Wisconsin Clerks Complete Certification As Recount Deadline Approaches | Laurel White/Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin election officials completed a statewide, county-level certification of election results Tuesday, opening up a roughly 24-hour window for a recount to be requested in the state — something President Donald Trump’s campaign has said it plans to do. The county canvass of votes, a process mandated by state law for every election, does things like compare the number of voters in poll books to the number of ballots cast. During the canvass, election officials also check to make sure results printed manually from voting machines on election night match the results transferred over encrypted networks, review write-in candidate tally sheets and process provisional ballots. The county canvass follows a similar, municipal-level canvass. All 72 county clerks had finished the canvass process and submitted their certified results as of Tuesday morning, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The canvass resulted in a net gain of 62 votes for President-elect Joe Biden, compared to unofficial election night results. The canvass shows Biden defeated Trump in Wisconsin by 20,608 votes. Under state law, the Trump campaign has until 5 p.m. Wednesday to request a recount. The president’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, said on the day after Election Day the campaign planned to request a recount in Wisconsin “immediately.” A spokesperson for the campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment Tuesday. Trump’s campaign would have to pay for a recount to be carried out. The Wisconsin Elections Commission said Monday such a recount is estimated to cost $7.9 million, a large increase from the 2016 presidential recount price tag of $2 million. That’s in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The full estimated cost is due at the time the recount is requested.

Full Article: Wisconsin Clerks Complete Certification As Recount Deadline Approaches | Wisconsin Public Radio

Election Security Experts Contradict Trump’s Voting Claims | Nicole Perlroth/The New York Times

Fifty-nine of the country’s top computer scientists and election security experts rebuked President Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud and hacking on Monday, writing that such assertions are “unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.” The rebuttal, in a letter to be published on various websites, did not mention Mr. Trump by name but amounted to another forceful corrective to the torrents of disinformation that he has posted on Twitter. “Anyone asserting that a U.S. election was ‘rigged’ is making an extraordinary claim, one that must be supported by persuasive and verifiable evidence,” the scientists wrote. In the absence of evidence, they added, it is “simply speculation.” “To our collective knowledge, no credible evidence has been put forth that supports a conclusion that the 2020 election outcome in any state has been altered through technical compromise,” they wrote. The letter followed a similarly strong rebuttal of the president’s claims last week by the Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, which includes top officials from the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and secretaries of state and state election directors from around the country. In a joint statement on Thursday, that group declared that the 2020 election “was the most secure in American history” and that “there is no evidence” any voting systems had been compromised. Some of those officials expect to be fired in the coming weeks for their refusal to echo the president’s claims.

Full Article: Election Security Experts Contradict Trump’s Voting Claims – The New York Times

 

Georgia Secretary of State says fellow Republicans are pressuring him to find ways to exclude legal ballots | Amy Gardner/The Washington Post

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday that he has come under increasing pressure in recent days from fellow Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), to question the validity of legally cast absentee ballots in an effort to reverse President Trump’s narrow loss in the state. In a wide-ranging interview about the election, Raffensperger expressed exasperation over a string of baseless allegations coming from Trump and his allies about the integrity of the Georgia results, including claims that Dominion Voting Systems, the Colorado-based manufacturer of Georgia’s voting machines, is a “leftist” company with ties to Venezuela that engineered thousands of Trump votes to be left out of the count. The atmosphere has grown so contentious, Raffensperger said, that both he and his wife, Tricia, have received death threats in recent days, including a text to him that read: “You better not botch this recount. Your life depends on it.” “Other than getting you angry, it’s also very disillusioning,” Raffensperger said of the threats, “particularly when it comes from people on my side of the aisle. Everyone that is working on this needs to elevate their speech. We need to be thoughtful and careful about what we say.” He said he reported the threats to state authorities. The pressure on Raffensperger, who has bucked his party in defending the state’s voting process, comes as Georgia is in the midst of a laborious hand recount of about 5 million ballots. President-elect Joe Biden has a 14,000-vote lead in the initial count.

Full Article: Ga. secretary of state says fellow Republicans are pressuring him to find ways to exclude legal ballots – The Washington Post

National: Trump’s finally talking about election security – but only to spread conspiracy theories | oseph Marks/The Washington Post

