Arizona: Trump campaign drops effort seeking review of ballots | Heather Neidig/The Hill

 

The Trump campaign dropped its lawsuit on Friday in Arizona seeking a review of ballots cast in the state’s biggest county in the presidential race just hours after multiple outlets projected President-elect Joe Biden to carry the state. The campaign, which filed the complaint Saturday, said in a new filing that it would no longer seek a court order for a review of presidential votes over its allegation that poll workers had mishandled ballots rejected by tabulation machines. “Since the close of yesterday’s hearing, the tabulation of votes statewide has rendered unnecessary a judicial ruling as to the presidential electors,” Trump campaign lawyers wrote Friday in the filing. In their lawsuit filed Saturday, President Trump‘s legal team alleged that voters had claimed they were pushed by poll workers to override tabulation machines’ rejection of their ballots when irregularities were detected. They alleged that poll workers in Maricopa County, which encompasses Phoenix and the metro area, were telling voters that overriding the function would help ensure their votes were counted when it would actually reject the ballot without an opportunity for review. The lawsuit against Arizona’s secretary of state had asked the Maricopa County Superior Court for an order to hold off on certifying the vote count until a hand review of the county’s ballots could be conducted.

Full Article: Trump campaign drops effort seeking review of Arizona ballots | TheHill

Arizona Republican Party sues over use of vote centers for county election audit | Jeremy Duda/Arizona Mirror

The Arizona Republican Party is going to court to challenge a nearly decade-old provision in the secretary of state’s election procedures manual, which by statute has the force of law. Central to the complaint is that Maricopa County used the wrong method to determine which ballots to hand count for a post-election audit. State law requires counties to perform a hand count of ballots from 2% of precincts after every election to compare the results to those from the tabulation machines that the counties use to tally ballots. But the legislature in 2011 passed a law permitting counties to switch from precinct-based voting to vote centers where voters could go to cast a ballot, regardless of where they lived. The election procedures manual remedied the conflict between the two laws by allowing counties to substitute voting centers instead. The 2019 election procedures manual drafted by the office of Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, and approved by Gov. Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich, both Republicans, states, “In counties that utilize vote centers, each vote center is considered to be a precinct/polling location and the officer in charge of elections must conduct a hand count of regular ballots from at least 2% of the vote centers, or 2 vote centers, whichever is greater.” 

Full Article: AZGOP sues over use of vote centers for county election audit

Florida: Here’s how post-election audits work in Florida | Allison Ross/Tampa Bay Times

Most counties do a manual audit, in which elections workers hand count all the votes cast in up to 2 percent of the precincts for one randomly selected race. The numbers tallied by elections workers are then compared to the official results originally produced by the vote-counting machines. Ballots that were cast by mail, on Election Day, during early in-person voting and provisionally are all included in this audit, as are any ballots that came in from overseas voters. “It’s labor-intensive, but worth it, from my perspective,” said Brian Corley, supervisor of elections in Pasco County. He said these audits help give county residents confidence in the elections process, saying he’s found that residents like that he and his staff are physically touching and counting ballots to ensure the accuracy of machine counts. Julie Marcus, supervisor of elections in Pinellas County, said audits are the final step in making sure voting systems are accurate. She said Pinellas County “has had perfect audits since audits were implemented in 2008.”

Full Article: Here’s how post-election audits work in Florida

Georgia Recount Yields Few Changes in Vote Totals, Democrats Say | Bill Allison/Bloomberg

Georgia’s hand audit of ballots cast in the presidential election is proceeding rapidly with little change in the results so far, according to lawyers working for President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign. Some 48 of the state’s 159 counties have finished their examination of the ballots with either no change or minor shifts — differences of fewer than five votes in some instances, they said. Four counties that have finished their retallies reported having no changes. Biden won the first count by over 14,000 votes. Election officials on Saturday started auditing almost 5 million ballots. “More Georgians voted for President-elect Biden than voted for President Trump,” said Marc Elias, a prominent Democratic lawyer who’s aiding the campaign. “There is nothing that the recount’s going to do to change that.” Because of the closeness of the result, less than 0.3 percentage points, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, ordered a statewide, hand recount of ballots. The process is due to be completed by Nov. 20 though a superior court judge could move the deadline if needed.

