National: The misinformation media machine amplifying Trump’s election lies | Lois Beckett and Julia Carrie Wong/The Guardian

The networks have made their calls, world leaders have begun paying their respects, and even Fox News and Rupert Murdoch’s other media outlets appear to have given up on a second term for Donald Trump. But in a video posted on Facebook on 7 November and viewed more than 16.5m times since, NewsMax host and former Trump administration official Carl Higbie spends three minutes spewing a laundry list of false and debunked claims casting doubt on the outcome of the presidential election. “I believe it’s time to hold the line,” said Higbie, who resigned from his government post over an extensive track record of racist, homophobic and bigoted remarks, to the Trump faithful. “I’m highly skeptical and you should be too.” The video, which has been shared more than 350,000 times on Facebook, is just one star in a constellation of pro-Trump misinformation that is leading millions of Americans to doubt or reject the results of the presidential election. Fully 70% of Republicans believe that the election was not “free and fair”, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted since election day. Among those doubters, large majorities believe two of Trump’s most brazen lies: that mail-in voting leads to fraud and that ballots were tampered with. Trump himself is the largest source of election misinformation; the president has barely addressed the public since Tuesday except to share lies and misinformation about the election. But his message attacking the electoral process is being amplified by a host of rightwing media outlets and pundits who appear to be jockeying to replace Fox News as the outlet of choice for Trumpists – and metastasizing on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

Full Article: The misinformation media machine amplifying Trump’s election lies | US news | The Guardian

National: Posts falsify ties between election tech firm and Democrats | Ali Swenson/Associated Press

As poll workers tallied votes from the U.S. presidential election, many social media users interpreted a clerk’s error in a small, Republican-leaning Michigan county as vote-rigging because it wrongly favored Joe Biden before being fixed. A week later, that misinterpreted mistake has snowballed into a deluge of false claims that Democrats have deep ties to Dominion Voting Systems, the company that supplies election equipment to Michigan and dozens of other states nationwide. Claims that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the Clinton Foundation have interest or influence in Dominion are all unsubstantiated. But that didn’t stop tens of thousands of social media users from amplifying them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this week.

Full Article: Posts falsify ties between election tech firm and Democrats

Alaska: Here’s why Alaska is the slowest in the nation when it comes to vote counting | Nathaniel Herz/Alaska Public Media

Questions, confusion and speculation about Alaska’s vote-counting process have erupted as state officials wait to count more than 100,000 absentee and other ballots until next week — long after other U.S. states count the vast majority of their votes. Alaska won’t start tallying its remaining ballots — at least 40% of the total — until Tuesday at the earliest, making the state stand out as a gray island in the ubiquitous red and blue electoral vote maps used by national outlets. It’s the only one to have counted less than 60% of its votes, according to figures collected by The New York Times. The timeline is one that Alaska has used before. But in past years, the absentee vote count has typically been an afterthought that affects only the closest of races. This year’s massive, pandemic-driven absentee turnout has changed that. State officials said the wait stems from Alaska’s huge size and complicated logistics: It has polling places in dozens of villages with no road access. Officials said they also need the extra week to finish the time-consuming process of logging the names of each Alaskan who voted on Election Day, then cross-referencing with absentee ballots to make sure no one’s votes are counted twice.

Full Article: Here’s why Alaska is the slowest in the nation when it comes to vote counting – Alaska Public Media

Arizona secretary of state rejects GOP lawmaker’s request for tests of voting machines | Howard Fischer/Arizona Daily Star

Senate President Karen Fann is seeking an independent analysis of the testing of Arizona voting machines. In a letter to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the Prescott Republican said she is not claiming there was fraud in the just-completed election. “But many others are making that claim,” Fann said. And she contends that the outside review will put the “current controversy” to rest. But Hobbs said Fann, while professing no belief in fraud, is herself trafficking in conspiracy theories by even suggesting that an extra – and legally unrequired – step is necessary to quell rumors. “It is patently unreasonable to suggest that, despite there being zero credible evidence of any impropriety or widespread irregularities, election officials nonetheless have a responsibility to prove a negative,” she wrote Tuesday in a response to Fann. “To be clear, there is no ‘current controversy’ regarding elections in Arizona, outside of theories floated by those seeking to undermine our democratic process for political gain,” Hobbs said. “Elected officials should work to build, rather than damage, public confidence in our system.” And the secretary left no doubt about what she intends to do. “I respectfully decline your request to push aside the work that remains to be done to ensure an orderly completion of this election and instead launch and fund with taxpayer dollars a boundless ‘independent’ evaluation of ‘all data related to the tabulation of votes in the 2020 General Election,”’ Hobbs wrote.

