#AceNewsReport – Nov.10: President Donald Trump is gearing up for post-election lawfare after a host of media outlets called the presidential race for Joe Biden on Saturday: Biden leads in critical battlegrounds like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and it’s not clear how Trump might erase those margins by litigation. An initial wave of lawsuits quickly fizzled last week as vote counters around the country tabulated results, though the campaign may ask for recounts and seek court orders establishing procedures for that process:
The Washington Free Beacon will track Trump’s legal efforts state-by-state and update this story as new information becomes available.: Trump’s Election Lawsuits: A State-By-State Guide
Donald J. Trump for President v. Hobbs in the Superior Court for the State of Arizona:
In Maricopa County, the Trump campaign sued the Arizona secretary of state and a handful of local election officials on Nov. 7 alleging that “potentially thousands” of votes were wrongly rejected by poll workers who failed to follow proper procedures.
Vote machines in Maricopa County will reject votes that include splotches, stray marks, or multiple marks in the same race. The machine will display an alert and eject ballots if it detects such defects. The lawsuit, which includes affidavits from observers and voters, claims that county poll workers overrode those error messages when they showed up on screen instead of instructing voters on how to cast their ballots correctly, thus ensuring those votes wouldn’t count.
The plaintiffs want officials to identify any ballot cast in Maricopa County after an error message appeared. Those ballots should be inspected by canvassing boards and counted provided they are legitimate, the plaintiffs say.
The voter and observer complaints attached to the lawsuit revolve around the use of sharpies to mark ballots. Viral internet claims assert that ballots filled out by sharpie can’t be counted in Arizona. Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich (R.) looked into the matter and said he’s satisfied those concerns are false.
Biden is ahead of Trump by about 15,000 votes in Arizona.
In re: enforcement of election laws in the Eastern Judicial Circuit of Georgia:
Trump lawyers filed a lawsuit in deep-blue Chatham County on Nov. 4 after Republican election observers raised concerns that a poll worker comingled about 50 tardy mail-in ballots with legitimate votes. Mail-in votes were due at 7:00 p.m. on Election Day in Georgia. The Trump campaign asked a state court judge for an order requiring officials to segregate tardy ballots from all other votes.
At an emergency hearing, a top election official testified that he inspected each of the 50 contested ballots and confirmed they were received on time. The matter was dismissed shortly thereafter.
“The court finds that there is no evidence that the ballots referenced in the petition were received after 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, thereby making those ballots invalid,” Superior Court judge James Bass wrote. “Additionally, there is no evidence that the Chatham County Board of Elections or the Chatham County Board of Registrars has failed to comply with the law.”
Biden currently leads Trump by about 12,000 votes in Georgia. Gabriel Sterling, a top elections administrator for the state, vigorously defended Georgia’s process in a Nov. 9 press conference.
“We are going to find people who tried to illegally vote. Is it 10,353? Unlikely,” Sterling said.
Donald J. Trump for President v. Benson in the Michigan Court of Claims:
The Trump team asked a state court in Michigan on Nov. 4 to stop the tabulation of absentee ballots across the state. In an emergency filing, the campaign alleged that a GOP observer had been kept away from an absentee vote counting site in Oakland County and requested access to surveillance video of so-called ballot drop boxes. They also submitted an affidavit from a Republican attorney who alleged she was told that disqualified ballots were being wrongfully “cured” by canvassers.
Michigan Court of Claims judge Cynthia Stephens tossed the cases for several reasons, two technical and one substantive. First, she said the suit had come too late, since the absentee ballot counting was mostly finished by the time the dispute got to court. Second, she said the campaign was suing the wrong person. Michigan secretary of state Jocelyn Benson is the defendant in the lawsuit, but Stephens said Benson has no power to order the relief the campaign requests.
Third, she said the filing lacked sufficient evidence. The campaign did not describe the details surrounding the observer’s removal from the canvassing site, nor did it connect the incident to a broader pattern of malfeasance. Stephens also said the allegation regarding vote-curing amounted to hearsay and wasn’t admissible.
Trump lawyers are appealing the decision. Biden leads Trump by about 150,000 votes in the state.
Stokke v. Cegavske in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada:
As in other states, GOP lawyers in Nevada raised procedural concerns about observer access and scrutiny of absentee ballots in Clark County, where about 70 percent of Nevada voters reside.
