Updated: November 22, 2020 8:44:19 pm
In yet another blow to the Trump campaign’s unrelenting efforts to reverse former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory in the US election, a federal judge in Pennsylvania Sunday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the president’s lawyers that sought to invalidate millions of ballots cast in the state.
The lawsuit in Pennsylvania is the latest addition to the long list of post-election cases that US President Donald Trump’s legal team and allies have either lost or dropped. Of the 36 cases they have filed, only two have been won until now, Reuters reported.
Observers have maintained that Trump has little to no chance of overturning the election result, especially since his lawyers are yet to present convincing evidence to prove that rampant voter fraud did, in fact, occur in the battleground states.
Here is where Trump’s legal challenges stand in key battleground states
Just days after polling day, lawyers from the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County alleging that several votes cast by Republican voters, who used Sharpie pens to mark out their ballots, had not been counted as the ink had bled through the paper, rendering them unreadable by voting machines.
The lawyers included affidavits from individual voters who alleged that the poll workers had taken advantage of the situation by nullifying votes that would have otherwise gone to President Trump, the New York Times reported.
Responding to the claims, that widely came to be known as #Sharpiegate on social media, election officials in Arizona said that voting with a Sharpie would not have had any impact on the votes being recorded by the voting machines.
During a hearing on November 12, a lawyer for the Trump campaign conceded that the complaint was not based on evidence of voter fraud. “This is not a fraud case,” Trump campaign attorney Kory Langhofer said. “We are not alleging fraud. We are not saying anyone is trying to steal the election.”
The Trump campaign has since dropped the case.
In another case, the Arizona Republican Party attempted to block the certification of election results in Maricopa until a court ruled on the party’s lawsuit for a fresh hand count of a sampling of ballots. On Thursday, a judge rejected their bid to postpone the certification process and dismissed the legal challenge.
High profile conservative attorney Lin Wood filed a lawsuit to halt the certification of the result in Georgia, where Biden became the first Democrat since Bill Clinton in 1992 to win. He claimed that election officials illegally changed the process for handling absentee ballots last minute, which marred the state’s election results.
But on Thursday, a federal judge appointed by Trump himself rejected the lawsuit. “To halt the certification at literally the 11th hour would breed confusion and disenfranchisement that I find have no basis in fact and law,” U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg said.
Georgia’s deputy secretary of state has called the case a “silly, baseless claim”. The state’s assistant attorney general Russell Willard also objected, saying that the lawsuit was an effort to roll back the clock on voting rights.
The Trump campaign withdrew its final federal lawsuit challenging the certification of ballots in Wayne County, Michigan, on Thursday. A Trump campaign attorney claimed, without proof, that the board of canvassers in the county declined to certify the results, despite the fact that it had done just that earlier this week.
Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said in a statement that the campaign had decided to withdraw the case “as a direct result of achieving the result we sought: to stop the election in Wayne County from being prematurely certified before residents can be assured that every legal vote has been counted and every illegal vote has not been counted.”
In a separate lawsuit, two poll challengers asked the court to stall the certification process until an independent audit was completed “ensure the accuracy and integrity of the election”, AP reported.
On Sunday, a federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed the much-talked-about lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign earlier this month that could have potentially invalidated several millions of legally cast votes in the state.
“It is not in the power of this Court to violate the Constitution,” Judge Matthew Brann, a well-known Republican, of the US District Court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, wrote in his dissent, obtained by CNN. He stressed that Biden had won the state, adding that the results would be certified by state officials on Monday.
In this case, Trump’s legal team claimed that the state allowed counties to decide whether absentee ballots with technical issues could be fixed by the voters themselves. Two Republican voters mentioned in the lawsuit claimed that their Equal Protection rights were violated as their county did not allow them to correct their ballots, and they were thus rejected.
The lawyers claimed that heavily Democratic counties, such as Philadelphia county, allowed voters to “cure” their ballots while more conservative counties may not have. But Brann said the legal reasoning behind the claim was like “Frankenstein’s Monster”.
“The answer to invalidated ballots is not to invalidate millions more,” his dissent read.
The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in Nevada contesting the results of the election and baselessly claiming that the irregularities in voting would be enough to reverse Joe Biden’s victory in the state. Trump’s lawyers claimed that votes were cast on behalf of dead people and that election observers were not allowed to stand in for “key points” of the ballot processing — allegations that have been largely rejected by multiple judges in the US.
A hearing on the Trump campaign’s lawsuit is scheduled to take place on December 1, AP reported.
Meanwhile, a Nevada district judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a conservative activist named Sharron Angle to halt the certification of the state’s election results, which show Biden leading by more than 33,000 votes.
Two of Wisconsin’s largest counties, Milwaukee and Dane, are in the process of conducting a recount after the Trump campaign filed a petition requesting one, CNN reported. Counting will be conducted in both counties till December 1, which is also the deadline for the state to certify its results.
Here too, the Trump campaign claimed without evidence that government officials had violated state law and absentee ballots had been illegally mishandled and altered. Trump’s campaign sought to discard thousands of absentee ballots, alleging that they should not have been counted in the first place. However, their request to discard the ballots was denied by Dane County’s Board of Canvassers, AP reported.
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