Full Article: Arizona secretary of state rejects GOP lawmaker’s request for tests of voting machines | Latest News | tucson.com

California may go all-mail in every election | John Wildermuth/San Francisco Chronicle

The huge turnout and the record number of Californians who cast their votes by mail in last week’s election could mean the end of the line for the garages, school cafeterias and other spots that for decades have been neighborhood polling places. Because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, every active voter in California received a ballot in the mail this fall. And what looks to be 80% of the more than 17 million voters used them. Even the counties that clung to their traditional polling places found few voters willing to use them on election day. In San Francisco, which had 588 polling places open for business, only 6% of its 443,000 voters cast their ballots in person in their local precincts, said John Arntz, the city’s elections director. Even the 43,000 people who dropped their mail ballots off at the polling places amounted to far fewer than in recent elections. “This is likely the last polling place election in San Francisco,” said Arntz, who is scheduled to submit a plan to the Board of Supervisors in February about what would be needed to move to an all-mail system.

Full Article: Goodbye to neighborhood polling places? California may go all-mail in every election – SFChronicle.com

Georgia: Fear of losing Senate majority in runoffs drives GOP embrace of Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud | Robert Costa, Paul Kane and Erica Werner/The Washington Post

Fear over losing the Senate majority by falling short in the upcoming runoff elections for two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia has become a driving and democracy-testing force inside the GOP, with party leaders on Tuesday seeking to delegitimize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory as they labored to rally voters in the state. Those intertwined efforts threaten to disrupt Biden’s hopes of establishing a smooth transition as Republicans in Washington and Georgia, worried about dispiriting the president’s core supporters, increasingly echo his unfounded claims of election fraud and back his refusal to concede. With their power on the line and Trump still the party’s lodestar, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his allies have made clear that they are now fixated on Jan. 5 — the date of the runoff elections — rather than on Jan. 20, when Biden will be sworn in as the nation’s 46th president. “These runoffs have become the political equivalent of ‘Braveheart’ where everyone paints their face blue and just charges across the field,” said Ralph Reed, a Georgia-based Republican and founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. “If we can get the Trump vote back out in the suburbs, we should be able to get this done. But it will be very hard and extremely competitive.” Two Republican losses in January would split the Senate equally between Democrats and Republicans, giving the incoming vice president, Kamala D. Harris, a tie-breaking vote and Democrats control of all levers of government.

Full Article: Fear of losing Senate majority in Georgia runoffs drives GOP embrace of Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud – The Washington Post

Georgia: Trump campaign seeks hand recount, could get it | Jeff Amy and Kate Brumback/Associated Press

Republicans are making more demands of Georgia’s chief elections officer as they seek to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s 12,000-vote lead in the state’s presidential race. U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, who’s leading President Donald Trump’s recount team in Georgia, and state Republican Party Chairman David Shafer sent a letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Tuesday requesting that he order a hand recount of Georgia’s nearly 5 million ballots before certifying the results. The move comes a day after Republican U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler called for Raffensperger’s resignation, claiming he ran the election poorly but citing no specific incidents of wrongdoing. Perdue will face Democrat Jon Ossoff and Loeffler will face Democrat Raphael Warnock in Jan. 5 runoffs that are likely to determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. Raffensperger has refused to step down and defended how his office conducted the election. His office has refuted a number of claims made by Trump supporters. “The process of reporting results has been orderly and followed the law,” Raffensperger said in a Monday statement. “Where there have been specific allegations of illegal voting, my office has dispatched investigators.”

Full Article: Trump campaign seeks hand recount in Georgia, could get it

Michigan: Trump campaign says new lawsuit seeks to stop certification of election results | Dave Boucher/Detroit Free Press

The campaign of President Donald Trump said Tuesday it is suing Michigan in federal court in an effort to prevent final certification of the state’s election results, as Trump continues to refuse to concede to Joe Biden or accept the outcome of the race for the presidency. The allegations of election misconduct are similar to those outlined in other lawsuits in Michigan and additional states. These lawsuits have largely not succeeded; some incorporate allegations that have been debunked or refuted, either by the Free Press or elections officials.  Attorneys for the Trump campaign said the new lawsuit would be filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. Although the bulk of the allegations appear to focus on Detroit, located on the other side of the state, the seat of state government in Lansing is located in the Western District.  As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, the lawsuit was not available in the federal court’s online document system.

