Selasa, 24 November 2020

Pennsylvania officials tell court to reject Donald Trump campaign appeal as new lawsuit filed in Wisconsin - ABC News

President-elect Joe Biden has been certified as the winner of the presidential election in Pennsylvania and Nevada, ending three weeks of vote counting and a string of failed legal challenges there by Donald Trump's campaign team.

However, Republicans filed a lawsuit on Tuesday (local time) asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to block certification of the presidential election results even as a recount was ongoing.

And in Georgia, county election workers began a machine recount of the roughly 5 million votes cast in the state, just days after completing a hand tally that confirmed Mr Biden's lead.

Here's all the latest on the states where results have been disputed.


Pennsylvania officials told a federal appeals court on Tuesday it should reject a bid by President Trump's campaign to block Mr Biden from being declared the winner of the battleground state, according to a court filing.

Lawyers for Mr Trump's campaign have asked the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals to halt the "effect" of the state's results.

The results were certified earlier on Tuesday, clearing the way for Mr Biden to receive the state's 20 electoral votes.

Mr Trump's campaign is appealing a decision made by a lower court judge, who rejected claims of inconsistent treatment of mail-in ballots.

Some counties told voters they could fix defective ballots, such as a missing "secrecy envelope," while others did not.

US District Judge Matthew Brann dismissed the case, saying he had "no authority to take away the right to vote of even a single person, let alone millions of citizens."

In appealing the decision, the Trump campaign said it was focusing on the "narrow" question of whether Judge Brann improperly refused to let it amend the lawsuit a second time.

The campaign wants to add back allegations it dropped from the case, including a claim that its due process rights were violated.

"The Trump campaign seeks to needlessly draw out this futile legislation by asserting the right to reinstate meritless claims they excised and abandoned in the District Court in a well-publicised effort to undermine this election and, ultimately, democracy itself," lawyers for four of the counties involved in the lawsuit wrote in a court filing.

If the campaign loses its appeal, it could ask the US Supreme Court to take up its case.


A separate Republican lawsuit in Wisconsin echoes many of the arguments made elsewhere, unsuccessfully, to have tens of thousands of ballots discounted during the recount.

The lawsuit says more than 96,000 self-identified confined voters should not count.

The Wisconsin lawsuit was filed by attorney Erick Kaardal, a former Minnesota Republican Party official who also represented rapper Kanye West in his unsuccessful lawsuit attempting to get on the ballot in Wisconsin.

Mr Kaardal represents a conservative group called the Wisconsin Voters Alliance and a host of Republican voters.

Mr Biden won Wisconsin by 20,608 votes, but the lawsuit claims that more than 156,000 ballots should be tossed out.

The lawsuit also rehashes a claim that a federal court rejected in September that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to "illegally circumvent Wisconsin absentee voting laws" through grants awarded by a non-profit centre he funds.

Many of the same arguments alleging the money was illegally awarded and therefore the election results should be nullified are being made in the new lawsuit in state court.

The lawsuit alleges that more than 14,000 ballots "requested in the name of a registered Republican by someone other than that person" were cast and that more than 12,000 "Republican ballots" were returned but not counted.

People do not register to vote by political party in Wisconsin so it is impossible to know how many Republicans or Democrats requested absentee ballots.

The lawsuit also seeks to give the power to name presidential electors to the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Wisconsin state law allows the political parties to pick electors, which was done in October.

Once the election results are certified, scheduled to be done December 1, those pre-determined electors will cast their ballots for the winner on December 14.

Milwaukee County could complete its recounting as soon as Wednesday (local time) and no later than Friday.

Nearly 400 absentee ballots cast in Milwaukee that were not opened on Election Day were discovered as part of a recount, a mistake the city's top elections official attributed to human error.

As of Tuesday morning (local time), recounted ballots not including the newly discovered ones showed a net gain of only 57 votes for Mr Trump.


The recount in Georgia was requested by Mr Trump after certified results showed him losing the state by 12,670 votes, or 0.25 per cent.

Counties were allowed to begin the machine recount at 9:00 am Tuesday (local time) and they have until 11:59 pm on December 2 to wrap it up.

Some counties only planned to get as far as testing the equipment on Tuesday, with the actual counting to begin Wednesday.

With interruptions for the Thanksgiving holiday expected, the secretary of state's office instructed counties to publicly post when they would be testing so political party monitors and interested members of the public can make plans to observe.

State election officials have said that it's possible the results of the recount could be slightly different from the original tally, but they have said it's very unlikely it would be enough to change the overall outcome of the election.

Mr Biden's campaign echoed that in a call with reporters.

"Georgia voters have selected Joe Biden to be their next president," Biden campaign attorney Patrick Moore said.

"We're confident that this second recount, which is in fact a third time the votes have been counted, will simply reaffirm Joe Biden's victory in Georgia."


Michigan on Monday certified its results showing Mr Biden the winner. Mr Biden had a 154,000-vote victory in the state.

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers, which has two Republicans and two Democrats, confirmed the results on a 3-0 vote with one GOP abstention.

Mr Trump and his allies had hoped to block the vote to allow time for an audit of ballots in Wayne County, where Mr Trump has claimed without evidence that he was the victim of fraud.

Mr Biden won by more than 330,000 votes there.

Some Trump allies had expressed hope that state lawmakers could intervene in selecting Republican electors in states that do not certify.

That long-shot bid is no longer possible in Michigan.

"The people of Michigan have spoken. President-elect Biden won the State of Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, and he will be our next president on January 20th," Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said.


Joe Biden stands at a lecturn in front of an American flag as he gives a speech in Pittsburgh
Mr Biden will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.(AP/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Alexandra Wimley)

Nevada's Supreme Court made Mr Biden's win official on Tuesday (local time), and approved the state's final canvass of the November 3 election.

The unanimous action by the seven non-partisan justices delivers six electoral votes from the western US battleground state to Mr Biden.

The court action drew extra scrutiny amid legal efforts by the state Republican party and Trump campaign to prevent sending vote-by-mail ballots to all 1.82 million active registered voters and then to stop the counting of the 1.4 million votes that were cast.

Mr Biden got 50.06 per cent of the vote and Mr Trump 47.67 per cent, according to results approved by elected officials in Nevada's 17 counties.

Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican who has avoided the public eye in recent weeks, presented the results to the court.

She noted the first-ever use of all-mail balloting statewide in a general election, same-day voter registration and early voting.

"The result was more of a hybrid model where voters had a choice of how to participate," she said, adding that a record number of voters participated.

Certification of the vote does not stop several lawsuits pending in state and federal courts.

What happens next?

States have until December 8 to settle any ongoing disputes about the election result.

Once that deadline has passed, each state's electors have a further six days to vote by paper ballot before Congress meets to count those electoral votes on January 6.

Once a candidate has received 270 or more electoral votes, the President of the Senate will officially announce the results.

The winning candidate will then be officially sworn in as president on Inauguration Day — January 20.

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Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 50 seconds
John Barron explains the transition of power to president-elect Joe Biden.


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2020-11-25 02:07:00Z

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