Full Article: Election 2020: Georgia Recount Yields Few Changes in Vote Totals, Democrats Say – Bloomberg

Georgia’s recount integrity faces attack: As Trump claims election fraud, election recount continues | Alan Judd/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

President Donald Trump and his allies spread false claims about Georgia’s election recount on Saturday, attacking a process conducted by members of the president’s own party at his request. Top Georgia Republicans, including Gov. Brian Kemp, declined to rebut Trump’s allegations. But other prominent Republicans, such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, advanced Trump’s claims, and right-wing media outlets amplified the message. A commentator on the conservative website Newsmax described Georgia’s recount — a ballot-by-ballot review of nearly 5 million votes that entered its second day Saturday — as “a sham and a hoax and a fix.” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who is Georgia’s chief election officer, acknowledged what he called “misinformation that has circulated in social media.” But in a statement released by his office, Raffensperger did not mention Trump by name. The attacks on the recount’s integrity came one day after national news organizations called Georgia in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. He beat Trump by 14,122 votes, becoming the first Democrat to carry the state since 1992. Raffensperger ordered the unprecedented recount a day after receiving a demand for a review from Trump’s campaign, although he said he made the decision on his own. No irregularities or significant tabulation errors emerged during the first two days of the recount, officials said Saturday. And even if the Georgia outcome were reversed, Biden still would have enough electoral votes from other states to capture the presidency.

Full Article: As Trump claims election fraud, Georgia election recount continues

Kentucky Weighs Changing System After Election Success | David Guiildford/Spectrum

During a pandemic, Kentucky facilitated record voter turnout — implementing methods foreign to the largely conservative state like excuse-free absentee voting and three weeks of open polls. Adams, the Commonwealth’s Republican secretary of state, ruffled feathers among some in his party when he used legislatively gifted emergency executive powers to work with Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat, on the plan for 2020’s June primary and November General Election. As Adams begins to make plans for the future, what changes, if any, might he suggest to lawmakers for permanent change? “I certainly think that four things are strong in their ability to pass [through the legislature],” he said during a sit-down interview in his capitol office. “Early voting, for at least a few days, I don’t think we need three weeks of voting in every election, but a few days would really help working people get to the polls.” The other three changes under Adams’ consideration are keeping voting centers, or “hubs,” within counties that offer each ballot type regardless of precinct; maintaining the online portal for voters to use for assistance and Adams to use to monitor needs and activity; and the process of curing ballots. Curing involves flagging absentee ballots that are submitted with errors, often in good faith, and contacting the voters-in-question to resolve the issues. With few people voting by mail in Kentucky before 2020, Adams said there was no curing procedure in place. Under the first year of its use, fewer than 1% of the 626,000 absentee ballots submitted statewide had to be discarded.

Full Article: After Election Success, Kentucky Weighs Changing System

Michigan: State senators want ‘audit’ of election before canvassing. That’s what canvassing is, Secretary of State says. | Carol Thompson/Lansing State Journal

Two state senators are asking the Secretary of State to “audit” the November election before certifying results, citing a handful of alleged improprieties, most of which have been debunked in the press. Sens. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, and Lana Theis, R-Brighton, made the request in a Friday letter to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. The Secretary of State’s office is reviewing their request while the State Board of Canvassers meets to certify the election. The canvassing process itself is an audit, spokesperson Tracy Wimmer said. The state canvassers must convene by Nov. 23. In their letter, Barrett and Theis repeated claims raised by Michigan Republicans since the polls closed on Nov. 3. They pointed to an instance in Antrim County, where a clerk’s failure to update software caused results to temporarily show Democrat Joe Biden in the lead. A University of Michigan voting security expert told the Detroit Free Press the mistake, which was corrected, was caused by an “unusual sequence of events very unlikely to affect any other jurisdictions,” although many other jurisidictions use the same software.

Full Article: 2 state senators ask Michigan Secretary of State for election audit

Michigan: Pro-Trump forces spin legal wheels in challenging election results | Paul Egan Clara Hendrickson/Detroit Free Press

Lawsuits filed in the wrong courts. Naming the wrong defendants. Alleging facts with no connection to the defendants being sued. Forces backing Republican President Donald Trump have filed at least five lawsuits in state and federal courts in Michigan seeking to delay or stop the state’s certification of 16 electoral votes for Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. With every Michigander’s vote cast and counted in the presidential contest, showing Biden defeating Trump by close to 150,000 votes according to the unofficial tally, elections workers statewide are now undertaking the tedious process of officially certifying the vote and converting the state’s popular vote into the state’s Electoral College votes. That process relies on local and state election officials meeting a series of tight deadlines and fulfilling their legal duties. And derailing this process appears to be a goal the lawsuits all share. The suits could create significant complications if they produced court orders delaying certification of election results in key Michigan counties beyond Tuesday’s deadline, or dragged out thecertification of statewide results beyond the Dec. 8 “safe harbor” date by which Congress is required to accept Michigan’s electoral votes. But the suits have been marked by unusual legal missteps and repeated judicial setbacks. Some analysts say it is difficult to discern a coherent strategy, other than to seek to undermine overall confidence in the elections process.