Full Article: Trump campaign wants lawsuit to stop certification of election results

Nevada: No Evidence To Support Claims Californians Fraudulently Voted In Nevada Election | Chris Nichols/capradio

Several days after President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Nevada, conservative groups continue to make unproven claims about voter fraud, even suggesting that votes from Californians helped Biden win in the Silver State. The Associated Press and other media organizations declared Biden the winner on Saturday. His margin has steadily increased to 36,000, with 97% of the votes counted as of Tuesday. Here’s why AP called the state for Biden. Last week, however, President Donald Trump’s campaign and Republicans in Nevada claimed without evidence that thousands of people who had moved out of Clark County, which is home to Las Vegas, had voted in the state’s presidential election. PolitiFact rated that claim False because it’s unproven, noting that people who move within 30 days before an election can cast a vote in their prior state of residence or their new state, either in-person or by mail, according to the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office. A Nevadan who goes to another state for college can also request a ballot and vote in the Silver State. The list provided last week by Trump’s lawyers included addresses for Americans serving overseas in the military, who are also legally allowed to vote absentee in Nevada.

Full Article: No Evidence To Support Claims Californians Fraudulently Voted In Nevada Election – capradio.org

North Carolina: Absentee ballots continue to narrow margins in uncalled elections | Danielle Battaglia/Raleigh News & Observer

North Carolina voters are waiting for six statewideraces to be called as elections officials meet to poreover absentee ballots. Boards of elections in all 100 counties will collect ballots with a Nov. 3 postmark through 5 p.m. Thursday. Then the boards will meet to finalize North Carolina’s election results. There are 27,500 absentee ballots that have been accepted by county boards after Election Day and 23,091 provisional ballots that haven’t been disqualified whichcould ultimately be counted toward the results, the state Board of Elections said in a written statement Tuesday afternoon. As boards continue to count the absentee ballots, the margins have narrowed between candidates in many of the uncalled races. As of Tuesday there were about 93,000 outstanding absentee ballots. Many of those ballots won’t be returned, and some might not be counted. Election Day was Nov. 3, but the margins between some candidates were too close for a winner to be declared.

Full Article: Absentee ballots continue to narrow margins in uncalled NC elections | Danielle Battaglia/Raleigh News & Observer

Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers to probe unverified fraud claims in election they largely won | by Cynthia Fernandez and Marie Albiges/Philadelphia Inquirer

As President Donald Trump continues to question the integrity of Pennsylvania’s election while repeating unverified claims of voter fraud, state Republicans are once again seeking greater powers to investigate the voting process. Roughly two dozen House and Senate lawmakers on Tuesday called for the creation of an investigatory committee with subpoena power to conduct an immediate audit, saying they had fielded widespread doubts about the fairness of the Nov. 3 presidential election. House Republicans championed a similar proposal before the election but abandoned it after Democrats raised concerns it would be weaponized to impound ballots, interrogate election officials, and delay the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results. At the state Capitol, Rep. Dawn Keefer (R., York) said the assembled lawmakers’ offices had been “overwhelmed with calls and emails and other messages from constituents who are confused and outraged by the circumstances surrounding this election.” … Pennsylvania already has safeguards in place to ensure the accuracy of election results, experts told Spotlight PA and Votebeat. In addition to routine reviews in each county required by law, the state has started to pilot “risk-limiting” audits, a process that verifies whether a sample of paper ballots matches results captured electronically by voting machines.

Full Article: Pa. GOP lawmakers to probe unverified fraud claims in election they largely won

Pennsylvania: Postal worker admits fabricating ballot tampering claims, officials say | Shawn Boburg and Jacob Bogage/The Washington Post

A Pennsylvania postal worker whose claims have been cited by top Republicans as potential evidence of widespread voting irregularities admitted to U.S. Postal Service investigators that he fabricated the allegations, according to three officials briefed on the investigation and a statement from a House congressional committee. Richard Hopkins’s claim that a postmaster in Erie, Pa., instructed postal workers to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day was cited by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) in a letter to the Justice Department calling for a federal investigation. Attorney General William P. Barr subsequently authorized federal prosecutors to open probes into credible allegations of voting irregularities and fraud before results are certified, a reversal of long-standing Justice Department policy. But on Monday, Hopkins, 32, told investigators from the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General that the allegations were not true, and he signed an affidavit recanting his claims, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation. Democrats on the House Oversight Committee tweeted late Tuesday that the “whistleblower completely RECANTED.”

