Michigan: Failure updating software caused Antrim County vote glitch | Paul Egan/Detroit Free Press

A failure to properly update software was the reason for a computer glitch that caused massive errors in unofficial election results reported from Antrim county, the Michigan Department of State said late Friday. And a U-M professor of computer science and engineering who specializes in voting systems and securities says it appears the snafu arose from an “unusual sequence of events very unlikely to affect any other jurisdictions.” … J. Alex Halderman, the U-M professor and voting systems expert, said he has looked into the incident and determined that the problem arose because Antrim officials made a mistake before the election when they loaded a new version of the “election definition” — the data that is similar to a spreadsheet describing the races and candidates on the ballot. According to the state, the new “election definition” was loaded in October after county officials learned of two local races in which ballot information had to be updated. County officials correctly loaded the new version onto the scanners for the affected precincts, but left the old version on scanners for precincts where the ballot was not affected by the late change, Halderman said. So although the scanners in the tabulators counted all the votes in each precinct correctly, the different versions of the ballot resulted in problems and erroneous vote totals when the precinct results were combined in the election management system, a separate software package used to manage and consolidate results before they are reported to the state, he said. “Since the scanners … used slightly different election definitions, some of the positions didn’t line up properly,” Halderman said. “As a result, when the results were read by the election management system, some of them were initially assigned to the wrong candidates.”

Full Article: Michigan: Failure updating software caused Antrim County vote glitch

Michigan: State election agency says failure to update software caused Antrim County election glitch | Paul Egan/Detroit Free Press

A failure to update software was the reason for a computer glitch that caused massive errors in unofficial election results reported from Antrim county, the Michigan Department of State said late Friday. “The erroneous reporting of unofficial results from Antrim county was a result of accidental error on the part of the Antrim County clerk,” the state agency that oversees elections said in a news release. There was no problem with the voting machines or vote totals, which were preserved on tapes printed from the tabulators, the state said. The problem occurred when the totals by precinct were combined into candidate county-wide totals for transfer to the state, using election management system software, the state agency said in a news release. “All ballots were properly tabulated. However, the clerk accidentally did not update the software used to collect voting machine data and report unofficial results.” State officials did not immediately respond to questions about whether they track when and how local officials update their election-related software or whether local officials are required to report needed updates to the state, once they are completed.

Full Article: State: Failure to update software caused Antrim vote glitch

Nevada Election Results: the 3,000 Challenged Votes | Zusha Elinson and Sara Randazzo/Wall Street Journal

When Trump campaign attorneys released a list of 3,000 people who they said voted in Nevada after moving to another state, they said it was evidence of voter fraud in a closely contested battleground state. Military families and Nevada elections officials point to something else: Service members who have legally voted in Nevada after being transferred elsewhere. President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner of Nevada’s six electoral votes, according to the Associated Press. He was leading by roughly 31,000 votes on Sunday afternoon, with 93% of the vote counted. The Trump campaign has vowed to investigate alleged voter irregularities and is backing a lawsuit filed in the state challenging ballot counting. Trump campaign attorneys sent U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr a letter Thursday alleging “criminal voter fraud” in Nevada and asking for an investigation. It sent Mr. Barr a list of unnamed individuals who “appear to have improperly cast mail ballots” in Nevada after moving elsewhere, according to a search of what it called a change-of-address database. The publicly released list gave ZIP Codes of where the voters currently and previously lived, but no other personally identifying information or dates of moves.

Full Article: Nevada Election Results: the 3,000 Challenged Votes – WSJ

North Carolina: With the nation’s focus elsewhere, North Carolina is still collecting, counting and too close to call. | Michael Gold/The New York Times

Election officials in North Carolina, where both the presidential race and one of the most critical Senate contests in the country have remained too close to call, said on Friday that about 31,000 eligible mail ballots had arrived since Election Day. Just 4,300 ballots were going to be considered by county election officials on Friday, the state’s board of elections said in a statement, but most will have to wait until next week. The attention now is primarily on Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada, with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. leading in all three. But leading up to Election Day, a victory in North Carolina was seen as crucial to President Trump’s re-election hopes. With most of the votes tabulated in the state, he is currently ahead by around 76,000 votes, or 1.4 percentage points. In the Senate race, Senator Thom Tillis, a Republican, is up by more than 96,000 over his Democratic challenger, Cal Cunningham. It is not clear exactly how many ballots remain outstanding in North Carolina because the state accepts mail ballots until Nov. 12, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. The state’s board of elections said that so far, 99,000 voters who had requested a mail ballot had not yet returned one or cast a vote during the state’s early voting period. Some of those voters may have cast a ballot in-person on Election Day, and others may not have voted.

