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

Pennsylvania: As DOJ probes election, Republicans’ pursuit of voter fraud hits hurdle — a lack of evidence | Daniel Moore/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Peters, said he had not yet seen evidence of election fraud, yet backed the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement this week it would probe any allegations of voting irregularities in states President Donald Trump lost to former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. “If I’m looking at this through a lens of someone who used to be a magisterial district judge, the evidence is not there yet,” Mr. Reschenthaler acknowledged in an interview Tuesday. “But it’s also premature to predetermine the outcome.” The comments by Mr. Reschenthaler — who sits on the House Judiciary Committee and is a member of the House Republican leadership circle — are another sign of Pennsylvania Republicans straddling the line between backing the president’s unsubstantiated claims of a victory while also ignoring Mr. Biden’s win. Mr. Reschenthaler — who last week won a second term in Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District by about 30 percentage points — compared the current moment to the aftermath of the 2000 election, in which the outcome was not known for several weeks after Election Day.

Full Article: As DOJ probes election, Republicans’ pursuit of voter fraud hits hurdle — a lack of evidence | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pennsylvania appellate court sides with Trump in fight over ID deadlines for voters, tossing small number of ballots | Jeremy Roebuck/Philadelphia Inquirer

A Pennsylvania appellate court handed President Donald Trump’s campaign a minor victory Thursday, barring counties from including in their final vote tallies a small pool of mail ballots from people who had failed to provide required ID by a Monday deadline. In a two-page order, a Commonwealth Court judge struck down a decision by the Wolf administration to give voters more time, post-election, to fulfill the ID requirement. Though state law only requires first-time voters to show ID at the polls, all voters who applied to vote by mail had to be validated their identification against state records by Nov. 9. Two days before the election, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar pushed that date back by three days, citing a court decision earlier this year that allowed late-arriving mail ballots to be counted as long as they had been mailed by Nov. 3 and received within three days of that date. But it was unclear just how many ballots statewide would now be thrown out. The number is likely to be vanishingly small compared to the larger pools of votes Republicans are seeking to have tossed in other ongoing court fights across the state.

Full Article: Pa. appellate court sides with Trump in fight over ID deadlines for voters, tossing small number of ballots

Wisconsin: Misplaced Milwaukee flash drive morphs into false reports of election fraud | Howard Hardee and Keenan Chen/Wisconsin State Journal

As a tornado of disinformation regarding the vote count has descended on Wisconsin, political spinmeisters have seized upon a lapse by a Milwaukee election officer to falsely claim evidence of voter fraud in a critical swing state decided by a little more than 20,000 votes. Claire Woodall-Vogg, Milwaukee’s chief election official, briefly misplaced a flash drive containing vote counts on Election Night, she said in a Nov. 9 letter to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. About 3 a.m. on Nov. 4, as poll workers finished counting absentee ballots in Milwaukee, she delivered several flash drives containing absentee vote tallies to the Milwaukee County Election Commission — and realized that she had left one in a tabulator at the central counting center. She called a member of her team, who retrieved the flash drive and a police officer delivered it shortly afterward. “I believe it is important to document that the flash drive was never left unattended and that the staff had remained in the room throughout the process,” Woodall-Vogg said. “The incident bears no impact on the validity of the results.” Nothing indicates that the contents of the flash drive were altered. Asked by Wisconsin Watch to address the incident, Reid Magney, spokesman for the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission, said, “We are confident that there are no issues with the election results in Milwaukee.”

Full Article: Misplaced Milwaukee flash drive morphs into false reports of election fraud | Local Government | madison.com

Wisconsin elections head says still no evidence of fraud | Scott Bauer/Associated Press

There remained no evidence of any wrongdoing, fraud or irregularity in Wisconsin’s presidential election on Thursday, as counties worked to wrap up the certification of their votes and their estimates of how much it would cost to recount them, the state’s top elections official said. Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in Wisconsin by about 20,500 votes, based on unofficial results. Trump and his allies have made unsubstantiated claims of wrongdoing, with no evidence, and Republicans in the Legislature have said they planned to launch an investigation into the integrity of the election. Election results from 55 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties were certified as of Thursday morning, with only marginal net changes to the unofficial results that were reported on election night. Biden has picked up 43 additional votes while Trump gained 39, giving Biden a net pickup of just four votes. One reason for the changes is the counting of provisional ballots that came in after Election Day, said Meagan Wolfe, the state’s top elections official. She said there were 366 provisional ballots issued in the presidential election. “It’s rare to see any sort of significant changes,” Wolfe said. “There’s always minor errors. … We’re certainly not seeing anything unusual.” Wolfe defended the integrity of the election, noting all the opportunities the public has to observe the process, including on Election Day, during the county canvass and during any recount that may occur.