Full Article: Postal worker admits fabricating Pennsylvania ballot tampering claims, officials say – The Washington Post

Wisconsin recount? Republicans look for issues, but haven’t found any | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

As Republicans pursue a longshot chance of overturning the presidential results in Wisconsin, they’re focused on absentee voters’ addresses, the state’s residency requirement and a flash drive that was briefly left in a counting machine. With a lead of more than 20,000 votes by President-elect Joe Biden, Republicans would need to find something momentous to shift the state’s results to President Donald Trump. And in the unlikely scenario that Biden loses Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes, he could still claim the presidency because of his victories in other states. Wisconsin Republicans are scrambling to find issues they can raise in the recount Trump has promised to pursue. A recount four years ago resulted in a net change of just 131 votes — nowhere near the number Trump would need to change the results this time. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, on Friday directed a committee to review the election results, saying he wanted it to determine whether there were any irregularities. Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin, on Monday raised the prospect of having the state’s electoral votes go to Trump instead of Biden, depending on how the investigation goes.

Full Article: Wisconsin recount? Republicans look for issues, but haven’t found any

Wisconsin: Ballot clerks asked for help. Lawmakers didn’t act. Disinformation followed | Daphne Chen and Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The wild claims came in thick and fast. The morning after Election Day, President Donald Trump took to Twitter and claimed that people were “finding Biden votes all over the place — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.” At a press conference in Philadelphia that afternoon, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani repeated the deceptive claim. “In Wisconsin, mysteriously at 4 in the morning, 120,000 ballots appeared,” Giuliani said. “Here come these ballots. Well, we have no idea if they really are ballots.”  Across social media, supporters picked up the narrative. “Between 3:30-4:30AM, they ‘found’ 140,000 mail in ballots for Biden in Wisconsin,” tweeted Nick Adams, a staunch pro-Trump political commentator. He added, falsely: “All for Biden. None for Trump.” His misleading tweet was shared tens of thousands of times.  The false speculation that Biden’s overnight surge in Wisconsin was the result of mass voter fraud caused drama and headaches that could have been headed off years ago, local election clerks say, if Wisconsin lawmakers had listened to them.

Full Article: Clerks asked for help with absentee ballots. Lawmakers didn’t act.

National: U.S. Tried a More Aggressive Cyberstrategy, and the Feared Attacks Never Came | David E. Sanger and Julian E. Barnes/The New York Times

From its sprawling new war room inside Fort Meade, not far from Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Maryland, United States Cyber Command dived deep into Russian and Iranian networks in the months before the election, temporarily paralyzing some and knocking ransomware tools offline. Then it stole Iran’s game plan and, without disclosing the intelligence coup behind the theft, made public a part of Tehran’s playbook when the Iranians began to carry it out. Now, nearly a week after the polls closed, it is clear that all the warnings of a crippling cyberattack on election infrastructure, or an overwhelming influence operation aimed at American voters, did not come to pass. There were no breaches of voting machines and only modest efforts, it appears, to get inside registration systems. Interviews with government officials and other experts suggest a number of reasons for the apparent success. One may be that the United States’ chief adversaries were deterred, convinced that the voting infrastructure was so hardened, Facebook and Twitter were so on alert, and Cyber Command and a small group of American companies were so on the offensive that it was not worth the risk. But there is another explanation as well: In the 2020 election the distinction between foreign and domestic interference blurred. From early in the campaign, President Trump did more to undermine confidence in the system’s integrity than America’s rivals could have done themselves.