Full Article: With the nation’s focus elsewhere, North Carolina is still collecting, counting and too close to call. – The New York Times

Pennsylvania: Upward of 100,000 provisional ballots could further delay a winner being named | Tom Lisi/The Philadelphia Inquirer

Those across the nation eager for a winner to be declared in Pennsylvania might have to wait a little longer because of a flood of provisional ballots, most of which are only now being counted in a process that takes a lot more time than tallying in-person or mail votes.As of Friday morning, 56 of the state’s 67 counties reported about 85,000 provisional ballots cast based on only a partial count, a Pennsylvania Department of State spokesperson said. House Speaker Bryan Cutler told reporters Friday he’s told the number could top 100,000.Provisional ballots are cast when a voter’s eligibility is in question. And so far, 2020 looks like it might be a record year, owing mostly to the state’s expansion of no-excuse mail voting. Any voter who requested a mail ballot but did not receive it — or who forgot or lost their ballot or envelopes — could still vote at the polls on Election Day using a provisional ballot. There were also reports on Election Day that some voters were told to cast a provisional ballot even if they brought their entire mail ballot to the polls, which should have allowed them to vote in person. Usually, county officials do not review provisional ballots until after in-person, mail, and absentee ballots are counted. That’s why many counties did not begin until after 5 p.m. Friday, the deadline to accept mail ballots sent by Election Day. Late-arriving mail ballots are being segregated because they are subject to a pending U.S. Supreme Court case.

Full Article: Upward of 100,000 provisional ballots in Pa. could further delay a winner being named

Pennsylvania: Republican Philadelphia official responsible for vote counting says office getting death threats | Dominick Mastrangelo/The Hill

The Republican city commissioner in Philadelphia whose office is responsible for counting votes in the city, said his staff has been receiving death threats since the count began there last week. “From the inside looking out, it all feels very deranged,” Al Schmidt said during an interview that aired Sunday on CBS News’ 60 minutes. “At the end of the day, we are counting eligible votes, cast by voters. The controversy surrounding it, is something I don’t understand.” Schmidt said critics of his office have been “coming up with all sorts of crazy stuff” about the integrity of the city’s election systems and casting doubt on the impartiality of vote counters. President Trump opened up a sizable lead on projected winner Joe Biden in Pennsylvania, which does not allowed mail-in ballots to be counted before Election Day, on Tuesday evening. But a slew of mail-in votes counted in subsequent days, mostly in the Philadelphia and Pittsburg areas, swung the state toward Biden, and the former Vice President eclipsed the president’s lead early Friday morning.

Full Article: Republican Philadelphia official responsible for vote counting says office getting death threats | TheHill

Pennsylvania: Trump legal team vows to fight on, starting with fresh lawsuit Monday | Craig R. McCoy and Jamie Martines/The Philadelphia Inquirer

Lawsuits contesting Joe Biden’s win of the presidency, starting with a federal suit to be filed Monday alleging that Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were awash in vote fraud. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, elaborated on the pending suits in an interview on Fox News in which he leveled allegations that, in several cases, the GOP had already argued without success in previous court challenges. However, the Trump legal team did cite at least one case from Pennsylvania in which it appears the vote of a dead woman from the Pittsburgh area was received and marked as “recorded” by election officials. In his Sunday remarks, Giuliani contended the suits could reverse the electionoutcome, at least in Pennsylvania. “We have enough to change Pennsylvania,” he said. “The Pennsylvania election was a disaster.” Democratic lawyers have fought back against GOP lawsuits ever since Tuesday’s election. They have dismissed the challenges as fact-free attacks on what turned out to be a fairly routine election process. “There’s no there there,” Adam Bonin, a lawyer for Democrats who was among the vote-counting observers in Philadelphia for his party, said Sunday.