Full Article: Pro-Trump forces remain hitless in Michigan election challenges

Nevada: Military voters fear they’re part of unsupported fraud claim | Michelle L. Price, ichael Balsamo and Anthony Izaguirre/Associated Press

Some military voters are concerned they have been thrust into the center of unsubstantiated fraud claims by President Donald Trump’s campaign that several thousand people may have improperly voted in Nevada. There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election despite Trump’s claims. Election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed there were no serious irregularities that elected Democrat Joe Biden the next president. Still, lawyers from Trump’s campaign sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr alleging they had uncovered what they described as “criminal voter fraud” in Nevada. They said they had identified 3,062 people who “improperly” cast mail ballots in Clark County, a Democrat-heavy area that includes Las Vegas and about 75% of the state’s population. Those people were identified by “cross-referencing the names and addresses of voters with the National Change of Address database,” according to the letter. A copy of the letter provided to The Associated Press included a 62-page chart enumerating each voter but the listing did not include the name, address or party affiliation. Instead, it listed voters by the county, city, state and zip code they moved from, and the city, state and nine-digit zip code they moved to. The full nine-digit zip code can narrow an address down to a particular segment of a few blocks or even one side of a street, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

Full Article: Military voters fear they’re part of unsupported fraud claim

North Carolina election recount possible in AG, chief justice races | Danielle Battaglia/Raleigh News & Observer

North Carolina could be headed toward recounts in two key races where candidates held narrow margins over their opponents. Since Nov. 3, the races between Cheri Beasley and Paul Newby for Supreme Court chief justice and Josh Stein and Jim O’Neill for attorney general have been too close to declare a winner. State law allows a candidate to request a recount in statewide races if they are trailing their opponent by less than 0.5% or 10,000 votes, whichever is less. The candidate must request the recount by Nov. 17, the second business day after the counties certify their election results, which was mostly taking place Friday. Beasley was leading her challenger by just 35 votes, well within those margins, as of 9 a.m. Sunday. But Stein led O’Neill by around 14,000 votes, making a recount look increasingly unlikely. Five counties still had not reported final vote totals.

Source: NC election recount possible in AG, chief justice races | Raleigh News & Observer

Oregon’s ousted elections director wanted to leave months before election | Steve Benham/KATU

Stephen Trout was unhappy in his job as Oregon’s director of elections and planned to leave it, but before he could quit on his own terms his boss, Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno, fired him. “I could tell this morning that you were unhappy,” Clarno wrote in a text message, obtained through a public records request, that informed Trout he no longer had a job. “I thank you for all you have done for SOS, and I wish you the best in your next endeavor.” The text message was sent at 4:08 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5, just two days after this year’s general election. Workers at county elections offices throughout the state were still counting ballots and tabulating votes. But now, the last day for the director of the state’s elections division, housed in the secretary of state’s office, would be Nov. 6. Trout had wanted to leave his job since at least the spring of this year, an email obtained through a public records request revealed. In fact, he was interviewing for jobs and had also informed Clarno in an Oct. 27 email that he had told potential employers that he would be ready to work for them starting Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Full Article: Oregon’s ousted elections director wanted to leave months before election | KATU

Pennsylvania: Trump campaign jettisons major parts of its legal challenge against election results | Jon Swaine and Elise Viebeck/The Washington Post

President Trump’s campaign on Sunday scrapped a major part of its federal lawsuit challenging the election results in Pennsylvania. Trump’s attorneys filed a revised version of the lawsuit, removing allegations that election officials violated the Trump campaign’s constitutional rights by limiting the ability of their observers to watch votes being counted. Trump and Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal attorney, have said repeatedly that more than 600,000 votes in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh should be invalidated because of this issue. Trump’s pared-down lawsuit now focuses on allegations that Republicans were illegally disadvantaged because some Democratic-leaning counties allowed voters to fix errors on their mail ballots. Counties have said this affected only a small number of votes. Cliff Levine, an attorney representing the Democratic Party in the case, said on Sunday evening that Trump’s move meant his lawsuit could not possibly change the result. “Now you’re only talking about a handful of ballots,” Levine said. “They would have absolutely no impact on the total count or on Joe Biden’s win over Donald Trump.”

Full Article: Trump campaign jettisons major parts of its legal challenge against Pennsylvania’s election results – The Washington Post

Pennsylvania secretary of state will not order a recount | Tal Axelrod/The Hill

Pennsylvania’s top elections official confirmed Friday she will not be ordering a recount or recanvass of her state’s election results as Republicans rail against officials there over groundless voter fraud claims. Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D) said the races for president, state attorney general, auditor general and state treasurer will not face recounts or recanvasses after unofficial returns submitted by the state’s counties showed no statewide candidate lost by less 0.5 percent, the margin at which such recourses would be triggered. “We are extremely grateful to all 67 counties who have been working overtime and putting in an extraordinary effort to count every vote, with so far more than 6.8 million votes having been counted,” Boockvar said in a statement. “The counties continue to adjudicate and count the approximately 100,000 provisional ballots issued to voters at the polls on Election Day, as well as the more than 28,000 military and overseas ballots that were cast in this election.” With ballots still being cast, Biden currently holds a nearly 60,000-vote lead in the state, a margin that has mushroomed  since the state was called for him last weekend and could grow more.

Full Article: Pennsylvania secretary of state will not order a recount | TheHill

Wisconsin: Lawsuit on behalf of Trump seeks to exclude votes from Milwaukee, Dane and Menominee counties | Molly Beck/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Three voters in northeast Wisconsin have filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to throw out votes in three of the counties that delivered Wisconsin to President-elect Joe Biden: Milwaukee, Dane and Menominee. The lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Green Bay seeks to change the outcome of Wisconsin’s election to President Donald Trump’s favor by excluding the presidential votes from the counties in the state’s final election certification, alleging without evidence that absentee voting is fraught with widespread fraud. The plaintiffs allege voters in these counties may have bypassed state law requiring voters to provide photo identification by dubbing themselves “indefinitely confined” due to the coronavirus pandemic. The suit also takes issue with clerks’ ability to take corrective actions to remedy errors related to witness’s addresses on absentee ballots. The suit cites allegations from people who are not named but identified by initials. The voters listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Michael Langenhorst of Door County, Michael LeMay of Brown County and Stephen Fifrick of Oconto County.

Full Article: Lawsuit on behalf of Trump seeks to exclude votes from Milwaukee, Dane and Menominee counties” | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Top official on U.S. election cybersecurity tells associates he expects to be fired | Christopher Bing, Joseph Menn, and Raphael Satter/Reuters

Top U.S. cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs, who worked on protecting the election from hackers but drew the ire of the Trump White House over efforts to debunk disinformation, has told associates he expects to be fired, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Krebs, who heads the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), did not return messages seeking comment. CISA and the White House declined comment. Separately, Bryan Ware, assistant director for cybersecurity at CISA, confirmed to Reuters that he had handed in his resignation on Thursday. Ware did not provide details, but a U.S. official familiar with his matter said the White House asked for Ware’s resignation earlier this week. The departure is part of the churn in the administration since Republican President Donald Trump was defeated by Democrat Joe Biden in last week’s election, raising concerns about the transition to the president-elect who would take office on Jan. 20. Trump, who has yet to concede and has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud, fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and has installed loyalists in top positions at the Pentagon. Krebs has drawn praise from both Democrats and Republicans for his handling of the election, which generally ran smoothly despite persistent fears that foreign hackers might try to undermine the vote.

Full Article: Exclusive: Top official on U.S. election cybersecurity tells associates he expects to be fired | Reuters

Georgia Will Begin Recounting Votes, With Biden Still Favored | Danny Hakim and Richard Fausset/The New York Times

Georgia’s 159 counties were poised on Thursday to begin recounting nearly five million ballots in the presidential election, but confusion surrounded the proceedings even as county officials raced to get ready. A day after Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, described the process as a hand recount, his subordinates said Thursday that it was technically an audit and not a recount, though it would have largely the same effect. Counties are being told to audit every vote cast and tally a new result by midnight on Wednesday, two days before the state’s Nov. 20 deadline to certify its results. But after that, the Trump campaign can still request an official recount, if the result is within half a percentage point. That means President Trump could effectively get three bites at the apple — or the peach, as it were — in Georgia. Still, with the margin in the first tally giving Joseph R. Biden Jr. an edge of more than 14,000 votes, election observers do not believe any number of counts will alter the outcome. Counties will begin their audits on Friday morning and are required to finish up by midnight on Nov. 18. Auditors from the counties’ elections divisions will sit at tables and count the ballots. Most of what will be reviewed will be straightforward: printed copies of in-person votes cast on electronic machines. But county officials will also review absentee ballots marked by hand. If they find ambiguities, the ballots will be referred to a three-person adjudication panel in each county made up of a Democratic representative, a Republican representative and a county official who will break ties.