Full Article: U.S. Tried a More Aggressive Cyberstrategy, and the Feared Attacks Never Came – The New York Times

Editorial: No, this election did not go “smoothly.” | Sherrilynn Ifill/Slate

As Election Day 2020 came to a close, many news outlets characterized the voting process as relatively problem free and lacking in “major disruptions.” While seemingly encouraging, in reality this characterization could not be further from the truth—especially for Black voters, who were forced to repeatedly endure and overcome relentless obstacles designed to stop them from exercising their right to vote in our democracy. Beyond the sheer, commendable will of these voters to cast their ballots, it took a legion of civil rights lawyers, activists, and volunteers to combat egregious voter suppression tactics in order to make Black voters’ already hurdle-laden path to the ballot box slightly less cumbersome. This reality should shame our country. And it cannot stand. One of the most telling lessons of this election is that our voting system is fundamentally broken. The future of our country unequivocally depends on our ability to reform this system, as we are a democracy in name only if we continue to readily inhibit Black voters from exercising their critical constitutional right. Despite one of the highest voter turnouts in the history of this country, examples abound that illustrate the deeply rooted problems with America’s voting system. The civil rights Election Protection hotline received nearly 32,000 calls on Election Day alone. Reports from the Voting Rights Defender and Prepared to Vote project teams at my organization, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., revealed the depth and breadth of the issues faced by Black voters.

Full Article: No, this election did not go “smoothly.”

National: Barr Hands Prosecutors the Authority to Investigate Voter Fraud Claims | Katie Benner and Michael S. Schmidt/The New York Times

Attorney General William P. Barr, wading into President Trump’s unfounded accusations of widespread election irregularities, told federal prosecutors on Monday that they were allowed to investigate “specific allegations” of voter fraud before the results of the presidential race are certified. Mr. Barr’s authorization prompted the Justice Department official who oversees investigations of voter fraud, Richard Pilger, to step down from the post within hours, according to an email Mr. Pilger sent to colleagues that was obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Barr said he had authorized “specific instances” of investigative steps in some cases. He made clear in a carefully worded memo that prosecutors had the authority to investigate, but he warned that “specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims should not be a basis for initiating federal inquiries.” Mr. Barr’s directive ignored the Justice Department’s longstanding policies intended to keep law enforcement from affecting the outcome of an election. And it followed a move weeks before the election in which the department lifted a prohibition on voter fraud investigations before an election. “Given that voting in our current elections has now concluded, I authorize you to pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities prior to the certification of elections in your jurisdictions,” Mr. Barr wrote. A Justice Department official said that Mr. Barr had authorized scrutiny of allegations about ineligible voters in Nevada and backdated mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania. Republicans have circulated both claims in recent days without any evidence emerging to back them.

Full Article: Barr Hands Prosecutors the Authority to Investigate Voter Fraud Claims – The New York Times

National: No, Software Glitches Are Not Affecting Vote Counts | Nicole Perlroth and Jack Nicas/The New York Times

President Trump and many of his supporters complained over the weekend that “software glitches” undermined the vote counts in Michigan and Georgia and argued that the problems portended wider issues in other counties and states that used the same software. But issues in the unofficial vote counts in Michigan’s Antrim and Oakland counties were caused by human error, not software glitches, according to reviews by the Michigan Department of State, county clerks and election security experts. Officials concluded that they were isolated cases that did not signal wider issues with vote counts elsewhere. And in Georgia, software issues only affected how poll workers checked-in voters in two counties and delayed the reporting of results in another. The issues did not affect the counts. “Anyone trying to falsely connect the situations in the two states is spreading misinformation in an effort to undermine the integrity of our elections system,” said Tracy Wimmer, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of State. In Antrim County, Mich., a Republican stronghold, unofficial results initially showed President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. beating Mr. Trump by roughly 3,000 votes — a sharp reversal from Mr. Trump’s performance there in 2016. Local officials caught and fixed the error. In the revised count, Mr. Trump beat Mr. Biden by roughly 2,500 votes. The problem, election security experts and state officials concluded, was that an election worker had configured ballot scanners and reporting systems with slightly different versions of the ballot, which meant some results did not line up with the right candidate when officials loaded them into the system.