They’ve spent years trying to highlight legitimate concerns about hackable vulnerabilities in election technology only to be rebuffed by the White House. Trump, meanwhile, mostly ignored election security during four years in office — except for when he was outright undermining it by disputing the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 contest. Now, he’s finally talking about the topic, but it’s only to spread conspiracy theories, hijacking fears about election hacking to serve his own political ends. “We’d welcome attention from the top down on these issues, but it’s hard not to be cynical about this sudden interest,” Maggie MacAlpine told me. She’s a co-founder of the Voting Village at the annual Def Con cybersecurity conference where ethical hackers expose vulnerabilities in voting equipment. Trump tweeted a video on Saturday an NBC News story about the Voting Village to cast doubt on the voting machine company Dominion, which is at the center of his efforts to blame insecure technology for his loss. He’s touting a debunked conspiracy theory that Dominion altered thousands of votes and claiming without evidence that it’s a “radical left” company with “a bad reputation & bum equipment.” Rudy Giuliani, who is leading the president’s legal efforts to contest the election results, is also soliciting information about Dominion, which supplied voting machines or vote scanners in Georgia and dozens of other states. Another Trump lawyer, Sidney Powell, claimed without evidence on Fox News someone had intentionally changed thousands of votes using Dominion machines — an act that would be easily spotted by an audit of paper ballots. “It’s one thing to say, ‘let’s safeguard democracy.’ It’s another to finger-point at potential vulnerabilities when there’s an outcome you don’t like,” said MacAlpine, a founding partner at the election security firm Nordic Innovation Labs.

Full Article: The Cybersecurity 202: Trump’s finally talking about election security – but only to spread conspiracy theories – The Washington Post

National: 59 security experts reject Trump’s election fraud claims as ‘incoherent’ | Sean Lyngaas/CyberScoop

A group of 59 computer scientists, researchers and cybersecurity experts on Monday released a letter rejecting President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread electoral fraud as “technically incoherent” and “unsubstantiated” in the latest rebuke of Trump’s campaign to undermine public confidence in the election results. “We are aware of alarming assertions being made that the 2020 election was ‘rigged’ by exploiting technical vulnerabilities,” wrote the group of experts, which included Matt Blaze, a cryptologist and professor at Georgetown University, and Alex Stamos, the former security chief at Facebook. “However, in every case of which we are aware, these claims either have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.” Since multiple media outlets, including Fox News and the Associated Press, on Nov. 7 projected Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election, Trump and his allies have continuously made false claims of election fraud. The director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has debunked the president’s conspiracy theories while mostly avoiding mentioning Trump by name. “Anyone asserting that a US election was ‘rigged’ is making an extraordinary claim, one that must be supported by persuasive and verifiable evidence,” the security experts wrote in their letter. Trump and his allies have provided no such evidence, and lawyers representing the Trump campaign in court have consistently failed to convince judges of their arguments. “Merely citing the existence of technical flaws does not establish that an attack occurred, much less that it altered an election outcome,” the letter says. “It is simply speculation.”

Full Article: 59 security experts reject Trump’s election fraud claims as ‘incoherent’

National: Why Trump’s claims of massive voting machine fraud have no merit | Alfred Ng/CNET

For years, the security researchers behind Defcon’s Voting Machine Hacking Village have been trying to get lawmakers’ attention on vulnerabilities with outdated election infrastructure. Hackers regularly showed how easy it was to change ballots with full access to voting machines, with warnings that these security vulnerabilities could shake the confidence of elections if there are no paper backups. Three years after it kicked off at the hacking conference in Las Vegas, the group finally got the attention of the highest office in the US. It only took losing the 2020 election by an estimated 5 million votes for President Donald Trump to get there. On Monday, he followed up and wrote, “Dominion is running our Election. Rigged!”  Trump’s claims come from a series of false conspiracy theories about the voting machines switching votes for President-elect Joe Biden, part of a broader push by the president to undermine confidence in the election system and its results. They come after the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the National Association of Secretaries of State, the National Association of State Election Directors and members of the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council filed a joint statement, calling 2020’s election the “most secure in American history.”  “When states have close elections, many will recount ballots. All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary,” the joint statement said. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

Full Article: Why Trump’s claims of massive voting machine fraud have no merit – CNET

National: Fact check: The U.S. military has not seized election servers in Germany | Reuters

Social media users have been sharing posts which allege that the U.S. military raided the offices of electronic voting company Scytl in Germany to seize their servers for evidence of manipulation in the 2020 U.S. elections. However, Scytl said in a statement that the U.S. army has not seized anything from them and they do not have offices in Germany. An article (here), called “INTEL: US Military Raided Scytl Servers in Germany For Evidence After Vote Switching Scandal”, was published by GreatGameIndia, and shared on social media here , here and here . The article claims, “According to intelligence sources US Military raided voting machine company Scytl servers in Germany for evidence of manipulation in 2020 US Elections […] The votes cast by Americans in 2020 US election were counted by a bankrupt Spanish company Scytl in Spain.” As supposed proof, the article references comments made without supporting evidence by Representative of Texas first congressional district Louie Gohmert’s on Newsmax (here), and also allegedly on a video call shared widely on social media (here , youtu.be/GbgZzA_mSpE , here). Gohmert said, “I was told there was a tweet in German from Germany that the U.S. anocrat” from the information that Scytl gathered. Gohmert prefaced the claims about the raid with, “I don’t know the truth. I know there was a German tweet in German”.