Full Article: Trump legal team vows to fight on, starting with fresh lawsuit Monday in Pennsylvania

South Carolina: Horry County election officials rescan thousands of absentee ballots after USB device malfunction | Jennifer Roberts/WMBF

The South Carolina Election Commission instructed the Horry County Registration & Elections office to rescan absentee ballots following a “data transfer issue,” officials said. “ES&S, the scanning equipment manufacturer, assisted the elections office throughout the day with the procedure which began this morning [Thursday] around 10 a.m.,” Horry County Government said in a press release. South Carolina Elections Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said all legally filed ballots must be counted. He added the only way to report those is to rescan them. Officials say the rescanning will not impact voters’ absentee ballots in any way. The move comes after Horry County Director of Elections Sandy Martin said on Wednesday afternoon, there were anywhere between 15,000 to 20,000 votes from mail-in absentee ballots that had yet to be counted in Horry County. On Thursday, her team focused on ensuring thousands of those ballots were rescanned. Martin attributed the delay to a “technical issue.” She said after scanning all of the ballots Tuesday night, including mail-in ballots, they ran into a problem around 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Full Article: Horry County election officials rescan thousands of absentee ballots after USB device malfunction

Texas Republicans follow Trump’s lead, spread misinformation about election | Abby Livingston and Shawn Mulcahy/The Texas Tribune

As votes continue to be counted in the presidential race, President Donald Trump used both Twitter and the White House to sow doubts about the integrity of the electoral process. Some of Texas’ most prominent Republican politicians, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, have joined the president in amplifying misinformation about the election across their platforms. Much of the misinformation has been centered on the vote-counting process in states like Pennsylvania, a battleground territory in the race for the presidency. The count in Pennsylvania was expected to be slow because of the large number of mail-in ballots and because state law prevented poll workers from beginning to process them until Election Day. Cruz appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Thursday night and charged that Philadelphia officials are “not allowing the election observers in, despite clear state law that requires election observers being there.” U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Victoria, said on a local radio show Friday morning that it was disturbing “they won’t let poll watchers in, after a judge’s order, is very telling.”

Full Article: Texas Republicans follow Trump’s lead, spread misinformation about election | The Texas Tribune

Virginia: Laws making it easier to vote made counting harder. | Kimberly Pierceall/The Virginian-Pilot

The late-night texts from out-of-state friends and relatives watching cable news on Tuesday night were curious: Virginia? Shortly after polls closed at 7 p.m. in the commonwealth and well into the night, President Donald Trump led former Vice President Joe Biden and, in Virginia’s Senate race, Republican challenger Daniel Gade appeared to hold an advantage over Sen. Mark Warner based on the numbers populating Virginia’s Department of Elections’ ever-updating database. The Trump and Gade leads held well into the late evening, after some Virginians likely already had gone to bed, with all but one precinct reporting in many of Virginia’s localities: the central absentee precinct. That precinct was key for so many ballot decisions and candidates because it held at least 2.8 million votes as of last Saturday, and likely more as ballots wound their way from post offices to registrar offices. One would think with all those votes and all that time they would have been among the first results to be revealed come 7:01 p.m. Tuesday after polls closed in Virginia. It was far from that easy, though. Instead, despite their sizable influence on numerous ballot races, those votes were among the last to be posted, some well after an 11 p.m. deadline set by the state elections commissioner for local registrars to send in results they had in hand on Election Day. Registrars will keep counting votes that were cast by Tuesday but came in later, through noon Nov. 6.

Full Article: What happened in Virginia on Election Day? Laws making it easier to vote made counting harder. – The Virginian-Pilot – The Virginian-Pilot

Wisconsin: ‘Absurd and insulting’: Milwaukee officials ridicule Vos’ call for investigation into vote count | Alison Dirr/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ assertion that Milwaukee’s Central Count operation was inefficient is “absurd and insulting,” the city’s top election official said Saturday.  “For the Speaker to separate out Milwaukee and insinuate that our election workers were not part of the well-trained and efficient operations that allowed Wisconsin to have election results in such a timely manner is absurd and insulting,” Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg said in a statement to the Journal Sentinel. “Our Central Count was open, transparent, well-organized and made up of nearly 70 election workers from Representative Vos’s own Republican Party.” She noted media and observers were present to witness the counting, which she called “smooth, accurate and transparent.” The city also livestreamed the operation.

