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The 2020 Presidential Election is Headed to the Courts

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Supporters of President Donald Trump | The 2020 Presidential Election is Headed to the Courts | Featured

For months leading up to the 2020 election, Americans understood that the race would be close. Despite the mainstream media’s constant assertions that Biden held a strong lead, Trump’s in-person rallies drew thousands of passionate attendees across the United States. Both candidates spent their campaigns focused on energizing their bases, not making the effort to claim new undecided voters. But now, the race remains SO close that will head to court.

Unlike in 2016, when Trump handily beat Hillary Clinton by a wide margin, claiming unexpected victories in Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin, Biden has eked out a strong lead (264 to Trump’s 214 votes). Trump would need all of the remaining electoral votes in order to reach the 270 vote threshold to win.

As of Thursday morning, Trump leads in Georgia (16 electoral votes), but only by 20,000 votes. He leads in North Carolina (15 electoral votes), and in Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes). Pennsylvania only has 87% of votes reported at this time.

Trump is currently trailing Biden in Nevada (6 electoral votes) but by less than 8,000 votes. Biden’s declared win in Wisconsin was by a margin of 20,400 votes – less than 1% of all votes cast. Americans knew the race would be close, but did they realize it would be THIS close?

Are All Votes Being Counted? Should They Be?

I Voted Sticker | The 2020 Presidential Election is Headed to the Courts

When much of America went to bed late Tuesday night, many swing-states showed bright red on their TV and computer screens. By the time they woke up on Wednesday, most of those states had turned to blue. Alleged voter fraud and ballot dumping has been declared by Trump’s campaign. With this, they are filing suit – demanding recounts and proper supervision as required by law.

Of particular concern are late-received absentee ballots. Trump’s team insists that ballots received after 7 pm on November 3 should not count towards the election; individual states have been counting the ballots in with the rest, regardless of when they were received.

The potential for fraud with mail-in ballots has existed since it was declared that much of the country would rely on them due to the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of Americans have reported receiving multiple ballots, or ballots for the wrong district – which can have a huge impact on the final outcome of an election. The New York Post published an article in August detailing the lengths that candidates can go to in order to use voter fraud to their benefit.

Many swing-state voters that are now waiting anxiously to hear the results fear that their votes were not accurately counted.

Lawsuits Filed

So much is at stake, and so many questions are unanswered. With these, the Trump campaign has filed suits in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia.

Michigan

President Donald J. Trump Gestures with a Fist Pump | Trump Campaign Claims There Have Been “Illegal Votes” in Nevada

The Trump campaign released a statement on Wednesday afternoon. The statement cited that it “has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law.”

Therefore, the campaign “filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted. We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access. President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else.”

The formal complaint alleges that Michigan voter Eric Ostergren was “excluded from the counting board during the absent voter ballot review process.” The lawsuit goes on to allege that Michigan’s Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson (D), failed to carry out her responsibilities under Michigan election law by denying Ostergren the opportunity to watch videotapes of votes being counted.

Pennsylvania

Donald Trump’s counsel, Linda Kerns, filed a notice of appeal in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. This comes after his petition to allow closer observation of the canvassing of ballots was denied by the Presiding Election Day Judge.

Trump also filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit before the United States Supreme Court over voting in Pennsylvania. The petition, brought by Pennsylvania Republicans, resulted in a 5-3 vote before Election Day in which the Supreme Court refused to hear an expedited challenge to a state court ruling allowing mail-in ballots to be counted up to three days after Election Day. Justice Samuel Alito admitted that there was simply not enough time to decide prior to the election.

Wisconsin

Trump has vowed to demand an immediate recount in Wisconsin, one of the closest races in the country. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien released a statement Wednesday. It said that “despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor thin race as we always knew that it would be. There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results.”

The slim margin (less than 1%) in Wisconsin does give Trump the legal right to petition for a recount.

Georgia

The Trump campaign filed suit in the Superior Court of Chatham County in Georgia on Wednesday. The Trump campaign wants absentee ballots received after 7 p.m. on Election Day not to be counted.

“Failing to ensure that absentee ballots received after the deadline are stored in a manner to ensure that such ballots are not inadvertently or intentionally counted, as required under Georgia law, harms the interests of the Trump Campaign and President Trump because it could lead to the dilution of legal votes cast in support of President Trump,” the complaint claimed.

The Trump campaign claimed that a “Republican poll observer,” identified as Sean Pumphrey, in the Peach State “witnessed 53 late absentee ballots illegally added to a stack of on-time absentee ballots in Chatham County.”

Still Waiting for Answers

The truth of the matter is that it may be weeks, if not months, until an official winner is determined. North Carolina has until November 12 to count all of its 200,000 mail-in votes. Recounts and litigation may extend even longer.

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Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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