Trump's Election Lawsuits

The President is Challenging the Election Result in Five Swing States

Since election day, Donald Trump and other Republicans have filed a smattering of lawsuits in battleground states as his campaign push on to fight the election results tooth-and-nail.
 
"Our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated," Trump said in a statement Saturday. "The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots."
 
Trump has filed a dozen lawsuits in five states. Here is where the key ones stand:
 
PENNSYLVANIA
 
Pennsylvania was instrumental in securing Joe Biden's win, with the state's 20 electoral votes taking Mr Biden to a majority of 279, more than sufficient to secure the presidency.  As expected, Republican voters voted more heavily on Election Day in Pennsylvania, a critical swing state, and Democrats voted in significantly larger numbers by mail.
 
Multiple legal challenges have been filed by Donald Trump in Pennsylvania. 
 
Notably, they have become involved in a Supreme Court case which challenges a state law that allows mail-in ballots to be counted until Friday November 6. Pennsylvania law requires ballots to arrive by the close of polls on election night, but the Pennsylvania supreme court, where Democrats have a majority, pointed to mail delays and the pandemic to justify the extension. Several other states in the US allow ballots to be counted if they arrive after election day but are postmarked before.
 
Republicans have been trying to get these ballots rejected since early September, when the Pennsylvania supreme court extended the receipt deadline by three days.  Pennsylvania state officials have said that about 10,000 ballots were received in the three days after election day.
They say these ballots are being kept on one side, in the light of on-going legal challenges.
Counting of other votes is continuing, with the election tally on 10 November showing Joe Biden more than 45,000 votes ahead of President Trump.
 
Another ongoing case disputes how long voters should be given to provide proof of identification if it was missing or unclear on their postal ballots. Voters are currently allowed to do this up to 12 November, but the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit on 5 November seeking to reduce this deadline by three days.
 
At a press conference Monday afternoon at the Republican National Committee headquarters, a number of top Republicans announced a fresh lawsuit in Pennsylvania over what it claimed was unfair and unequal treatment of Republicans in the state's election. That litigation is ongoing.
 
ARIZONA
 
A rumour, which has been debunked by the Department of Homeland Security, still led to a lawsuit by the Trump campaign in Arizona. The campaign alleged that some voters had their ballots incorrectly rejected because they used Sharpies to fill them out. The suit says that poll workers failed to avail voters of the opportunity to cast a new ballot when scanners notified them of the issue. It's a claim that went viral on social media, despite officials insisting it was not true. 
 
Rebuke of the online claims comes after a video -- viewed more than a million times on Twitter and shared widely on Facebook and Instagram -- featured an unidentified woman claiming without proof that poll workers tried to force her to use a Sharpie and that she insisted on using an ink pen, to make sure her vote would count. 
 
Republicans in the state dropped the Sharpie lawsuit Saturday but then filed a separate suit alleging other votes in the state were incorrectly rejected.
 
MICHIGAN
 
On 4 November, the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in Michigan which Joe Biden won by around 145,000 vote to stop the count over claims of a lack of access to observe the process.  A judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying there was insufficient evidence that oversight procedures weren't being followed.
 
In another case, a judge rejected an effort last week to halt vote counting after Republicans claimed they were being excluded from a process in which election officials were fixing ballots that could not be read by scanners. The judge ruled against halting counting, saying that while the plaintiffs argued hundreds or thousands of ballots were potentially affected, they did not offer “affidavits or specific eyewitness evidence to substantiate their assertions”.
 
Another lawsuit was filed on 9 November, seeking to block the certification of results in Wayne County, citing similar complaints from poll watchers.
 
NEVADA
 
With 95 per cent of the votes counted, Nevada has been declared a win for Joe Biden, who currently holds a 2.6 per cent lead
 
A lawsuit filed on 5 November, alleging "lax procedures for authenticating mail-in ballots and over 3,000 instances of ineligible individuals casting ballots." The president's legal team produced a list of people who it claimed had moved out of state but voted.  But - as pointed out by Politifact - the list alone does not prove a violation of law.
 
In a separate case filed on 5 November, Republicans tried to stop the use of a signature verification machine at the count. Republicans put forward Jill Stokke, a 79-year-old legally blind woman, who claimed her ballot was stolen from her and submitted. But election officials said they had met with Stokke, reviewed her ballot, and determined the signature on it was hers, according to the Nevada Independent.  Their attempt was blocked by a federal judge.
 
GEORGIA
 
Joe Biden has taken a slim lead in the key state of Georgia. At present, Mr Biden is just 0.28 per cent, or 14,089 votes ahead of Mr Trump, but with more than 99 per cent of the ballots counted, the Democrats look likely to win the state. 
 
A lawsuit was filed in Georgia's Chatham County to pause the count on 4 November, alleging problems with ballot processing. Georgia Republican chairman David Shafer tweeted that party observers saw a woman "mix over 50 ballots into the stack of uncounted absentee ballots". 
 
Mr Raffensperger has dismissed claims of election fraud, and cast doubts on the likelihood of the recount swinging the result in Mr Trump's favour.  He acknowledged there may have been some illegal voting, but said "My office is investigating all of it. Does it rise to the numbers or margin necessary to change the outcome to where President Trump is given Georgia’s electoral votes? That is unlikely.” A formal recount will take place in late November.