Full Article: Vos’ call for probe of Milwaukee vote counting dismissed as absurd

More states now have paper trails to verify votes were correctly counted | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post

When all the votes are counted this year, Americans should have far more confidence their votes were tallied correctly than in 2016. After that contest was upended by Russian interference, states vastly increased the number of votes that are cast with paper records that can be audited later. More than 90 percent of votes will have a paper record this year compared with about 80 percent in 2016. States have also significantly improved how often and how scrupulously they perform post-election audits. The changes have been especially significant in some of the states still counting ballots and where the Trump campaign has already launched legal challenges. Georgia and Pennsylvania have both shifted from having paper records for few or none of their voters in 2016  to having paper records for all votes cast in their states — a protection security experts say is a bare minimum to ensure votes weren’t altered by hackers or miscounted because of a technology failure. Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada also probably are performing more rigorous audits of their results this year, though officials haven’t finalized plans in all cases. Edison Research has projected that Biden will win Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump is leading in Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina and Biden is leading in Nevada and Arizona, with many votes still to be counted. … “The country is making distinct progress toward an election system in which every voter is able to verify that their ballot is marked correctly and election officials are able to verify that ballots are counted correctly,” Mark Lindeman, interim co-director of Verified Voting, told me. He added that “2020 is by no means the promised land, but we’re certainly much closer.”

Full Article: The Cybersecurity 202: More states now have paper trails to verify votes were correctly counted – The Washington Post

Fears Rise for Safety of Election Workers in Battleground States | Jeff Seldin/VoA News

Tensions over the still undecided U.S. presidential election are prompting some state and local officials to increase security for those charged with counting the remaining votes. Supporters of Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden have increasingly focused their attention on states like Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania, where slim margins have made calling the race nearly impossible. And the tensions have grown as allegations of irregularities in the vote-counting process have sparked protests outside buildings where the tally is going on. “I am concerned for the safety of my staff,” said Joe Gloria, registrar of voters in Clark County, Nevada, on November 5, after about 75 people, some wearing Trump T-shirts, chanted “Stop the Steal” and protested outside the county’s election center the night before.

Source: Fears Rise for Safety of Election Workers in Battleground States | Voice of America – English

National: Pro-Trump threats, protests rattle elections officials in several states | Norman Merchant and Tim Sullivan/Associated Press

Election officials in several states said Thursday they are worried about the safety of their staffs amid a stream of threats and gatherings of angry protesters outside their doors, drawn by President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud in the race for the White House. “I can tell you that my wife and my mother are very concerned for me,” said Joe Gloria, the registrar in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas. He said his staff was bolstering security and tracking vehicles coming and going from the election offices. But he added that he and others would not be stopped from “doing what our duty is and counting ballots.” Groups of Trump supporters have gathered at vote tabulation sites in Phoenix, Detroit and Philadelphia, decrying counts that showed Democrat Joe Biden leading or gaining ground. While the protests have not been violent or very large, local officials were distressed by the crowds and concerned about the relentless accusations. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel tweeted a plea to “stop making harassing & threatening calls” to her staff.

Full Article: Election officials worried by threats and protesters

National: Judges in two states reject Trump campaign lawsuits as the president continues to press unsubstantiated claims of fraud | Amy Gardner, Jon Swaine, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Emma Brown/The Washington Post

President Trump and his allies pressed their claims Thursday that election officials have allowed ballot fraud to infect the counting process in the battleground states poised to decide the presidency, but they offered no evidence of irregularities and met with two immediate defeats in court. In Georgia, a local judge in Chatham County, home of Savannah, denied the Trump campaign’s effort to disqualify about 50 ballots that a Republican poll watcher claimed may have arrived after the 7 p.m. deadline on Election Day. In court, the poll watcher offered no evidence that the ballots had arrived late, and county election officials testified that they had arrived on time. And in Michigan, a Court of Claims judge said she would deny the campaign’s request for an emergency halt to the counting of votes in the state. She noted that the request made little sense, given that the counting has essentially been finished in the state, with former vice president Joe Biden ahead by about 150,000 votes. He has been declared the winner of the state by national news organizations. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office described Trump’s request as an “attempt to unring a bell.” Meanwhile, the Trump campaign announced its intent to file a lawsuit in another state where counting is continuing apace: Nevada. At a chaotic news conference in Las Vegas, campaign officials said that they plan to file a suit in federal court to stop the counting of what they called “improper votes.”