Full Article: Georgia Will Begin Recounting Votes, With Biden Still Favored – The New York Times

National: Election Officials Directly Contradict Trump on Voting System Fraud | David E. Sanger, Matt Stevens and Nicole Perlroth/The New York Times

Hours after President Trump repeated a baseless report that a voting machine system “deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide,” he was directly contradicted by a group of federal, state and local election officials, who issued a statement on Thursday declaring flatly that the election “was the most secure in American history” and that “there is no evidence” any voting systems were compromised. The rebuke, in a statement by a coordinating council overseeing the voting systems used around the country, never mentioned Mr. Trump by name. But it amounted to a remarkable corrective to a wave of disinformation that Mr. Trump has been pushing across his Twitter feed. The statement was distributed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is responsible for helping states secure the voting process. Coming directly from one of Mr. Trump’s own cabinet agencies, it further isolated the president in his false claims that widespread fraud cost him the election. The statement also came as a previously unified Republican Party showed signs of cracking on the question of whether to keep backing the president. Across the country, election officials have said the vote came off smoothly, with no reports of systemic fraud in any state, no sign of foreign interference in the voting infrastructure and no hardware or software failures beyond the episodic glitches that happen in any election. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s lead in the popular vote has expanded to more than five million, and he remains on track to win a solid victory in the Electoral College.

Full Article: Election Officials Directly Contradict Trump on Voting System Fraud – The New York Times

National: Trump spreads baseless claim about Dominion Voting Systems after losing election | Audrey McNamara/CBS

President Trump and campaign surrogates have claimed, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud occurred in the key battleground states that gave President-elect Joe Biden the necessary Electoral College votes to become the projected 46th president of the United States. The latest claim, that Dominion Voting Systems, a voting software company used in 28 states, deleted and switched votes intended for Mr. Trump, also does not hold water.  “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” said a statement posted Thursday by the federal Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The joint statement, from the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees, called the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.” Nevertheless, the president on Thursday tweeted an unsubstantiated story from the pro-Trump One America News Network that Dominion “deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide,” citing “data analysis.” The post, which was flagged by Twitter, tagged OANN personality Chanel Rion, who earlier in the week amplified the baseless claim that a “glitch” in the system caused Mr. Biden to initially lead in the historically Republican county. The Michigan secretary of state’s office said it was a human error that was quickly corrected.

Full Article: Trump spreads baseless claim about Dominion Voting Systems after losing election – CBS News

National: No, Dominion voting machines did not cause widespread voting problems. | Jack Nicas/The New York Times

President Trump on Thursday spread new baseless claims about Dominion Voting Systems, which makes software that local governments around the nation use to help run their elections, fueling a conspiracy theory that Dominion “software glitches” changed vote tallies in Michigan and Georgia last week. The Dominion software was used in only two of the five counties that had problems in Michigan and Georgia, and in every instance there was a detailed explanation for what had happened. In all of the cases, software did not affect the vote counts. In the two Michigan counties that had mistakes, the inaccuracies were because of human errors, not software problems, according to the Michigan Department of State, county officials and election-security experts. Only one of the two Michigan counties used Dominion software. Issues in three Georgia counties had other explanations. In one county, an apparent problem with Dominion software delayed officials’ reporting of the vote tallies, but did not affect the actual vote count. In two other counties, a separate company’s software slowed poll workers’ ability to check-in voters. “Many of the claims being asserted about Dominion and questionable voting technology is misinformation at best and, in many cases, they’re outright disinformation,” said Edward Perez, an election-technology expert at the OSET Institute, a nonprofit that studies voting infrastructure. “I’m not aware of any evidence of specific things or defects in Dominion software that would lead one to believe that votes had been recorded or counted incorrectly.”

Full Article: No, Dominion voting machines did not cause widespread voting problems. – The New York Times

National: The GOP Keeps Proving There’s No Election Fraud | Lily Hay Newman/WIRED

After repeatedly raising the specter of fraud throughout the campaign season, President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have spent the last week attempting to sow doubt about the validity of the presidential election results. By Saturday, enough mail-in ballots had been counted that major news outlets called the race for Joe Biden. If anything, Trump and the GOP have since then become even more emboldened. But along the way, their legal challenges and other gestures have failed to show any instances of voter fraud. In fact, quite the opposite: They’ve inadvertently been proving the validity of the election’s results. It’s unclear whether President Trump and his allies actually hope to overturn the results of the election. Some reports indicate that the pushback is largely for show. But even if the challenges persist, they collectively don’t seem to be enough right now to overcome Biden’s commanding lead. Still, the Trump reelection campaign has brought lawsuits in states like Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Nevada over ballots they say are ineligible to be counted and votes they claim were cast fraudulently. A number of these challenges have already been dismissed. Those that remain haven’t gained significant traction. In at least one instance, Trump’s lawyers have flat-out acknowledged that they’re not actually alleging fraud despite the president’s insistence. On Tuesday, in a case over 592 disputed ballots in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania—a county where Biden leads by more than 130,000 votes—judge Richard Haaz pressed Trump reelection campaign lawyer Jonathan Goldstein. “Are you claiming that there is any fraud in connection with these 592 ballots?” Haaz asked. “To my knowledge at present, no,” Goldstein responded. “Are you claiming that there is any undue or improper influence upon the elector with respect to these 592 ballots?” Haaz asked. Goldstein again said no.

Full Article: The GOP Keeps Proving There’s No Election Fraud | WIRED

National: Trump Floats Improbable Survival Scenarios as He Ponders His Future | Maggie Haberman/The New York Times

At a meeting on Wednesday at the White House, President Trump had something he wanted to discuss with his advisers, many of whom have told him his chances of succeeding at changing the results of the 2020 election are thin as a reed. He then proceeded to press them on whether Republican legislatures could pick pro-Trump electors in a handful of key states and deliver him the electoral votes he needs to change the math and give him a second term, according to people briefed on the discussion. It was not a detailed conversation, or really a serious one, the people briefed on it said. Nor was it reflective of any obsessive desire of Mr. Trump’s to remain in the White House. “He knows it’s over,” one adviser said. But instead of conceding, they said, he is floating one improbable scenario after another for staying in office while he contemplates his uncertain post-presidency future. There is no grand strategy at play, according to interviews with a half-dozen advisers and people close to the president. Mr. Trump is simply trying to survive from one news cycle to the next, seeing how far he can push his case against his defeat and ensure the continued support of his Republican base. By dominating the story of his exit from the White House, he hopes to keep his millions of supporters energized and engaged for whatever comes next.

Full Article: Trump Floats Improbable Survival Scenarios as He Ponders His Future – The New York Times

Editorial: Republicans Should Be Defending Georgia’s Election Process | Trey Grayson/The New York Times

There has hardly ever been a tougher time to be the chief election administrator of a state. In most states, that role is held by the secretary of state, and running an election is just one of the many responsibilities that commands that person’s time and attention. Yet these public servants have ably run an election amid a pandemic, especially Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state of Georgia. I first met Mr. Raffensperger a few weeks after his election in 2018, at a gathering of new state secretaries. As a former president of the National Association of Secretaries of State and chair of the Republican Association of Secretaries of State, I have met a lot of election administrators, from the mediocre to the excellent. I was impressed by Mr. Raffensperger. He approaches his job with pragmatism. Unlike most secretaries of state, he is an engineer by training and approaches election administration from the perspective of a “numbers guy.” Too many secretaries of state see themselves as governors in waiting, but Mr. Raffensperger was enthusiastic about fixing the nuts and bolts of the election machinery. In just two years in office, he has improved Georgia’s election security in several ways. First, he replaced outdated, paperless voting systems with accessible, paper-based voting systems, which allowed for audits of elections in Georgia. For this election, given the closeness of the vote, Mr. Raffensperger is planning a hand recount, but going forward, Georgia will establish risk-limiting audits, which use statistical sampling to confirm results. He also joined the Electronic Registration Information Center, which will enable Georgia to keep its voter lists more up-to-date, removing people who have died or moved out of the state. And he further cleaned up the Georgia voter rolls by establishing an automated verification and registration system to make elections more efficient and reduce the opportunity for voter fraud.