Full Article: No, Software Glitches Are Not Affecting Vote Counts – The New York Times

National: Top Republicans back Trump’s efforts to challenge election results | Amy Gardner, Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Emma Brown/The Washington Post

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans on Monday backed President Trump’s efforts to contest his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, despite the lack of evidence of significant fraud and sharp rebukes from election officials who defended the integrity of the vote. McConnell (R-Ky.) said from the floor of the Senate that the president is “100 percent within his right” to pursue recounts and litigation. McConnell did not repeat Trump’s baseless assertions that fraud had cost him the election, but he said he had met with Attorney General William P. Barr earlier in the day and supports the president’s right to investigate all claims of wrongdoing. “We have the tools and institutions we need to address any concerns,” McConnell said. “The president has every right to look into allegations and request recounts under the law.” Separately, Barr on Monday gave federal prosecutors a green light to pursue allegations of voting irregularities in certain cases before results are certified. The memo appeared to reverse previous Justice Department guidance that prosecutors generally should not take overt steps in cases involving alleged voter fraud until results are in and official.

Full Article: Top Republicans back Trump’s efforts to challenge election results – The Washington Post

National: False News Targeting Latinos Trails the Election | Patricia Mazzei and Nicole Perlroth/The New York Times

The posts proliferated on election night before anything remotely definitive was known about the results of the presidential race. “Robado,” they falsely repeated again and again in Spanish: President Trump was being robbed of a victory. He had won Arizona. George Soros was funding violent “antifa riots.” The baseless social media messages to Latinos trying to delegitimize the election and the results for Joseph R. Biden Jr. circulated online on Tuesday night and into Wednesday, part of a disinformation campaign to undermine Latino confidence in the vote as it unfolded. Ahead of Election Day, false news in Spanish tried to turn Latinos against Black Lives Matter and tie Mr. Biden to socialism, tactics that experts said could depress the Hispanic vote. Now that voting is complete, the rampant falsehoods have only garnered larger audiences — including among immigrants less familiar with the institutions of American democracy. The gist of the falsehoods is that the election is “rigged” against Mr. Trump. “These misinformation narratives are helping plunge the country further into chaos and confusion,” said Fadi Quran, a director at Avaaz, a nonprofit that tracks disinformation. He called the disinformation campaigns a “democratic emergency.” “The most vulnerable communities in the country are paying the highest price,” he said. For weeks, officials and election security experts braced for what was widely expected to be an election marred by hacking and misinformation. They zeroed in on familiar adversaries in Russia, which weeks earlier had been caught hiring people in Mexico and Venezuela to push out Instagram and Facebook conten

Full Article: False News Targeting Latinos Trails the Election – The New York Times

National: Trump faces long odds in challenging state vote counts | Maryclaire Dale/Associated Press

Republican surrogates for President Donald Trump resumed their legal fight Monday to try to stop the vote count in key battleground states, including Pennsylvania and Michigan, but faced long odds given the Electoral College tally and recent court rulings that found no evidence of widespread vote fraud. While some Republican officials invoked the Trump mantra that only “legal votes” should be counted, others emerged to counter the campaign narrative and urge voters, and perhaps the president, to support the results. “The process has not failed our country in more than 200 years, and it is not going to fail our country this year,” said Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who won her reelection bid and has congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his victory. Still, Trump lawyers soldiered on six days after the election, just as personal counsel Rudy Giuliani had promised they would during a surreal weekend press conference outside a landscaping storefront in northeast Philadelphia.

Full Article: Trump faces long odds in challenging state vote counts

National: Election breathes new life into false ‘dead voter’ claims | Arijeta Lajka/Associated Press

As President Donald Trump continued to assert without evidence Tuesday that the presidential election was undermined by voter fraud, social media users falsely claimed that people had cast extra votes using the identities of dead people in Pennsylvania and Michigan. There’s no evidence that this happened. The false claim that deceased voters cast votes “comes up every election,” said Jason Roberts, a professor of political science at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Experts told The Associated Press that it is common for state voter rolls to include voters with birthdates that make them appear impossibly old, but these are usually explained by human error, software quirks or voter confidentiality issues.

Full Article: Election breathes new life into false ‘dead voter’ claims

National: Most Republican lawsuits challenging election results in battleground states haven’t gone far. Here’s why. | Kevin McCoy, Donovan Slack and Dennis Wagner/USA Today

Even before Democrat Joe Biden was projected to be the winner of the presidential election, President Donald Trump’s campaign and Republican allies started pursuing lawsuits over voting and ballot counting. Cases filed in five key states alleged ballots had errors because voters were required to use Sharpies, observers didn’t have enough access to monitor ballot counting, and that late-arriving mail ballots were improperly mixed with legal votes. Judges have dismissed most cases quickly, often for lack of evidence. However, the U.S. Supreme Court could issue a ruling at any time on the Republican Party of Pennsylvania’s request for an emergency injunction to block processing of mail and absentee ballots that were received during the three days after the normal deadline on Election Day. The high court could also decide to conduct a full review of GOP arguments that the deadline extension was unconstitutional. And Monday evening, the Trump campaign filed a federal suit in Pennsylvania alleging voters were treated differently depending on whether they voted by mail or in person, creating an unconstitutional, “two tiered” system.