Full Article: Judges in two states reject Trump campaign lawsuits as the president continues to press unsubstantiated claims of fraud – The Washington Post

National: Officials on alert for potential cyber threats after a quiet Election Day | Maggie Miller/The Hill

Election officials are cautiously declaring victory after no reports of major cyber incidents on Election Day. “After millions of Americans voted, we have no evidence any foreign adversary was capable of preventing Americans from voting or changing vote tallies,” Christopher Krebs, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said in a statement Wednesday. But the long shadow of 2016, when the U.S. fell victim to extensive Russian interference, has those same officials on guard for potential attacks as key battleground states tally up remaining ballots. Agencies that have worked to bolster election security over the past years are still on high alert during the vote-counting process, noting that the election is not over even if ballots have already been cast. “I think while it’s fantastic that yesterday was quiet, that tells you that the work is paying off. But we know the nature of the threats in the cybersecurity landscape don’t go away, and you don’t get to say, ‘Oh, we’re good.’ You see the commitment and the effort and that has to continue,” Election Assistance Commission Chairman Benjamin Hovland, who was nominated by President Trump, told The Hill on Wednesday.

Full Article: Officials on alert for potential cyber threats after a quiet Election Day | TheHill

National: Trump, in White House address, continues to level unfounded charges of election fraud | Matthew Choi/Politico

President Donald Trump on Thursday evening listed a string of unfounded conspiracy theories to accuse state election officials of plotting to steal the election from him. Taking the White House lectern for his first public address since election night, Trump offered no evidence for his assertions that officials are rigging the tallies or for his characterization of mail-in ballots as somehow illegitimate. The address came as his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, expands his lead to secure the presidency and as Trump’s path to a second term hinges on winning four key states. Those states have yet to finish counting their ballots amid an unprecedented number of mail-in voting because of the coronavirus pandemic. “If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump said. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. If you count the votes that came in late — we‘re looking at them very strongly, but a lot of votes came in late.” State elections officials have resoundingly denied they are counting “illegal votes“ and have assured voters that this year’s election was hardly the chaos many feared due to Covid-19. Despite the occasional technical glitch and extended polling-site hours, there were no reports of major issues or interference. Though counting is taking longer this year, there is no support for the position that mailed-in ballots were part of a mass fraud.

Full Article: Trump, in White House address, continues to level unfounded charges of election fraud – POLITICO

National: Whether the GOP Can Stop Voters From Legally Fixing Rejected Mail-In Ballots Could Decide the Election | ProPublica

Victoria Benedict, a stationery store owner in Atlanta who has been voting by mail for years, was surprised last month when she went to the Georgia secretary of state’s website and found her ballot had been rejected. A problem with her signature — the state said the one on her ballot did not match what it had on file — set her on a dayslong quest to make sure her vote would be counted. County staff told her that she would either have to show up at the local election office to sign her ballot or vote in person on Election Day. Either option would risk her health during a pandemic. Instead, on the advice of a friend who volunteers with the state’s Democratic Party, she filled out a form known as a ballot cure affidavit. This time, her vote was accepted. “I knew to press,” Benedict said. “It just worries me that other voters who didn’t may fall through the cracks.” The blue wave widely predicted by pollsters never came Tuesday. Now, the unexpectedly thin margins in key states, combined with the vast increase in voting by mail, are highlighting the esoteric process of “curing” ballots, in which people whose mailed ballots are rejected because of signature or other problems are given a second chance. Since mailed ballots in most states tilt Democratic, curing them so that they can be counted is believed to help former Vice President Joe Biden. “The cure process is going to be really important for a lot of close states,” said Amber McReynolds, CEO of the voting advocacy group Vote At Home, which tracks rejection rates and suggests best practices for states to cure rejected ballots.

Full Article: Whether the GOP Can Stop Voters From Legally Fixing Rejected Mail-In Ballots Could Decide the Election — ProPublica

National: How Trump loyalists are driving his campaign’s legal efforts to challenge ballots | Rosalind S. Helderman, Josh Dawsey and Elise Viebeck/The Washington Post

In 2000, when George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore were deadlocked in the Florida vote for president, a high-powered team of legal experts flocked south to lead Bush’s ultimately successful strategy to prevail in a recount, guided by the Republican Party’s premier strategist of the time, former secretary of state James Baker. This year, as President Trump’s campaign mounts a multistate effort to challenge the counting of ballots around the country, many of the GOP’s preeminent election-law litigators remain on the sidelines. Instead, the legal team driving the efforts under the leadership of deputy campaign manager Justin Clark includes longtime Trump loyalists and the president’s personal attorneys. Among them: Jay Sekulow, the conservative lawyer who defended the president during the special counsel probe and the impeachment process, and William Consovoy, an experienced Supreme Court litigator who has led the efforts in New York courts to withhold the president’s tax returns from investigators. In public, the legal maneuvers are being touted by some of the president’s most combative and unpredictable allies, including former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and Richard Grenell, Trump’s former acting director of national intelligence, as well as by Trump’s son Eric, an executive at his father’s development company, and former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi.

Full Article: How Trump loyalists are driving his campaign’s legal efforts to challenge ballots – The Washington Post

National: The Disinformation Is Coming From Inside the White House | Matthew Rosenberg, Jim Rutenberg and Nick Corasaniti/The New York Times

A disinformation push to subvert the election is well underway, and it is coming straight from President Trump and his allies. The goal: to somehow stop a victory by former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., or, failing that, undermine his legitimacy before he can take office. Mr. Trump’s false declaration of victory in the small hours of Wednesday morning quickly united hyperpartisan conservative activists and the standard-bearers of the right-wing media, such as Breitbart, with internet trolls and QAnon supporters behind a singular viral message: #StopTheSteal. But its impact has become apparent far beyond the internet, with the theme dominating conservative talk radio and the prime-time lineup on Fox News. There, Trump-aligned hosts pressed the false notion that the vote counting in the crucial, still-undecided states was illegitimate — the sort of message that was drawing flags on Twitter and Facebook but flourishing elsewhere. “How big of a mistake is it for the Democrats to have kind of a burn-it-all-down approach,” Laura Ingraham asked on her program Wednesday night, “to destroy the integrity of our election process with this mail-in, day-of-registration efforts, counting after the election’s over — dumping batches of votes a day, two days, maybe even three days after the election?” The messaging was far blunter from the president himself, who used a Thursday evening briefing at the White House to reel off a series of baseless attacks on an election system he described as “rigged” by Democrats trying to “steal an election.” It was the continuation of a diatribe he had started earlier in the day with a tweet reading “STOP THE FRAUD!” that Twitter quickly flagged as containing information that “might be misleading.”

Full Article: The Disinformation Is Coming From Inside the White House – The New York Times

National: Trump stages corrosive attempt to undermine the US election as his path to 270 evaporates | Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins/CNN

President Donald Trump staged a corrosive and potentially dangerous attempt at undermining the US election on Thursday, baselessly claiming the presidency was being stolen from underneath him as vote counts showed his path to victory disappearing. Standing at the White House podium, the President repeated false claims that a count of legally cast ballots would show him winning against former Vice President Joe Biden. He complained that in certain states where he had been leading on election night, tallies have been “whittled down” or have shown his rival leading. Using the briefing room to espouse baseless claims he is being deprived a second term by fraud, Trump thrust into question the democratic notion of a peaceful transition of power should Biden win. Instead he suggested he would fight in the courts until the election is decided in his favor. “This is a case where they’re trying to steal an election, they’re trying to rig an election, and we can’t let that happen,” Trump said in a dour monotone, providing no evidence and departing the room without answering for his false claims. The spectacle, though foreshadowed by the President for months, was nevertheless a sign of Trump’s unwillingness to cede the White House without a prolonged battle. Even as he complained that his own race had been rigged, Trump used the occasion to trumpet down-ballot wins by Republicans without explaining why those races wouldn’t be similarly afflicted by his claims of fraud.

Full Article: Trump stages corrosive attempt to undermine the US election as his path to 270 evaporates – CNNPolitics

Editorial: Trump Can Try, but the Courts Won’t Decide the Election | Richard H. Pildes/The New York Times

This is the moment in a close election, with close states, we knew would arrive. Even before Tuesday, this was already the most litigated election in history. It was inevitable, then, that tight margins in potentially decisive states would spawn a flurry of postelection lawsuits as well. With delayed outcomes, the Trump campaign is pursuing legal action in several states (as well as a recount request in Wisconsin). I had hoped that we could avoid this situation and get to a final count quickly with simple measures: voting in person, processing absentee ballots early. But now that we are here, it is better that these battles over ballots play out in the courts than in the streets. We have been told, rightly, to be patient and let election administrators do their job. That same steady calm is needed now as some of the contest shifts to the courts. Some of these suits are best understood as reflecting the Trump campaign’s own disorganization. Indeed, coming from the campaign that appears behind, they are a sign of Mr. Trump’s weakness. The bottom line is that the suits filed so far are highly unlikely to affect the overall outcome of the election. The law entitles campaigns to pursue recounts, if outcomes fall within certain margins, even if they are likely to be fruitless. Desperate campaigns are free to throw Hail Mary legal passes. But in court, claims have to be proved with facts.

Full Article: Opinion | Trump Can Try, but the Courts Won’t Decide the Election – The New York Times

Arizona: Pro-Trump protesters gather around Maricopa County counting center | Henry Austin, Gadi Schwartz, Kurt Chirbas and Colin Sheeley/NBC

A crowd of protesters, some of them armed, claimed the vote had been stolen from President Donald Trump as they gathered outside the counting center in Maricopa County, Phoenix, late Wednesday, ahead of the release of new results in the presidential and Senate races. It was one of several demonstrations across the country — some about the election, some about racial inequality. In New York, 50 people were arrested, officials told NBC New York. In Maricopa, some in the 300-strong crowd chanted “count the votes” and “Fox News sucks,” after the TV network called Arizona in Joe Biden’s favor. Arizona is too close to call, according to NBC News. Biden leads there with 50.5 percent to Trump’s 48.1 percent, with 86 percent of the expected vote in — a difference of just under 70,000 votes. Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, is the largest in the state and will prove crucial in the presidential race.

Full Article: Pro-Trump protesters gather around Maricopa County, Arizona, counting center

Arizona: Use of Sharpies on ballots in court as Secretary of State’s Office calls concerns a ‘conspiracy theory’ | Jen Fifield Andrew Oxford/Arizona Republic

The day after Arizona gained national attention for concerns about the use of Sharpies on ballots, Maricopa County elections officials were in court explaining to a judge that the use of the markers on Election Day did not cause votes to go uncounted. Judge Margaret Mahoney in a scheduling hearing on Thursday asked attorneys representing a voter and poll worker concerned about the use of Sharpies and attorneys representing county officials to discuss how quickly they could move forward with the case, considering the county is nearly finished processing ballots and counting votes. The judge did not make any decisions in the case, but told both sides that she would need more information if the case proceeded. Maricopa County had about 280,000 votes left to count as of Thursday morning. More results were expected on Thursday night. Meanwhile, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ office told state Attorney General Mark Brnovich that, by investigating the issue, he helped perpetuate a “conspiracy theory that undermines the hard work of Arizona’s election administrators, poll workers and voters.”

Full Article: Use of Sharpies on Arizona ballots in court

Georgia judge dismisses Trump campaign case in Chatham ballot dispute | Brad Schrade and Chris Joyner/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Trump campaign and the Georgia GOP’s challenge to vote counting in Savannah was rejected on Thursday by a Chatham County Superior Court judge. The campaign had filed a petition that raised questions about whether Chatham County election officials were following Georgia law to ensure no late-arriving absentee ballots were counted. State law requires any ballot that arrives after 7 p.m. on Election Day to be invalidated. A pair of Republican election watchers who had raised concerns on Wednesday about the process testified in the video-conferenced hearing. They both testified about concerns about the process they observed involving a stack of 53 ballots, but offered no evidence that the ballots had come in after the deadline. After listening to testimony for more than a hour, including a details outlining the procedures the Chatham County registrar’s office uses to receive and track absentee ballots, Judge James F. Bass swiftly threw out the case. “I’m denying the request and dismissing the petition,” he said.

Full Article: Georgia judge dismisses Trump campaign case in Chatham ballot dispute

Michigan: Judge denies Trump campaign request to stall ballot count | Beth LeBlanc/The Detroit News

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens said Thursday she plans to deny a  request by  President Donald Trump’s campaign to stop the counting of Michigan ballots until more poll challengers can observe. Stephens said she will issue a written order by Friday afternoon. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has already told local election officials to give access to poll challengers, the judge said. But the responsibility to give that access ultimately lies with the local election officials, who are not listed in the complaint.  Further, Stephens said, Michigan’s count largely is completed and relief in the form of a halt to counting is unavailable. When the suit was filed at 4 p.m. Wednesday, the state had made large inroads into completing its count, she said. “I have no basis to find that there’s a substantial likelihood of success on the merits as it relates to this defendant, nor am I convinced that there is a clear legal duty on the part of anyone who is promptly before this court to manage this issue,” Stephens said. The suit — which alleged damages to election challenger Eric Ostergren of Roscommon County — argued that Michigan’s absent voter counting boards are not allowing inspectors from each party to be present.