Full Article: Opinion | Republicans Should Be Defending Georgia’s Election Process – The New York Times

Alaska: Votes tip in favor of election-reform measure as state counts thousands more absentee ballots | James Brooks/Anchorage Daily News

A measure seeking to reform Alaska’s election system is on track to become law if current trends hold, after the Alaska Division of Elections counted more than 37,000 additional early, absentee and questioned ballots on Thursday. Elections officials are counting votes daily and publishing updates regularly, with 326,840 of an estimated 361,000 ballots counted by 7 p.m. Thursday. More votes will be counted Friday. No state legislative races changed leaders in Thursday’s count, though several independent and Democratic candidates reduced the leads of challengers who received large shares of votes cast on Election Day. With about 34,000 ballots uncounted, there are only 497 more yes votes on Ballot Measure 2 than no votes, a difference of 0.1%. The measure trailed by 13 percentage points after Election Day, but early and absentee voters have favored it much more than Election Day voters. Alaska counts early, absentee and questioned ballots starting one week after Election Day, and continues counting through Nov. 18. Ballot Measure 2 is a three-part proposal that would put state candidates into a combined primary election for each office, and the top four vote-getters — regardless of party — would advance to a ranked-choice general election. It would also require campaign donors to more fully disclose the source of certain contributions in some races.

Full Article: Votes tip in favor of election-reform measure as Alaska counts thousands more absentee ballots – Anchorage Daily News

Arizona: Maricopa County has no plans for full hand recount of ballots | Jeremy Duda/Arizona Mirror

Maricopa County has no plans to conduct a full audit or hand count of all ballots cast in the 2020 general election to rebut unfounded allegations of fraud and malfeasance, despite demands for such a recount by President Donald Trump and other prominent Arizona Republican officials. For days, Republican members of Arizona’s legislature and congressional delegation have called for a full recounting by hand of all ballots in the state, as have the chair of the Arizona Republican Party, a national Republican committeeman and, as of Thursday morning, Trump himself. The allegations of fraud, which are mostly vague and lack any specific accusations or evidence, center primarily around Maricopa County, a traditional conservative stronghold that has shown an increasing willingness to vote Democratic in the last few elections. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads Trump by nearly 45,000 votes in Maricopa County, which has about 60% of the state’s population. Fields Mosely, a spokesman for the county, said the Board of Supervisors hasn’t scheduled any meetings to discuss an audit beyond the already completed hand count that is mandated by law. State law requires counties to perform a hand count of ballots cast in at least 2% of all precincts or vote centers, as well as 1% of all early ballots, which make up the vast majority of votes in Arizona. Maricopa County has already completed that audit, hand-counting nearly 3,000 in-person votes and nearly 5,200 early ballots. Representatives of the county Democratic, Libertarian and Republican parties participated in the audit. The results of the hand count showed a 100% match with the tally by Maricopa County’s voting machines. “There is no evidence of systemic error in the ballot counting equipment in Maricopa County,” Mosley said. 

Full Article: Maricopa County has no plans for full hand recount of ballots

Arizona officials seek dismissal of Trump’s election suit | Jacques Billeaud/Associated Press

Attorneys defending Arizona election officials argued Thursday that the Trump campaign’s lawsuit that seeks the manual inspection of Election Day ballots in metro Phoenix should be dismissed because the campaign hasn’t proven systematic errors in the way poll workers handled ballots that were rejected by tabulation machines. President Donald Trump’s challenge is seeking to bar the certification of election results until such a manual inspection is completed of ballots that contained “overvotes,” instances in which people voted for more candidates than permitted. Of the 166,000 ballots cast on Election Day in Maricopa County, 961 contained overvotes, including 191 overvotes cast in the presidential race. The case was being heard as Democrat Joe Biden held an advantage of about 11,000 votes over Trump in Arizona as 7 p.m. Thursday, with about 16,000 ballots left to count across the state. The lawsuit alleges tabulation machines rejected some ballots due to ink splotches and that poll workers either pressed or told voters to press a green button on the device to override the error, resulting in some ballot selections being disregarded. While Trump’s lawyers initially said there could potentially be thousands of Trump votes within the ballots in question, they now say that number would be lower.

Full Article: Arizona officials seek dismissal of Trump’s election suit

Georgia: Recount teams assemble for manual review of election results | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

The first statewide manual recount of paper ballots in Georgia history begins Friday, a major effort to validate the accuracy of an election that showed Joe Biden with a 14,000-vote lead over Donald Trump. One ballot at a time, election workers will eyeball choices for president and sort ballots into piles for each candidate. They’ll keep going until all 5 million ballots cast have been reviewed. The monumental effort must be finished in six days, before 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the secretary of state’s office. The process will likely be a closely watched, tense affair as Georgia’s 16 electoral votes hang in the balance. If it goes well, election officials say vote counts will be close to unofficial results, and voters will gain confidence in the outcome. But delays, counting discrepancies or disputes over ballots could derail the recount. “The point of the audit is to show the machines counted the ballots fairly,” said Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system manager. “We want to get it right. We want to make sure this is accurate.”