A lawsuit filed in federal court sought to immediately halt the use of an electronic signature-verification software in favor of a manual review of mail-in ballots. The GOP plaintiffs said use of that software is not permitted under state law. They also claimed the Nevada balloting was beset by “irregularities,” citing a woman who believes another person voted fraudulently in her place and a Republican observer who was asked to leave the Clark County canvassing center on election night.
U.S. District judge Andrew Gordon denied the GOP request during a hearing on Nov. 6. Gordon noted that the dispute over Clark County’s verification software is being litigated at the Supreme Court of Nevada. Though he seemed to think the software was compatible with Nevada’s election rules, he said the issue arises under state law and is best resolved in state court.
As to the other issues, the Nevada voter who feared fraud seemed to retreat from her claim by declining opportunities to submit an affidavit and cast a provisional ballot. And election officials stressed that GOP observers were on hand continuously at the Clark County canvass, even if one was asked to leave. The observer who was removed, Fox News commentator Chris Prudhome, violated the rules by using a camera in a part of the canvassing center where filming is not permitted, according to state lawyers.
“The plaintiffs have not come to the court at this point with sufficient legal showing and sufficient evidentiary basis,” Gordon said during Friday’s hearing.
“We’ve had answers for every allegation that’s been brought forward,” Clark County registrar Joseph Gloria said of Republican complaints at a Nov. 9 press conference.
The state Supreme Court asked Nevada Republicans and state officials to file legal papers on the signature-matching controversy by Nov. 9. Further action is forthcoming. Tens of thousands of mail-in votes could be at stake.
Biden is ahead of Trump in Nevada by about 35,000 votes. The deadline to finish the Nevada canvass is Nov. 16.
Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Kathy Boockvar in the Supreme Court; In re: canvassing observation in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court; and Donald J. Trump for President v. Kathy Boockvar in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania:
The Trump campaign is litigating a multi-front effort in the Keystone State.
First, the campaign is seeking to take over a lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court involving the validity of mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day. The state Supreme Court said any mail-in ballot that arrived by Friday Nov. 6 should be counted. The Trump campaign and Pennsylvania Republicans say the deadline set by the state legislature—8 p.m. on Election Day—ought to be the cutoff.
Over the weekend, an order from the High Court provided that ballots arriving after Election Day should be kept separate from all other votes, as they are the subject of ongoing litigation. The next step in that case is for the justices to decide whether the Trump campaign will serve as lead plaintiff. It’s possible that the Court will never resolve the lawsuit, as late-arriving mail-in votes may not be decisive to the outcome in Pennsylvania, where Biden currently leads by almost 50,000 votes.
Second, the campaign fought first in state and then in federal court over the rules for observers in the Philadelphia canvassing center. Events in Philadelphia have been at the center of conservative election fraud anxiety, as hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots from southeastern Pennsylvania flipped the state into the Biden column after Trump prevailed among Election Day voters.
Contrary to the president’s claims and the statements of his surrogates, Republican observers have been present continuously at the Philadelphia site. Campaign lawyers say, however, that the configuration of the room and social distancing rules are preventing their vote watchers from carefully monitoring the process.
A Pennsylvania appeals court sided with Trump on Nov. 5, saying election law requires vote counters to give Trump’s watchers some “observational leeway to ascertain sufficient details of the canvassing process.”
The campaign made a detour to a federal judge several hours later, claiming Philadelphia officials were not complying with the order. During an emergency hearing before U.S. District Court judge Paul Diamond, Trump lawyers admitted that Republican observers have been on hand in the canvassing center since the process began. Diamond dismissed the matter after the Trump campaign and city officials agreed both parties could have 60 observers present.
Back in state court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced Monday afternoon that it will wade into the controversy and decide what degree of access observers must have under state election law. Court officials are setting up an accelerated briefing schedule so the case can be decided quickly.
Third, the campaign sued Pennsylvania secretary of state Kathy Boockvar after she gave voters until Nov. 12 to confirm their identities if mail-in ballots were returned without proper proof of identification. The original deadline was Nov. 9. The judge said she would rule on Boockvar’s move later. For now, any voter who returns ID information between Nov. 10 and Nov. 12 will have their vote set aside.
Pennsylvania Republicans are litigating several other controversies with which the president’s campaign is not involved.
#AceNewsDesk report …………….Published: Nov.10: 2020: