Election Legal Challenges Part 1
By William Borque
November 6, 2020
In Pennsylvania, President Trump launched a lawsuit to stop counting the votes in key counties still counting votes. Pennsylvania law requires votes to not be counted until polls close on election day, so that is exactly what counters did, wait until the polls closed. Trump and his campaign claimed that votes were coming in after the polls had closed that weren’t postmarked Nov. 3rd, which would invalidate the votes. However, the problem was that there was no evidence of this fraud that Trump had claimed. The campaign then sued because they alleged that there weren’t enough supervisors watching the votes be counted in places like Allegheny and Philadelphia counties, where many of the later votes, from mail-in ballots, were for Biden. As returns continued to pile in, Trump maintained that the votes were illegal and illegitimate. The case was heard in federal court by U.S District Judge Paul Diamond, who said that both sides had to come to an agreement, suggesting that 60 members of each party be allowed to view the vote counting. Votes were counted with observers from both parties present and Pennsylvania turned blue.
In Michigan, in a similar vein as Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign sued to stop counting absentee votes in major cities, mostly Detroit. Attorney for the Trump Campaign, Thor Hearne, said the campaign wanted “meaningful access” to vote-counting in addition to surveillance cameras around ballot drop boxes from October 1st. Michigan was seen as a close swing state before the election and many expected the race to come down to mail-in votes, so this shouldn’t have surprised anyone. However, it’s clear that Trump knew that they would lose if they continued to count legitimate mail-in votes, so they decided to sue. Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens dismissed the case and allowed vote counting to continue and says that it was completed on Thursday morning. Judge Stephens said that there was no precedent for surveillance cameras for drop boes. Vote totals indicate that Biden won Michigan by about 150,000 votes.
In Arizona, votes continue to be counted, but several large news outlets, including Fox and The Associated Press, have called the state for Biden. The Trump Campaign has claimed that they entered a lawsuit with several Arizona GOP candidates that claims that sharpie pens used during election day tainted ballots. Trump campaign lawyer, Alexander Kolodin, says that other concerns were raised in the lawsuit including problems with vote-counting and observers of the counting. Much like in Pennsylvania and Michigan, protestors donning MAGA gear were seen trying to enter vote-counting facilities in Arizona’s Maricopa County, where many of the remaining votes are being counted. We expect that Judge Margaret Mahoney will make her ruling against the GOP because of the lack of the basis of the claims. A ruling is expected on Friday.