Full Article: Judge to deny Trump campaign request to stall Michigan ballot count

Michigan: There’s a Simple Reason Workers Covered Windows at a Detroit Vote-Counting Site | Davey Alba/The New York Times

Protesters who stormed a vote-counting site in Detroit on Wednesday, banging on windows and shouting “Stop the count!” appear to have had one thing in common: They organized themselves online. A New York Times analysis found 32 public and private Facebook groups with a total of 301,000 followers organized an “urgent call to action in Detroit,” asking Republican poll challengers to watch the vote counting at the downtown site, TCF Center. The call was also shared on less popular social networks like Parler and the pro-Trump website TheDonald.win. The earliest call for additional Republican poll challengers was posted to Facebook at 7:27 a.m., according to The Times’s analysis. “Come to TCF Center,” read the post in a group called Michigan for Donald Trump. “Help needed to protect our lead. Tell others.” By around 3 p.m., there were dozens of calls posted on Facebook, and people responded by showing up; over 100 people were at the vote-counting site by then. NBC News earlier reported on a private Facebook group, Stand Up Michigan to Unlock Michigan, that was part of the calls; Facebook removed the group shortly after. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Full Article: Here’s Why Michigan Officials Covered Vote-Counting Center Windows – The New York Times

Nevada Attorney General urges patience with vote count, brushes off lawsuit threat | Hillary Davis/Las Vegas Sun

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford called for patience as Nevada’s vote count continued today, brushing aside threats of litigation from President Donald Trump’s camp. “We knew that the process would take time, but this process is working,” Ford said. Elections officials should be commended for ensuring an accurate count, he said. Trump’s campaign in Nevada, meanwhile, announced plans to file a lawsuit to stop the counting of “improper” votes in Clark County over unspecified reports of “irregularities.” Elections officials have not reported any widespread irregularities. Ford called the threatened lawsuit a last-ditch attempt at influencing the election outcome, noting that voter fraud is exceedingly rare. “I will leave the hysteria and the hyperbole to those who are attempting to undermine this process,” Ford said. “What I’m going to do is to defend the process — one that is legal, lawful, safe and secure and that’s going to guarantee every lawful vote that has been cast is going to be counted.” In Nevada, Democrat Joe Biden is running ahead of Trump by 11,438 votes, with about 190,150 ballots still to be counted, state officials said. Most of the outstanding ballots — about 90% of them — are in Democratic-leaning Clark County, officials said.

Full Article: Nevada AG urges patience with vote count, brushes off lawsuit threat – Las Vegas Sun Newspaper

Nevada: Tensions rising at protest at Clark County election headquarters | lexis Ford/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Co-organizer Mike Coudrey said the Stop the Steal group’s Facebook page was taken down, citing misinformation of Facebook’s Terms of Service, which Coudrey said the group followed carefully. “We want a fair and open and honest and transparent election and right now we are in the belief that we do not have that,” he said. “We feel this disenfranchises voters, that potentially our votes are not being heard.” One counter-protester was seen waving a Democrat flag. He told police other protesters were trying to assault him. When a group approached him, a protester with a Women for Trump flag encouraged others to respect him even if they didn’t agree with him. A protester in a MAGA hat was also seen shining a strobe light into the eyes of the counter-protester and an ABC reporter. A similar protest on Wednesday drew about 70 people to the election department while protests elsewhere in the nation demanding a halt to counting ballots led to safety concerns in several cities.

Full Article: Tensions rising at protest at Clark County election headquarters | Las Vegas Review-Journal

North Carolina: What’s with all the uncounted votes? | Jordan Wilkie/Carolina Public Press

Neither the presidential nor U.S. Senate race in North Carolina has been called by major news outlets, which are generally reporting that 5% of the votes are still left to be counted. But state news outlets are reporting a much smaller number, closer to 2%. The difference has quite a few people scratching their heads. Here’s what we know, what we will find out soon and what we’ll have to be patient for. No one has called the big statewide races because their margins are too close. Additional races that aren’t at the top of the ballot are even closer, including N.C. attorney general and N.C. chief justice of the Supreme Court, as well as several legislative races and many local races. For even those big statewide races, the number of remaining absentee-by-mail and provisional ballots is greater than the total lead that President Donald Trump has over former Vice President Joe Biden or that U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis has over Cal Cunningham. But in order for either of those Democratic candidates to win, an improbable number of by-mail ballots would need to arrive in county offices and an unusual number of provisional ballots would need to be counted.

Full Article: What’s with all the uncounted votes in North Carolina? – Carolina Public Press