Full Article: Fact check: The U.S. military has not seized election servers in Germany | Reuters

National: Trump aims to undermine Biden’s legitimacy even as legal challenges fizzle | Pamela Brown, Kevin Liptak and Katelyn Polantz/ CNN

When President Donald Trump learned at the end of last week that his lawyers were dropping their lawsuit seeking a review of ballots in Arizona, the news caught him by surprise. Summoning members of his team to the Oval Office, where he has been spending afternoons and evenings lately when not in the adjoining dining room watching television, Trump demanded to know why it appeared he was giving up a battle he fully intends to continue waging. Even as his legal pathway to challenging Joe Biden’s electoral victory becomes thinner by the day — and as some of his senior-most aides begin signaling publicly that Biden will take office in January — Trump has shown little indication he plans to back off his false claim that he won the election. Instead of an actual attempt to locate more votes or even to reverse the election results, Trump’s legal efforts appear designed instead to seed conspiracy theories among his conservative supporters, raise additional money, preserve power over the Republican Party and cast a pall of illegitimacy over Biden’s tenure — the same shadow Trump has long complained darkened his own time in office. Whether any of those outcomes is his express goal remains unclear. Many around him believe a dejected President is simply making an elaborate attempt at processing his trauma rather than executing a master plan. Asked last week how long his efforts might last, Trump suggested “two weeks, three weeks” — though few believe he will ever acknowledge outright that he lost the election to Biden.

Full Article: Donald Trump aims to undermine Biden’s legitimacy even as legal challenges fizzle – CNNPolitics

National: Trump digs in on baseless election claims even as legal options dwindle | Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey, Amy Gardner and Jon Swaine/The Washington Post

President Trump began his third straight week of angry defiance of the election results, brooding behind the scenes about the state of his campaign’s legal challenges and of Georgia’s hand recount while refusing the pleas of some advisers to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. Despite mounting legal losses in courts and a retreat by his attorneys in a federal case filed against Pennsylvania election officials, Trump dug in on his false claim that he “won” the election. The president also assailed Georgia for what he described on Twitter as a “Fake” and “MEANINGLESS” recount in that state, which President-elect Joe Biden leads by 14,205 votes and has been projected to win. Trump officials seized late Monday on the discovery of about 2,600 eligible votes in heavily Republican Floyd County that were not included in initial tallies, although they would not be enough to change the outcome statewide. Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, said in an interview Monday that he has come under increasing pressure from fellow Republicans to exclude ballots in an effort to reverse Trump’s narrow loss and that the president’s misinformation campaign has gotten so out of hand that he has received death threats. Trump’s campaign has begun winding down its operations, with employment contracts for a number of aides expiring on Sunday. The president, frustrated that his campaign lawyers were not appearing more frequently on television to amplify his baseless claim that he was the real election winner, has elevated attorneys Rudolph W. Giuliani and Jenna Ellis to run his legal and public-relations efforts to overturn the results.

Full Article: Trump digs in on baseless election claims even as legal options dwindle – The Washington Post

National: True the Vote, conservative group alleging voter fraud, ends its lawsuits | Nomann Merchant/Associated Press

A conservative group on Monday moved to dismiss voter fraud lawsuits it had filed in four states days after the group’s leader made baseless allegations questioning the integrity of the election. Lawyers for True the Vote filed notices to dismiss cases in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania less than a week after suing in all four states. Jim Bopp Jr., an attorney for the group, declined to say why they were ending their lawsuits, but confirmed there were no other cases pending from the group. The action highlighted the dwindling legal options that President Donald Trump has as he continues to insist — against overwhelming evidence to the contrary — that fraud cost him an election he claims to have won. Based in Houston, True the Vote is one of several conservative groups that have tried to sow doubts about President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Following Trump’s lead, True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht accused states that Biden won of counting illegal votes without presenting evidence. “All we want are the facts — regardless of the final outcome — so that we can determine where vulnerabilities in the election system exist and take steps to fix them,” Engelbrecht said in a statement Friday announcing the group’s Wisconsin lawsuit. Instead, Engelbrecht’s group ended that case and others before the lawsuits could proceed further. Engelbrecht did not return messages seeking comment.

