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Trump’s Campaign Sues Wisconsin, Michigan, & Georgia for Ballot Counting Access

'The rule of law will determine the official winner of the popular vote in each state...'

(Headline USA) President Donald Trump‘s campaign filed lawsuits Wednesday in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, laying the groundwork for contesting battleground states.

The new filings, joining existing Republican legal challenges in Pennsylvania and Nevada, demand better access for campaign observers to locations where ballots are being processed and counted, and raise absentee ballot concerns, the campaign said.

The AP called Michigan for Democrat Joe Biden on Wednesday. Nevada, Pennsylvania and Georgia are undecided.

The Trump campaign also is seeking to intervene in a Pennsylvania case at the Supreme Court that deals with whether ballots received up to three days after the election can be counted, deputy campaign manager Justin Clark said.

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The actions reveal the legal strategy of the Democratic Party coming into the 2020 presidential election: radically alter voting procedures a few months before the election and then sue for victory.

His campaign also announced that it would ask for a recount in Wisconsin, a state the AP called for Biden on Wednesday afternoon.

Campaign manager Bill Stepien cited “irregularities in several Wisconsin counties,” without providing specifics.

Biden said Wednesday the count should continue in all states, adding, “No one’s going to take our democracy away from us — not now, not ever.”

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Campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said legal challenges were not the behavior of a winning campaign.

“What makes these charades especially pathetic is that while Trump is demanding recounts in places he has already lost, he’s simultaneously engaged in fruitless attempts to halt the counting of votes in other states in which he’s on the road to defeat,” Bates said in a statement.

Election officials continued to count votes across the country, an unusual occurence. The winner of presidential elections have historically been declared within a few hours of polls closing.

States were contending with an avalanche of mail ballots driven by the Democratic Party’s desire to manipulate the election’s results.

At least 103 million people voted early, either by mail or in-person, representing 74% of the total votes cast in the 2016 presidential election.

The Trump campaign said it is calling for a temporary halt in the counting in Michigan and Pennsylvania until it is given “meaningful” access in numerous locations and allowed to review ballots that already have been opened and processed.

The AP’s Michigan call for Biden came after the suit was filed.

The president is ahead in Pennsylvania but his margin is shrinking as more possibly fraudulent mailed ballots are counted.

An order allows mail-in ballots to be received and counted up until Friday if they are postmarked by Nov. 3.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a CNN interview the lawsuit was “more a political document than a legal document.”

“There is transparency in this process. The counting has been going on. There are observers observing this counting, and the counting will continue,” he said.

The Michigan lawsuit claims Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, was allowing absentee ballots to be counted without teams of bipartisan observers as well as challengers.

She’s accused of undermining the “constitutional right of all Michigan voters … to participate in fair and lawful elections.” Michigan Democrats said the suit was a longshot.

GOP lawyers had already launched legal challenges involving absentee votes in Pennsylvania and Nevada, contesting local decisions that could take on national significance in the close election.
In one appeal to a Pennsylvania appellate court, the Trump campaign complained that one of its representatives was prevented from seeing the writing on mail-in ballots that were being opened and processed in Philadelphia.

A judge in Philadelphia dismissed it, saying that poll observers are directed to observe, not audit.

The Georgia lawsuit filed in Chatham County essentially asks a judge to ensure the state laws are being followed on absentee ballots.

Campaign officials said they were considering peppering a dozen other counties around the state with similar claims around absentee ballots.

Trump, addressing supporters at the White House early Wednesday, talked about taking the undecided race to the Supreme Court.

A case would have to come to the court from a state in which the outcome would determine the election’s winner, Richard Hasen, a University of California, Irvine, law professor, wrote on the Election Law blog.

The difference between the candidates’ vote totals would have to be smaller than the ballots at stake in the lawsuit.

“As of this moment (though things can change) it does not appear that either condition will be met,” Hasen wrote.

Ohio State University election law professor Edward Foley wrote on Twitter Wednesday: “The valid votes will be counted. (The Supreme Court) would be involved only if there were votes of questionable validity that would make a difference, which might not be the case. The rule of law will determine the official winner of the popular vote in each state. Let the rule of law work.”

Biden campaign attorney Bob Bauer said if Trump goes to the high court, “he will be in for one of the most embarrassing defeats a president has ever suffered by the highest court in the land.”

The justices could decide to step into the dispute over the three-day extension for absentee ballots if they prove crucial to the outcome in Pennsylvania.

Even a small number of contested votes could matter if a state determines the winner of the election and the gap between Trump and Biden is small.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.

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