Full Article: Georgia election recount: Timetable and how it will happen

Editorial: Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Top Elections Official, Is Under Fire | Richard Fausset and Stephanie Saul/The New York Times

Brad Raffensperger, the beleaguered top elections official in Georgia, considers himself the most loyal of Republicans. There was no question which candidates he would support in last week’s election. “I’ve only ever voted for Republicans,” Mr. Raffensperger said in an interview in his office at the State Capitol on Tuesday. “I’ve been a Republican, or conservative, you know, since I was a teenager.” Indeed, since taking office in January 2019, Mr. Raffensperger, the secretary of state, has been a target for Democrats in Georgia’s high-stakes, passionate and bitterly partisan voting wars. In his nearly two years on the job, he has championed policies to guard against a threat of voter fraud that Democrats say hardly exists. He has been the subject of multiple lawsuits, and of television ads blaming him for presiding over a botched June primary that left voters waiting for hours in long lines. Democrats have also accused him of “state sponsored voter intimidation.” But this week, he became the target of his own party, with the state’s two incumbent Republican senators calling for his resignation and condemning the presidential election as an “embarrassment,” an allegation he called “laughable.” On Wednesday, he authorized a hand recount of Georgia’s ballots for the presidential race — a move championed by President Trump but one officials have said was unlikely to erase President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s narrow but significant lead in the state.

Full Article: Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Top Elections Official, Is Under Fire – The New York Times

Michigan election software isn’t good enough at detecting human error, expert says | Gus Burns and Douglas Faherty/MLive.com

Michigan’s election software systems should be better at catching human error, experts say after at least two cases of flawed early results reporting on Election Day. Some Republican leaders point to the errors among several reasons they believe the 2020 election results lack integrity. Meanwhile, state officials assure the public there is nothing to worry about. These mistakes were exceptions, the result of user error and fail-safes are in place that would have caught the inaccuracies before they were certified anyway, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office said. “The erroneous reporting of unofficial results from Antrim county was a result of accidental error on the part of the Antrim County clerk,” Benson’s office said. “The equipment and software did not malfunction and all ballots were properly tabulated. However, the clerk accidentally did not update the software used to collect voting machine data and report unofficial results.” Iowa University Professor Douglas W. Jones has worked with election software for a quarter century. He said “silly clerical errors” should always be expected, but voting software could do much more to protect the integrity of election results.

Full Article: Michigan election software isn’t good enough at detecting human error, expert says – mlive.com

Meet Michigan’s ‘dead’ voters. They’re quite alive, despite false fraud claims | Jonathan Oosting/Bridge Michigan

Donna Brydges is very much alive and playing cribbage with her husband in their home near Ludington. June Aiken of Napoleon Township is “alive and well” too — “quite well, in fact,” according to police. Same goes for William Bradley of Detroit, whose father of the same name died decades ago. You wouldn’t know it from social media, where supporters of President Donald Trump last week alleged voter fraud as they falsely claimed proof that Brydges, Aiken, Bradley and other Michiganders were dead but had cast ballots in the Nov. 3 election. Like many false fraud claims that have spread online in the last week, officials say the accusations were triggered by a series of isolated data input errors by some of Michigan’s 1,603 local and county election clerks. In Michigan, clerks and their election workers enter voter and ballot information in a statewide database known as the Qualified Voter File. And yes, they occasionally make mistakes, as they do in every election before they are eventually caught and rectified.

Full Article: Meet Michigan’s ‘dead’ voters. They’re quite alive, despite false fraud claims | Bridge Michigan

Nevada: Trump, GOP drop court appeal of ballot count case | Ken Ritter/Associated Press

A state court legal fight to stop the counting of mail ballots in the Las Vegas area has ended after the Nevada Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by the Donald Trump campaign and the state Republican party, at their request. The dismissal leaves two active legal cases in Nevada relating to the 2020 presidential election, as a small number of remaining ballots are counted. The campaign and GOP had tried to withdraw the appeal in the state case, submitting a document last week telling the seven-member court that it had reached a settlement calling for Clark County election officials to allow more observers at a ballot processing facility. However, not all the parties in the lawsuit signed the agreement. The case also involved the national and state Democratic parties, the Nevada secretary of state and the Clark County registrar of voters. Trump Nevada campaign official Adam Laxalt did not immediately respond Wednesday to messages about the action by the state high court.

Full Article: Trump, GOP drop Nevada court appeal of ballot count case