Full Article: Conservative group alleging voter fraud ends its lawsuits

Arizona: Judge will decide whether to delay Maricopa canvass in Republican Party election challenge | Jeremy Duda/Arizona Mirror

Maricopa County is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit from the Arizona Republican Party alleging that election officials improperly used vote centers instead of precincts as the basis for a limited hand count of ballots, while the state GOP may ask the judge to postpone the county’s official canvass of the 2020 general election while the case plays out in court. The parties will be back in court on Wednesday afternoon, when Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah will determine whether the case should move forward. State law requires counties to perform a hand count of ballots cast in at least 2% of all precincts after each election. But state law also permits counties to abandon precinct-based voting entirely and instead use vote centers where any voter, regardless of where he or she lives, can cast a ballot. To reconcile the two, the election procedures manual issued by the Secretary of State’s Office each election cycle permits counties to use 2% of vote centers if they don’t use precincts. The manual, which has the force of state law and was approved by the governor and attorney general, has included that provision since 2012. The Arizona Republican Party sued Maricopa County, arguing that it still should have conducted its hand count based on precincts.

Full Article: Judge will decide whether to delay Maricopa canvass in AZGOP election challenge

California: Some Oakland ballots not counted, civil rights groups say | John Myers/Los Angeles Times

A coalition of civil rights and voting advocacy groups lashed out Friday at Alameda County election officials after poll workers wrongly told more than 150 voters that their paper ballot was only a receipt and that it could be taken home, leading to the votes not being counted. The mistake, the groups allege, affected voters who visited one or more locations in Oakland to cast ballots in person between Oct. 31 and election day. “We spoke to some of the poll workers there who were really alarmed,” said Angelica Salceda, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. The voting rights advocates said that some voters who showed up at a polling place on the campus of Mills College during the four-day period were told the ballot marking device they had used was keeping a digital record of their selections on federal, state and local races. In reality, the device only makes marks on a paper ballot, which the voter then must submit to an election official. Instead, poll workers “incorrectly told voters … that the printouts from the machines were ‘receipts’ that the voters should take with them, rather than official ballots that they should deposit in the ballot box,” representatives of 15 civil rights and voting rights groups wrote in a letter Thursday to Tim Dupuis, the Alameda County registrar of voters. “In general, voters who cast their ballots at Mills College were disproportionately Black, and many of the voters who had been actively encouraged by poll workers to use the [ballot marking devices] were disabled or elderly.”

Full Article: Some Oakland ballots not counted, civil rights groups say – Los Angeles Times

Colorado takes one final step to verify the vote count. Here’s how an audit works. | Austin Lammers/Coloradoan

Confirming the legitimacy of an election in Colorado begins with the roll of a dice. On Monday morning, employees of the Secretary of State’s Office convened to roll a 10-sided dice 20 times, creating a sequence of numbers, or a “seed,” to determine which ballots the counties must check to confirm the accuracy of the 2020 election. It’s the first step in what’s called a risk-limiting audit — a procedure that compares votes on paper ballots with results collected by vote-counting machines to scan for discrepancies and correct erroneous tabulations. The public could even watch a livestream of the meeting, one more way the state promotes transparency. The counties finished counting votes Friday. The audit results are due to the state by Nov. 24. “Every election administration in the U.S. has a goal of conducting a secure, safe and accurate election,” Colorado’s Deputy Election Director Hilary Rudy said. “A risk-limiting audit helps confirm that that did, in fact, happen.”

Full Article: Colorado election integrity: How vote counting is audited

Georgia: As Tensions Among Republicans Mount, Recount Proceeds Smoothly | Richard Fausset/The New York Times

Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, on Monday accused fellow Republicans of trying to undermine the legitimacy of the state’s election in an effort to swing the results to President Trump, who narrowly lost the state to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and later demanded the hand recount. Election officials in Georgia also announced Monday evening that they had discovered 2,600 ballots in Floyd County that had not been previously reported to the state, a notable but overall minor hiccup in what they otherwise described as a smooth recounting of the nearly five million ballots cast by Georgia voters during the presidential election. The counting is expected to wrap up this week, and elections officials have reported few problems aside from the error in Floyd County, which is located in northwestern Georgia and voted heavily for Mr. Trump. Democrats said the recount had so far resulted in no substantive changes, at least none that would affect the lead currently enjoyed by Mr. Biden. “The Floyd County situation was unfortunate,” said Gabriel Sterling, an official with the office of Georgia’s secretary of state. However, he added, “The majority of the counties right now are finding zero deviations from the original number of ballots.”

Full Article: As Tensions Among Republicans Mount, Georgia’s Recount Proceeds Smoothly – The New York Times

Michigan Court of Appeals rejects appeal in lawsuit seeking to delay Wayne County election certification | Clara Hendrickson/Detroit Free Press

On Monday, the Michigan Court of Appeals rejected the request to reverse a Wayne County Circuit Court judge’s Friday ruling allowing the Wayne County Board of Canvassers to complete the audit of the November election and certify the county’s election results by the Nov. 17 deadline as required under state law. The lawsuit, filed by David Kallman on behalf of two Wayne County voters, asked the court to require an independent audit of the votes cast by Wayne County voters, separate from the one already being undertaken by the county’s Board of Canvassers. The lawsuit also asked the court to void the Nov. 3 election and order a new one. President-elect Joe Biden won the county by a margin of nearly 323,000 votes. The lawsuit rested on allegations that local election officials oversaw a fraudulent election in Detroit, focusing their claims on events that took place at the TCF Center where Detroit’s election workers counted absentee ballots cast by the city’s voters. In his Friday opinion, Wayne County Circuit Chief Judge Timothy Kenny wrote that the account of Detroit’s election process presented in the lawsuit was “incorrect and not credible” and denied the request to order an audit of the election.

Full Article: Court of Appeals won’t delay Wayne County election certification

Michigan: When to Worry, When to Not, and the Takeaway from Antrim County | Cindy Cohn/Electronic Frontier Foundation

Everyone wants an election that is secure and reliable. With technology in the mix, making sure that the technology supports this is critical. EFF has long-warned against blindly adopting technologies that can be easily manipulated or fail without having systems in place to test, secure, and catch problems, including through risk limiting audits. At the same time, not every problem is worth pulling the fire alarm about—we have to look at the bigger story and context.  And we have to stand down when our worst fears turn out to be unfounded. A story out of Michigan last week in Antrim County provides a good opportunity to apply this. What seems to have happened is that a needed software update was not applied to a system that helps collect and report digital vote information—the county has paper ballots that are scanned—from the county. As a result, it appeared that 6,000 votes shifted from Republicans to Democrats in the unofficial reports. That is very worrisome. However, when the update was applied, the votes shifted back because the actual tabulation figures were correct. Of course there were paper ballots too, that would have been cross-checked under Michigan’s processes had this not been caught so early.  Our longtime election security friend and partner Professor Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan has a more technical rundown on his Twitter feed. This story should be one that takes what could have been a big worry and instead gives us cause for relief. Instead of just direct-recording electronic voting machines (DREs) and election systems that don’t have fail-safes for errors, Michigan had good error-checking, and the error was caught quickly. Even if it hadn’t been, it is very likely that it would have been caught later, as the results shifted from unofficial to official. And it wasn’t even a computer or software error; it was a human one. But, of course, systems should take steps to protect against errors by humans running them too.

Full Article: Election Security: When to Worry, When to Not, and the Takeaway from Antrim County, Michigan | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Nevada: Trump attacks Vegas-area certification of Biden election win | Ken Ritter/Associated Press

As officials in Nevada’s most populous counties certified results of the Nov. 3 election, President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday with a new attack on the vote that gave Democratic candidate Joe Biden a 33,596-vote statewide victory. The former vice president drew 50.06% of the vote and Trump 47.67% — a 2.39% difference — in results submitted for approval by commissioners in 17 counties including Clark, which encompasses Las Vegas, and Washoe, surrounding Reno. In the Las Vegas area, officials identified six people who voted twice, Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria told elected county commissioners. They urged Gloria to track Nevada Secretary of State investigations of those cases for possible prosecution. On a 6-1 vote, the commission accepted results of Gloria’s tally of 977,185 ballots cast in the Biden-Trump race. But the panel also took a first step toward a do-over in one commission district where a Democratic former Nevada secretary of state, Ross Miller, led Republican Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony by 10 votes after more than 153,000 ballots were counted. Gloria said election officials found 936 “discrepancies” among votes countywide — ranging from inadvertently canceled votes, reactivated voter cards and check-in errors at polling places.

Full Article: Trump attacks Vegas-area certification of Biden election win

North Carolina counties finalize elections just past deadline | Jordan Wilkie/Carolina Public Press

With good reason, counties can extend the time it takes them to finalize their election results. Seven counties met Monday, and two more will meet Tuesday to do just that. Two counties met to fix significant problems. Robeson County had previously failed to upload the votes from an early voting site, according to a press release by the N.C. State Board of Elections. Robeson County also needs to process 700 provisional ballots and 30 by-mail ballots. This will be the last large batch of ballots that could affect the outcome in the chief justice for North Carolina race. It is the closest statewide race and the only one left in question. At the moment, Republican candidate Paul Newby leads Democratic candidate Cheri Beasley by 231 votes. If Robeson is in line with the rest of the state, only about half of the provisional ballots will be approved, meaning Beasley would have to win about two-thirds of those votes to catch up. The county is expected to finalize its results Monday night. An error in Washington County significantly hurt Beasley, who had held a slight lead. Washington County is using an older voting system, called Unity from the election vendor Elections Systems and Software, which the county has had in place since 2006. The county had an unknown error with the Unity system in which the by-mail votes were counted twice, according to the county’s elections director, Dora Bell.

Full Article: NC counties finalize elections just past deadline – Carolina Public Press

Pennsylvania: Trump’s legal push to disrupt election results is on its last legs. What’s his campaign still fighting in court? | Jeremy Roebuck/Philadelphia Inquirer

While Trump’s campaign continues to pursue legal challenges, there was no active case left with enough ballots in question to reverse Joe Biden’s 69,000-vote advantage in the state as of Monday afternoon. Trump campaign lawyers now say their goal isn’t to overturn Biden’s lead but to whittle his 1.01-point lead down to 0.5 points and trigger an automatic recount. And this week is likely to prove decisive in the one case on which the campaign has pinned its remaining hopes — a suit seeking a court order barring Pennsylvania from certifying its final vote tally. It’s worth noting again that despite the outsized rhetoric from the president and his allies about widespread and systemic voter fraud, none of the suits his campaign has filed so far has contained even one allegation — let alone evidence — of a single vote being deliberately cast illegally. What’s more, campaign lawyers, when pressed by Pennsylvania judges in court, have consistently acknowledged that they are not alleging voter fraud but are instead seeking to disqualify ballots submitted by lawful voters based on legal technicalities.

Full Article: Trump’s legal push to disrupt Pa.’s election results is on its last legs. What’s his campaign still fighting in court?

Pennsylvania: Trump campaign presses election cases as attorneys abandon key claims, courts deny legal challenges | Emily Previti/WHYY

Quairah Tucker votes in every election, but this year brought a lot of firsts. She’s one of millions of Pennsylvanians issued a mailed ballot. Since hers never arrived, Tucker was among more than 100,000 who voted provisionally at the polls. More than a week later, she received a letter in the mail, saying her ballot was being challenged. “When I was at the polling place, I thought that my vote counted,” Tucker said. “I didn’t expect to have to come in and fight for my rights, for my vote counting.” Tucker and more than 1,000 other Delaware County voters had their provisional ballots challenged by the Trump campaign for any number of reasons: signing in the wrong spot, using the wrong date, failing to seal the ballot envelope properly and so on. In Tucker’s case, she put her name in one spot, but not the other where voters are supposed to sign. “I filled out the ballot, like I was told to do. I was instructed to only fill out one box. And I guess that was not enough,” she said. The campaign has challenged thousands of provisional ballots in several majority-Democrat counties, including in Northampton, Montgomery, Chester and Allegheny. That’s in addition to its unresolved lawsuits in courts across the commonwealth. Plus, the petition before the U.S. Supreme Court initiated by Pennsylvania Republicans — which the Trump campaign has since joined — could invalidate about 10,000 ballots that arrived after polls closed on election night and before 5 p.m. on Nov. 6.

Full Article: Trump campaign presses election cases in Pennsylvania as attorneys abandon key claims, courts deny legal challenges – WHYY

Pennsylvania: 2nd Trump lawyer asks to pull out of case challenging election | Alex Hosenball/ABC

Full Article: 2nd Trump lawyer asks to pull out of case challenging Pennsylvania election – ABC News

Virginia delays statewide certification of election results, citing Richmond office’s COVID outbreak | Andrew Cain/Richmond Times-Dispatch

The State Board of Elections on Monday delayed certification of Virginia’s election results until later this week, giving additional time to the Richmond voter registrar’s office, which is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. State elections officials said they had local certification in hand from Virginia’s other 132 cities and counties and they expect to certify the state results later this week. Chris Piper, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, told the board that, “Overall, Virginia had an incredibly successful election” with no major issues reported on Election Day, which was Nov. 3. The meeting came as President Donald Trump continues to make unsubstantiated claims about widespread voter fraud in his loss to Joe Biden. Coming during the pandemic, Virginia’s election drew an unprecedented 2.8 million early voters, 1.8 million of them voting in person and 1 million through mailed ballots. Nearly 1.6 million people voted on Election Day. Virginia elections officials and legislators already are looking at potential changes to how registrars report results. Some Virginians were confused because Republicans dominated votes cast on Election Day, but Democrats pulled ahead in a number of contests late that night once localities reported votes cast in advance that skewed Democratic.

Full Article: Virginia delays statewide certification of election results, citing Richmond office’s COVID outbreak | Govt-and-politics | richmond.com

Wisconsin: Trump campaign would have to pay nearly $8 million for recount | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Donald Trump’s campaign would have to pay nearly $8 million to start a recount in Wisconsin, a state he narrowly lost two weeks ago. Trump will have to decide by Wednesday whether to carry through with the recount he has promised to pursue. If his campaign pays the $7.9 million cost up front, the recount will begin as soon as Thursday and be complete by Dec. 1, according to the state Elections Commission. Trump has been furiously fundraising for the Wisconsin recount and legal challenges in other states to try to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory. If he doesn’t go ahead with the Wisconsin recount, he can use the money he’s raised for other purposes, such as retiring his campaign debt. The price tag for the Wisconsin recount is nearly four times as much as a recount in 2016. That year, the campaign of Green Party candidate Jill Stein had to pay just over $2 million for the recount it had requested.

Full Article: Trump campaign would have to pay nearly $8 million for Wisconsin recount

Georgia: A laborious, costly and historic hand recount of presidential ballots begins | Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Reis Thebault/The Washington Post

The election workers sat two to a table, a stack of ballots off to the side. One auditor lifted a ballot, reviewed the selection for president, and handed it to the other to do the same before placing it in the right pile — TRUMP, BIDEN, JORGENSEN or WRITE-IN — or setting it aside for further review. The effort was part of a historic manual recount of presidential votes in Georgia, where hundreds, if not thousands, of workers in the state’s 159 counties on Friday began the tedious task of re-tallying each of the nearly 5 million votes cast and checking for any potential irregularities. The recount, the largest hand recount in U.S. history, was ordered by Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in an effort to reassure the public about the outcome of the presidential election in his state, where President-elect Joe Biden was projected to win with a lead of about 14,000 votes over President Trump. Research shows that recounts do not typically change the results by enough votes to flip the outcome. Nevertheless, the narrow margin, the fact that Georgia historically has been a red state, and efforts by Trump and top GOP officials to cast doubt on Biden’s victory in the presidential contest have led to this extraordinary effort.

Full Article: In Georgia, a laborious, costly and historic hand recount of presidential ballots begins – The Washington Post

National: Trump Loses String of Election Lawsuits, Leaving Few Vehicles to Fight His Defeat | Alan Feuer/The New York Times

President Trump suffered multiple legal setbacks in three key swing states on Friday, choking off many of his last-ditch efforts to use the courts to delay or block President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory. In quick succession, Mr. Trump was handed defeats in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan, where a state judge in Detroit rejected an unusual Republican attempt to halt the certification of the vote in Wayne County pending an audit of the count. The legal losses came as Mr. Biden was declared the victor in Georgia and a day after an agency in the president’s own Department of Homeland Security flatly contradicted him by declaring that the election “was the most secure in American history” and that “there is no evidence” any voting systems malfunctioned. On Friday, 16 federal prosecutors who had been assigned to monitor the election also directly debunked claims of widespread fraud, saying in a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr that there was no evidence of substantial irregularities. In his first public remarks of the week, Mr. Trump ignored the developments during an appearance in the Rose Garden. But he showed a momentary crack in his previously relentless insistence that he would eventually be proclaimed the winner of the campaign, saying at one point, “Whatever happens in the future, who knows, which administration, I guess time will tell.”

Full Article: Trump Loses String of Election Results Lawsuits – The New York Times

National: Trump lost at the ballot box. His legal challenges aren’t going any better. | David A. Fahrenthold, Emma Brown and Hannah Knowles/The Washington Post

President Trump lost his reelection bid at the ballot box. But he said he could win it back in court. In five key states, Trump and his allies filed lawsuits that — according to Trump — would reveal widespread electoral fraud, undo President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, and give Trump another four years. “Biden did not win, he lost by a lot!” Trump tweeted. It’s not going well. Rather than revealing widespread — or even isolated — fraud, the effort by Trump’s legal team has so far done the opposite: It’s affirmed the integrity of the election that Trump lost. Nearly every GOP challenge has been tossed out. Not a single vote has been overturned. “The Trump legal team does not seem to have identified any kind of global litigation strategy that has any prospect of changing the outcome of the election, and all of the court filings to date underscore that — as do all of the court rulings that have been issued to date,” said Robert Kelner, a Republican lawyer who chairs the election and political law practice group at Covington & Burling, an international law firm based in Washington. Part of the problem is that Trump’s approach has been backward: Declare crimes first, then look for proof afterward. Again and again, the president or his allies said they’d found evidence that would stun the public and swing the election. But, when Trump and his team revealed that evidence, it often was far less than they had promised. A “dead” voter turned out to be alive. “Thousands” of problematic ballots turned out to be one. Election-changing problems turned out to involve a few dozen, or a few hundred, ballots.

Full Article: Trump lost at the ballot box. His legal challenges aren’t going any better. – The Washington Post

National: Behind Trump’s Yearslong Effort to Turn Losing Into Winning | Jim Rutenberg and Nick Cora/The New York Times