Full Article: Republican lawsuits challenging voting haven’t gone far. Here’s why.

Alaska Elections Officials Prepare for Absentee Ballot Count | Becky Bohrer/Associated Press

Alaska election officials plan to begin counting more than 155,000 absentee and other ballots Tuesday, a week after Election Day. Some have questioned or criticized the lag, citing a provision of state law that says the counting of reviewed absentee ballots should begin the night of the election. But Maria Bahr, an Alaska Department of Law spokesperson, said absentee ballots are not deemed eligible for counting until voter histories have been run to guard against any possible duplicate votes. The process involves going through precinct registers, which election officials were still receiving Monday, Division of Elections spokesperson Tiffany Montemayor said. She said it can take time for mail to arrive in the vast state. “We’re using every resource that we can to get those things in as fast as we can,” she said. Election officials urged patience ahead of the election, anticipating a large volume of absentee ballots and saying it would take time for results to be known. Some campaigns emphasized absentee and early voting amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Full Article: Alaska Elections Officials Prepare for Absentee Ballot Count | Alaska News | US News

Arizona: Republican challenge to Maricopa County election involves fewer than 200 ballots, attorneys say | Maria Polletta and Andrew Oxford/Arizona Republic

Republican officials behind a lawsuit alleging poll workers “incorrectly rejected” votes cast in person on Election Day will make their case in front of a Maricopa County Superior Court judge later this week. The defendants — Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors — also will have a chance to produce evidence and make oral arguments, according to Judge Daniel Kiley. But it appears unlikely the case would affect the outcome of the presidential vote. A lawyer for the county said fewer than 200 ballots are at issue. President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign filed the lawsuit Saturday, alongside the Republican National Committee and the Arizona Republican Party. The complaint claims Maricopa County poll workers disregarded procedures designed to give voters a chance to correct ballot mistakes, possibly affecting final vote counts.

Full Article: Arizona election results: Maricopa County challenge involves 180 ballots

Connecticut: Officials say if absentee voting becomes the norm, system needs overhaul | Julia Bergman/The Day

There were little problems at the polls in Connecticut on Election Day, but if the state is to see large numbers of voters cast absentee ballots in the future, as it did this election, an overhaul of its voting system would be needed, election officials say. A day after the election, during which Connecticut saw record voter turnout spurred in large part by the more than 650,000 voters who cast an absentee ballot, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced that she will propose an amendment to the state’s Constitution to allow voters to cast an absentee ballot without an excuse. This year, any Connecticut voter could cast an absentee ballot, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m more convinced than ever that offering more options for people in terms of voting is the way to go,” Merrill said in an interview last week. “And it’s better for the people administering the election too. It puts pressure off that one day.” Currently 44 states allow their residents to vote prior to Election Day either through in-person early voting or no-excuse absentee balloting or both. “We did this as a one-time experiment, but now we’ve got the experience with it and I think it’s largely very positive,” Merrill said.

Full Article: The Day – Officials say if absentee voting becomes the norm in Connecticut, system needs overhaul – News from southeastern Connecticut

Georgia senators seek Secretary of State Raffensperger’s ouster | Mark Niesse and Greg Bluestein/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Georgia’s two U.S. senators called on the state’s top elections official, a fellow Republican, to resign Monday in a shocking attempt to appease President Donald Trump and his supporters ahead of Jan. 5 runoffs for likely control of the U.S. Senate. U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue provided no evidence to back up claims of unspecified “failures” with the November election that was overseen by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who said flatly that he’s not stepping down: “It’s not going to happen.” The two Republicans were attempting to energize conservatives upset over Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden, who is on the cusp of becoming the first Democrat to win Georgia since 1992. Biden led Trump by over 11,500 votes Monday afternoon. But the criticism flies in the face of comments from other state elections officials and other Republican leaders who say there’s no evidence of wrongdoing. Hours earlier, a state elections official held a press conference at the Capitol focused on debunking several conspiracy theories alleging missing or mishandled ballots. Raffensperger said he would continue to ensure that the election is fair.

