “address structural issues with our voting system before the January runoff.” They also want the session to address “any evidence of voter fraud” brought to lawmakers. The senators calling for a special session are Brandon Beach of Alpharetta, Greg Dolezal of Cumming, Burt Jones of Jackson and William Ligon of Brunswick. Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and House Speaker David Ralston have already rejected calls for a special session, which costs taxpayers $40,000 to $50,000 a day. The General Assembly begins its regular session a few days after the runoff. “Any changes to Georgia’s election laws made in a special session will not have any impact on an ongoing election and would only result in endless litigation,” the three Republicans said in a statement two weeks ago. Kemp did not address the issue in comments about the election Tuesday. The calls for a special session come as some Republicans continue to cast doubt on the integrity of Georgia’s election system. Earlier this month, Republican U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue called on Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign because of unspecified problems for which they provided no evidence.

Full Article: Georgia senators call for special session to address voting issues

Michigan Attorney General Investigating Threats Made Against Wayne County Election Officials | Brakkton Booker/NPR

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel confirmed Tuesday that her office is “actively investigating” threats against members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers. The announcement comes a day after state election officials voted to certify the election results, formally granting Michigan’s 16 electoral votes to President-elect Biden. President Trump has for weeks sought to overturn Biden’s victory there and in the election overall, without gaining traction. “We will investigate any credible complaints of threats to government officials, elected or appointed, and will prosecute criminal conduct to the fullest extent of the law,” Nessel said in a statement. “Serving the people – regardless of party – is an honorable but sometimes difficult and thankless task. And while many of us have been subjected to hateful and often obscene insults, threats of violence and harm will not be tolerated,” she added. Her office’s Criminal Investigations Division initiated its probe after the county’s Board of Canvassers meeting earlier this month. Nessel is asking that adding that anyone with a specific complaint about election fraud, threats against public officials or misinformation contact her office.

Full Article: Michigan AG Investigating Threats Made Against Wayne County Election Officials : Biden Transition Updates : NPR

Michigan: With the world watching, a Republican state canvasser helps make Biden’s win official | Lauren Gibbons/MLive

For a few hours Monday, tens of thousands of people were glued to their phones and computer screens watching an appointed board in Michigan make the state’s Nov. 3 election results official. Election certification by the Michigan Board of State Canvassers is typically viewed as a procedural step, a final check on results canvassed and certified by election officials in each of the state’s 83 counties. But in an election cycle where the sitting president has refused to concede the election and continues to push debunked claims of widespread voter fraud, every aspect of the post-election process has been unconventional. After hours of public comment, the board voted 3-0-1 to certify results that showed President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Republican President Donald Trump in Michigan, despite a concerted effort by the Michigan Republican Party, the John James campaign and other Trump supporters to delay certification. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, members of the board were in the same room, but public viewing was virtual. At one point, more than 35,000 people were watching on the Secretary of State’s Youtube page, and more than 500 people initially submitted requests to address the board. That’s a much larger audience than a state canvassers meeting typically gets. Although some issues under the board’s purview, such as considering whether a citizen-led policy initiative or the recall of a public official makes the ballot, get more attention, even the most crowded canvassers hearings prior to Monday’s meeting have attracted less than a few hundred people.

Full Article: With the world watching, a Republican state canvasser helps make Biden’s win in Michigan official – mlive.com