Obscured by the postelection noise over the president’s efforts to falsely portray the election system as “rigged” against him has been how much Mr. Trump and his allies did ahead of time to promote a baseless conspiracy devised to appeal to his most passionate supporters, providing him with the opportunity to make his historically anomalous bid to cling to power in the face of defeat. That bid is now in its last throes. Judges are dismissing the president’s lawsuits, as various bits of supposed evidence — an alleged box of illegal ballots that was in fact a case containing camera equipment and “dead voters” who are alive — unravel. And yet Mr. Trump has still not given up on seeding doubt about the election’s integrity as he seeks to stain Mr. Biden’s clear victory — by more than 5.5 million votes and also in the Electoral College — with false insinuations of illegitimacy. On Sunday alone, he posted more than two dozen election-related tweets, seeming to briefly acknowledge Mr. Biden’s victory before declaring, “I concede NOTHING!” The roots of Mr. Trump’s approach date to before his election in 2016, and he advanced his plans throughout his term. But his strategy for casting doubt on the outcome of the 2020 campaign took shape in earnest when the coronavirus pandemic upended normal life and led states to promote voting by mail. From the start, the president saw mail-in ballots as a political threat that would appeal more to Democrats than to his followers. And so he and his allies sought to block moves to make absentee voting easier and to slow the counting of mail ballots. This allowed Mr. Trump to do two things: claim an early victory on election night and paint ballots that were counted later for his opponent as fraudulent.

Full Article: Behind Trump’s Yearslong Effort to Turn Losing Into Winning – The New York Times

National: Giuliani adds fuel to discredited theories about voting machines. | Zach Montague/The New York Times

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, continued on Saturday his effort to delegitimize votes cast through electronic voting machines, citing several conspiracies connected to the companies that make the machines and the software they run in a post on Twitter. Looking to sow doubt about the vote count in multiple swing states that were recently called for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Giuliani hinted support for a discredited theory that one of the companies that manufactures the voting machines used in some states, Smartmatic, is controlled by the billionaire philanthropist George Soros. “Look up SMARTMATIC and tweet me what you think?” Mr. Giuliani wrote. “It will all come out.” Hours later, President Trump picked up a similar refrain, stating in a tweet that the election was “stolen” by “privately owned Radical Left company, Dominion,” without providing evidence or explaining why Dominion was distinct among the many other privately owned election system vendors that routinely administer elections in the United States. Speculation that Mr. Soros has any influence over Smartmatic or its operations has been thoroughly debunked, and he does not own the company. Mr. Soros’s distant connection to the company is through his association with Smartmatic’s chairman, Mark Malloch-Brown, who is on the board of Mr. Soros’s Open Society Foundation.

Full Article: Giuliani adds fuel to discredited theories about voting machines. – The New York Times

National: Judges appear increasingly frustrated with Trump’s legal claims about 2020 election | Matthew Mosk, Olivia Rubin and Alex Hosenball/ABC

The recent scene in Clark County, Nevada, has become increasingly common in courthouses around the country as President Donald Trump continues to push thinly supported allegations of election misconduct and fraud. When Republican lawyers in Nevada complained their observers were not close enough if they could not hear everything poll workers were saying, U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon pushed back. “At what point does this get ridiculous?” the exasperated judge, an appointee of President Barack Obama, asked before ruling against the Republicans. In court hearings and opinions around the country, judges are voicing similar frustrations with the Trump campaign’s legal filings to a degree rarely seen in venues where political rhetoric is generally unwelcome, experts and courthouse veterans said. “Judge after judge after judge has asked, in essence, ‘Where is the beef?'” said Karl Racine, the attorney general for the District of Columbia and a frequent Trump critic, in a call with reporters Friday. “We have seen numerous instances where affidavits have been filed … only to be immediately pulled back once tested in state and federal court,” said Racine, whose own lawsuit against Trump in connection with the president’s Washington, D.C., hotel is on hold pending appeal. “I would not be surprised that if these baseless allegations continue, judges will begin to threaten and indeed issue sanctions.”

Full Article: Judges appear increasingly frustrated with Trump’s legal claims about 2020 election – ABC News

National: GOP leaders in 4 states quash dubious Trump bid on electors | Bob Christie and Nicholas Riccardi/Associated Press

Republican leaders in four critical states won by President-elect Joe Biden say they won’t participate in a legally dubious scheme to flip their state’s electors to vote for President Donald Trump. Their comments effectively shut down a half-baked plot some Republicans floated as a last chance to keep Trump in the White House. State GOP lawmakers in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have all said they would not intervene in the selection of electors, who ultimately cast the votes that secure a candidate’s victory. Such a move would violate state law and a vote of the people, several noted. “I do not see, short of finding some type of fraud — which I haven’t heard of anything — I don’t see us in any serious way addressing a change in electors,” said Rusty Bowers, Arizona’s Republican House speaker, who says he’s been inundated with emails pleading for the legislature to intervene. “They are mandated by statute to choose according to the vote of the people.” The idea loosely involves GOP-controlled legislatures dismissing Biden’s popular vote wins in their states and opting to select Trump electors. While the endgame was unclear, it appeared to hinge on the expectation that a conservative-leaning Supreme Court would settle any dispute over the move.

Full Article: GOP leaders in 4 states quash dubious Trump bid on electors