Full Article: Wisconsin elections head says still no evidence of fraud

Georgia: Hand recount moves ahead under interpretation of election rules | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

This wasn’t the way recounts or audits were supposed to work under Georgia election rules. By ordering a statewide hand recount of every ballot in the presidential race, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger combined different parts of recount and audit procedures. His decision will result in a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that’s never been attempted before. Raffensperger said it will be worthwhile if it builds confidence in the election, where Joe Biden was leading Donald Trump by over 14,000 votes. The count will be conducted under Georgia’s rules for election audits, but not as envisioned when those rules were drafted. The audit rules call for a random sample of ballots to be pulled, and the text or bubbles to be reviewed and counted. The audit would have concluded when all ballots were counted and the odds that the full tabulation was incorrect was less than 10%, according to State Election Board rules. But instead of pulling a smaller sample of ballots, Raffensperger plans to audit every ballot. The sample would have had to be over 1 million ballots, according to the secretary of state’s office, so Raffensperger decided a full count was justified given the closeness of the race.

Full Article: Georgia election recount: What the law and state election rules say

Trump’s election challenge looks like a scam to line his pockets | Dana Milbank/The Washington Post

President Trump isn’t really trying to overturn the election. He’s simply running one more scam before he leaves office that would enable him to enrich himself. That’s the way it appears, at least, from the scores of fundraising emails his campaign has sent out since the election. He seems to be asking for funds to challenge the election, but the fine print shows that the money could let him line his own coffers. The tin-pot-dictator routine looks more as if it’s about passing the tin cup. “They’re trying to STEAL this Election,” declared one such Trump campaign fundraising missive Wednesday afternoon. from “Donald J. Trump, President of the United States.” “I promise you my team is fighting the clock to DEFEND the integrity of this Election, but we cannot do it alone. We need EVERY Patriot, like YOU, to step up and make sure we have the resources to keep going. … Please contribute ANY AMOUNT RIGHT NOW to DEFEND the Election.” But at the provided link to the “OFFICIAL ELECTION DEFENSE FUND,” the legalese at the end says something rather different: Sixty percent of the contribution, up to $5,000, goes to “Save America,” Trump’s newly created leadership PAC. And 40 percent of the contribution up to $35,500, goes to the Republican National Committee’s operating account, its political (not legal) fund. Only after reaching the first maximum would a single penny go to Trump’s “Recount Account,” and only after reaching the second maximum would a penny go to the RNC’s legal account.

Full Article: Opinion | Trump’s election challenge looks like a scam to line his pockets – The Washington Post

National: Pressure mounts on state Republicans as lawsuits challenging election results founder | Elise Viebeck, Tom Hamburger, Jon Swaine and Emma Brown/The Washington Post

Pressure mounted on state and local officials in battleground states to accept claims of ballot-counting irregularities and voter fraud in the election despite a lack of evidence, as Republicans sought new ways to block certification of Joe Biden’s clear victory in the presidential race. In Michigan, Republican lawyers lobbied the Wayne County canvassing board to consider evidence of alleged improprieties before certifying the vote. In Pennsylvania, GOP lawmakers were the target of social media campaigns demanding the appointment of electors who favor President Trump. And in Georgia, the Republican secretary of state defended the election and announced a hand audit of the results, despite calls by the state’s Republican senators for him to resign over alleged problems. The efforts in these states — where Biden has won or is leading in the count — come as the Trump campaign struggles to amass genuine evidence of fraud that will pass muster in court. Republican lawsuits seeking to challenge the Nov. 3 election results so far have foundered, and affidavits cited as proof of election fraud in cities such as Detroit have failed to substantiate serious claims that votes were counted illegally. While the Trump campaign’s lawsuits have so far been “summarily dismissed,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) said Wednesday that she is concerned the GOP may try to use baseless claims about irregularities or vote tampering to disrupt the certification of Biden’s win, depriving him of the state’s 16 electoral votes.

Full Article: Pressure mounts on state Republicans as lawsuits challenging election results founder – The Washington Post

National: Few legal wins so far as Trump team hunts for proof of fraud | Maryclaire Dale and Alanna Durkin Richer/Associated Press

During a Pennsylvania court hearing this week on one of the many election lawsuits brought by President Donald Trump, a judge asked a campaign lawyer whether he had found any signs of fraud from among the 592 ballots challenge. The answer was no. “Accusing people of fraud is a pretty big step,” said the lawyer, Jonathan Goldstein. “We’re all just trying to get an election done.” Trump has not been so cautious, insisting without evidence that the election was stolen from him even when election officials nationwide from both parties say there has been no conspiracy. On Wednesday, Trump took aim at Philadelphia, the Democratic stronghold that helped push President-elect Joe Biden over the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the race. The president accused a local Republican election official Al Schmidt, of ignoring “a mountain of corruption & dishonesty.” Twitter added a label that said the election fraud claim is disputed. Trump loyalists have filed at least 15 legal challenges in Pennsylvania alone in an effort to reclaim the state’s 20 electoral votes. There is action, too, in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Michigan.

Full Article: Few legal wins so far as Trump team hunts for proof of fraud

National: Few Courts Have Intervened in Elections in Ways Sought by Trump Campaign | Jacob Gershman/Wall Street Journal

Few courts have considered the types of requests being made by the Trump campaign, such as keeping a state from certifying its election based on allegations that Republican poll observers lacked sufficient access to ballot counting. President Trump’s lawyers in federal court this week asked a judge to take that unprecedented step, arguing that Pennsylvania had inadequate safeguards to detect voting fraud. The campaign is pursuing similar claims in Michigan, where Republicans also are alleging misconduct in the election process. But such relief has rarely, if ever, been awarded to a campaign running behind in an election. “I don’t think there’s any precedent for this,” said Daniel Tokaji, an election-law expert and dean of University of Wisconsin Law School, referring to the Pennsylvania case. “The lawsuit is a Hail Mary pass.” The Trump campaign’s suit in Pennsylvania alleges counties controlled by Democrats processed ballots in unmonitored back rooms or in larger barricaded spaces with poll observers kept at a distance. State election officials have said they followed all laws and have declined to comment on the litigation. Republicans haven’t offered evidence of fraud in Pennsylvania.

Full Article: Few Courts Have Intervened in Elections in Ways Sought by Trump Campaign – WSJ

‘A grand scheme’: Trump’s election defiance consumes GOP | David Siders/Politico

It was just noise when it started — Donald Trump spouting wild, unsubstantiated claims about election fraud, his lawyer seething at an almost comical press conference in the parking lot of a Philadelphia landscaping business. But one week after an election in which Joe Biden received close to 5 million more popular votes than Trump and captured more than 270 electoral votes, the president and top Republican Party officials are nowhere near conceding. And with his posturing — and statements of Cabinet officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — Trump is fueling a bonfire that’s consuming the GOP and disrupting the traditional transfer of power. It will be nearly impossible for Republicans to alter the outcome or prevent Biden from taking office. Counting all the states where he currently leads in voting, Biden has 306 electoral votes. In Michigan, Biden’s lead at the moment is more than 10 times larger than Trump’s winning margin was there in 2016. To date, Trump’s campaign has yet to produce evidence in any state of the kind of widespread ballot fraud the president alleges. Yet one week after the election, there is no sign any of that is sinking in. Instead, the controversy seems to be metastasizing within GOP circles, as the party unites behind an idea that threatens to distract Washington and state capitals for weeks amid an ongoing pandemic and a looming transition of government.

Full Article: ‘A grand scheme’: Trump’s election defiance consumes GOP – POLITICO

Misinformation by a thousand cuts: Varied rigged election claims circulate | Brandy Zadrozny/NBC

For Trump supporters intent on finding it, proof of the president’s claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” is everywhere. For some, it’s in the videos: the one in which a Colorado man claiming to be a poll worker, dressed in a yellow vest, rips up Trump ballots (it was a TikTok prank) or the trash bag of torn ballots found by a wedding party in an Oklahoma church (they were actually “spoiled ballots”) or the testimony from a Pennsylvania postal worker who claimed he was ordered to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day (he has since recanted and also denied recanting). For others, the evidence of a so-called Democratic plot could be found in the numbers. “Is it me, or do people not understand statistics?” asked one of the 1.3 million members in Nationwide Recount 2020, a private Facebook group, presenting an impassioned, if confusing, case for why mail-in ballots in swing states were favoring Biden. “Benford’s Law,” a supporter commented, linking to an anonymous Twitter account that claimed in a series of tweets that a mathematical observation that the first digits of numbers are likely to be smaller somehow suggested widespread fraud by the Democrats. Posts like these, discussing a dizzying array of false claims and conspiracy theories, have dominated social and ultraconservative media since the early morning after Election Day, when President Donald Trump prematurely and incorrectly declared himself the winner. As the votes continue to be counted and Joe Biden’s lead has increased (Biden was up by more than 5 million votes Wednesday), so has Trump’s insistence that the election was stolen from him.

Full Article: Misinformation by a thousand cuts: Varied rigged election claims circulate

Editorial: The Completely Insane Electoral College Strategy | Rich Lowry/Politico

Why limit yourself to the far-fetched when the utterly fantastical is an option? President Donald Trump is challenging the outcome of the Nov. 3 presidential election in several razor-thin battleground states, pushing for recounts and filing lawsuits that are very unlikely to overturn Joe Biden’s current leads. Faced with this prospect, some allies of the president are advocating, or beginning to whisper about, Republican state legislatures taking matters into their own hands and sending slates of Trump electors to Congress regardless of the vote count. This is a poisonous idea that stands out as radical and destructive, even in a year when we’ve been debating court-packing and defunding the police. The best that can be said for it is that it is almost certainly a nonstarter, which doesn’t mean that it won’t get more oxygen. Donald Trump Jr. has pushed this option and Sen. Lindsey Graham, now bonded to Trump more firmly and completely than he was to the late Sen. John McCain, says “everything should be on the table.” A conservative in the Pennsylvania House, Daryl Metcalfe, has declared, “Our Legislature must be prepared to use all constitutional authority to right the wrong.” We may be one presidential tweet away from this gambit becoming orthodoxy for much of the Republican Party.

Full Article: Opinion | The Completely Insane Electoral College Strategy – POLITICO

Arizona: Could election officials have done more to prevent ‘Sharpiegate’ this election? |  Jen Fifield/Arizona Republic

When Julie Flesch got home from voting at her local church on Election Day, she was still thinking about a few things that didn’t seem right. The Mesa resident said she didn’t see her name show up when she cast her ballot, and she had noticed how the Sharpie she had been given to mark her votes had bled through to the other side. She hoped her votes registered OK, after reading that any errant mark on a ballot could pose problems. That’s when she read on Facebook that the use of Sharpies was invalidating votes — a rumor that has since been debunked. “It corroborated the concern that I had,” she said. “Oh, now I understand why my vote didn’t count.” Flesch did research and eventually heard from the county that her ballot had been counted and learned that Sharpies are OK to use on the county’s ballots. But for Flesch and the other Arizona voters who walked into a polling place on Election Day with even an inkling of suspicion of voter fraud or a doubt of election integrity, the rumors about Sharpies circulating online in the hours and days after polls closed last week was enough to make them believe that their votes hadn’t been counted. That fueled a conspiracy theory about poll workers giving Republican voters Sharpies so their votes wouldn’t count.   The question is whether what has now been dubbed as “Sharpiegate” in Arizona could have been avoided.

Full Article: ‘Sharpiegate’: Could Arizona election officials have prevented it?

California: Trump falsely claims fraud in Los Angeles elections. The truth is there were few problems | Matt Stiles/Los Angeles Times

Voters may have differed on their ballot choices in last week’s election, but they seemed to be in agreement on one thing: Drop boxes are a great idea. The boxes sprinkled around Los Angeles County were a “phenomenal” success, according to the county’s top election official. President Trump thinks they’re evidence of fraud. Spoiler alert. They’re not. The president Wednesday tweeted a long-debunked video showing election workers collecting votes from a drop box on Nov. 4, the day after polls closed, suggesting that the process is evidence of fraud. In fact, the boxes had been closed and locked the night of the election, when the polls closed, and it took time for election workers to collect them in the following days. Under state law, mail votes cast by election day will be collected and counted until Nov. 20. The spurious suggestion of fraud is the latest in the president’s strategy to question the results of the election, in which former Vice President Joe Biden was declared the winner Saturday. Fact checkers have since debunked concerns about the drop boxes, more than 400 of which were spread from Lancaster to Long Beach.

Full Article: Trump falsely claims fraud in L.A. elections. The truth is there were few problems – Los Angeles Times

Georgia launches statewide hand recount of presidential race | Mark Niesse and Greg Bluestein/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger took the extraordinary step on Wednesday to order a recount of all 5 million ballots cast in the presidential election, under mounting pressure by fellow Republicans who leveled unsubstantiated accusations of voter fraud to discredit Joe Biden’s 14,000-vote lead in the state. Flanked by local elections officials at a Capitol press conference, Raffensperger said the count will be conducted by hand under Georgia’s election audit rules before a Nov. 20 deadline to finalize results. The cost of the enormous undertaking, requiring hundreds of poll workers, wasn’t immediately clear. The decision came after an immense effort by President Donald Trump and his supporters to cast doubt on Georgia’s election results, despite no evidence of any wrongdoing or irregularities. U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, facing Jan. 5 runoffs, called for Raffensperger’s resignation, and Trump’s campaign demanded the hand recount Tuesday. Raffensperger, who has said there’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud, maintained that he wasn’t influenced by the outside pressure, which was amplified by Trump on Twitter. Instead, he cast it as an effort to bolster faith in the election results. “This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvass, all at once,” Raffensperger said from the steps of the state Capitol. “It will be a heavy lift. But we will work with the counties to get this done in time for our state certification.”

Full Article: Georgia orders full recount of the presidential election vote

Georgia audit to trigger hand tally of presidential vote | Kate Brumback/Associated Press

Georgia’s secretary of state on Wednesday announced an audit of presidential election results that he said would be done with a full hand tally of ballots because the margin is so tight. State law requires an audit but leaves it up to the top elections official to choose the race. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said at a news conference that the presidential race makes the most sense. Raffensperger’s office has said there’s no evidence of systemic problems with the voting or the count that shows Democrat Joe Biden with a lead of about 14,000 votes over President Donald Trump. Raffensperger said his office wants the process to begin by the end of the week and he expects it to take until Nov. 20, which is the state certification deadline. “It will be a heavy lift, but we will work with the counties to get this done in time for our state certification,” Raffensperger said, flanked by local election officials on the steps of the state Capitol. “We have all worked hard to bring fair and accurate counts to assure that the will of the voters is reflected in the final count and that every voter will have confidence in the outcome, whether their candidate won or lost.” Georgians cast nearly 5 million votes in the presidential race and counties have until Friday to certify their results.

Full Article: Georgia audit to trigger hand tally of presidential vote

Michigan: In poll watcher affidavits, Trump campaign offers no evidence of fraud in Detroit ballot-counting | David A. Fahrenthold, Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger/The Washington Post

Inside Detroit’s absentee-ballot-counting center, one Republican poll watcher complained that workers were wearing Black Lives Matter gear. She thought one of them — a “man of intimidating size” — had followed her too closely. Another Republican poll watcher complained about the public address system. Workers were using it to make announcements. It was loud. “This was very distracting to those of us trying to concentrate,” he said. A third poll watcher noticed that when absentee ballots came in from military personnel, many showed votes for Democrats. He found that odd. “I can estimate that at least 80% of military ballots I saw were straight ticket Democrat or simply had Joe Biden’s name filled in on them,” the man wrote. “I had always been told that military people tended to be conservative, so this stuck out to me.” On Wednesday, President Trump’s campaign asked a federal judge to take a drastic step: block the state of Michigan from certifying the results of its presidential election. President-elect Joe Biden now leads Trump by about 148,000 votes there. To back up that lawsuit, Trump’s campaign had promised “shocking” evidence of misconduct. Instead, the campaign produced 238 pages of affidavits from Republican poll watchers across Michigan containing no evidence of significant fraud but rather allegations about ballot-counting procedures that state workers have already debunked — and in some cases, complaints about rude behavior or unpleasant looks from poll workers or Democratic poll watchers.

Full Article: In poll watcher affidavits, Trump campaign offers no evidence of fraud in Detroit ballot-counting – The Washington Post