Full Article: Georgia senators seek Secretary of State Raffensperger’s ouster

Georgia: ‘Hoaxes and nonsense’: GOP election officials reject Trump’s unfounded fraud claims | Jenny Jarvie and Seema Mehta/Los Angeles Times

Georgia’s too-close-to-call presidential contest devolved into a fight Monday among Republicans as the state’s top election official rejected calls from its two U.S. senators that he resign for challenging President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Monday morning, Gabriel Sterling, a lifelong Republican who manages Georgia’s voting system, took to a lectern at the Capitol to plainly and matter-of-factly dismiss criticism of election illegalities in the Southern battleground state as “fake news” and “disinformation.” “Hoaxes and nonsense,” Sterling said. “Don’t buy into these things. Find trusted sources.” Hours later, GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — who are each in a Jan. 5 run-off that will determine control of the chamber — called on Sterling’s boss, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, to resign for allegedly mismanaging the state’s elections. “That is not going to happen,” Raffensperger said. Georgia’s 16 electoral votes are no longer key to deciding the election. Democrat Joe Biden has already secured 290 electoral votes — 20 more than needed to win the White House. With Biden leading Trump in Georgia by more than 12,000 votes — 0.25% of the total — Republicans in the state are nevertheless locked in a civil war as the presidential race heads for a recount. The upheaval shows how Trump’s persistent and unfounded claims of fraud and refusal to concede the election to Biden are dividing not just the country but his own party.

Full Article: GOP election officials aren’t buying Trump’s unfounded fraud claims – Los Angeles Times

Michigan: Detroit lawsuit alleges more misconduct in elections process | Dave Boucher and Paul Egan/Detroit Free Press

A new lawsuit seeks a judge’s order blocking certification of election results from Wayne County, citing a range of allegations from Republican poll watchers and a city of Detroit election worker. The allegations include workers coaching people on how to vote, peeking at ballots to see how people voted before processing them and preventing Republican poll inspectors from being able to effectively watch the counting process. The lawsuit cites six sworn affidavits, but does not include or reference any additional evidence or proof of misconduct. They also come as Michigan and national Republicans continue to say alleged voting irregularities must be investigated before any presidential victor can be declared. David Fink, an attorney for the city of Detroit, dismissed the case as “another belated lawsuit, raising baseless allegations, trying to undermine confidence in a well-run election.”  David Kallman, the Lansing attorney who represented the Owosso barber who refused to close his shop during the spring stay-at-home order related to the coronavirus, said in a Sunday news release he has filed the suit in Wayne County Circuit Court. He and others cited in the lawsuit allege fraud inside the TCF Center in Detroit, where local absentee ballots were counted. The lawsuit was formally filed Monday afternoon against the city of Detroit, Detroit Election Commission, Detroit Clerk Janice Winfrey, Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett and the Wayne County Board of Canvassers. Reached Monday afternoon, Winfrey said she is not doing any media interviews. Two previous lawsuits making similar allegations have been dismissed by Michigan judges. The Trump campaign’s first attempt at an appeal in one case came up short — the Court of Appeals said the campaign’s attorneys needed to file additional documents before it could determine what to do with the case.

Full Article: Detroit lawsuit alleges more misconduct in elections process

North Carolina continues counting mail-in votes as some races hang in the balance | Brian Gordon/USA Today

North Carolina election officials continue to count mail-in votes as the state begins its final week of tabulating the 2020 Election. According to the N.C. State Board of Elections, seven county boards, including Buncombe, on Nov. 9 were scheduled to consider and potentially approve at least 3,200 mail-in ballots. These are ballots county boards received after Election Day but were postmarked by Nov. 3. North Carolina will continue accepting properly postmarked mail-in ballots until Nov. 12. On Nov. 6, 10 county boards approved 4,750 mail-in ballots. These votes favored Democratic candidates, with around 65% supporting President-elect Joe Biden to 35% supporting President Donald Trump. These votes also helped Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham narrow the gap with incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, though Cunningham still trails by more than 95,700 votes. Democrats were much more likely to vote by mail this election, both across the state and the country, as different campaigns emphasized and deterred voting by mail.

Full Article: NC mail-in voting count continues for Trump, Biden, Cunningham, Tillis