It turns out, the American Founders forgot to include a clause granting CNN the power to decide close presidential elections. Supporters of President Trump’s reelection campaign have not yet been satisfied that Joe Biden’s campaign pulled off an Electoral College win. Indeed, the actual Electoral College votes are not due until December 23, 2020. The constitutional process set aside this lengthy period to resolve election tabulation disputes.
Days ago, the media hysterically warned that President Trump might claim victory before “all the votes were counted.” But as soon as enough votes were counted to put Vice President Biden over the top, the networks immediately colluded to reverse their sanctimonious “every vote matters” position. What they really meant all along was that the votes should be counted until it looked like their guy was winning.
The constitutional process allows challenges to irregularities in vote tabulation. The process allows courts, particularly state courts, to weigh whether the count includes ineligible votes such as double votes and votes received after election day. The website, SCOTUSblog, is tracking numerous election cases here. Could these court cases reverse Biden’s apparent victory? Let’s dig in and take a closer look at the cases that could still impact the final outcome.
The Trump campaign on Monday filed a massive lawsuit alleging voting and tabulation irregularities. Among other issues, the Trump campaign’s position is that Pennsylvania set a lower bar for accepting mail-in votes because those tend to go for Biden. Additionally, the complaint alleges that Biden-leaning counties allowed voters to “cure” defective ballots while the more rural Trump-leaning counties did not. Through this “cure” process, election officials would call select voters to give them the opportunity to correct mistakes in absentee ballots.
The United States Supreme Court on Friday ordered Pennsylvania to segregate ballots received after 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said she believes there are not enough post-Election Day ballots in question to reverse the results. At the time of writing, however, Pennsylvania reported only three percent of votes yet to be counted and a small enough difference between the totals (3,363,421 versus 3,318,352) to make the final result potentially susceptible to one last lead change. Indeed, RealClearPolitics has retained Pennsylvania in the unresolved category.
On Sunday, an organization named “Great Lakes Justice Center” filed a complaint alleging criminal election irregularities in Wayne County, Michigan. The lawsuit alleged, among other things, that the Wayne County ballot-counting officials processed ballots of voters whose names did not appear on the qualified voter file, backdated late ballots, accepted a late-night shipment of tens of thousands of absentee ballots that suspiciously included no vote for Trump, and processed ballots with false information such as false birthdays. The complaint alleges that ballot-counting officials inserted new names into the voter roles during the counting process.
The Michigan Court of Claims on Thursday held a hearing on the Trump campaign’s emergency petition for judicial intervention into the absentee ballot counting process. The Trump campaign contends the process excluded Republican observers in violation of Michigan law. Judge Cynthia Stephens refused to grant the petition because the affidavit attached to the petition relied on hearsay. The docket does not indicate whether the Trump campaign will appeal.
After Election-Day complaints of poll workers giving voters Sharpie permanent markers to voters in some precincts to complete ballots, attorneys filed a lawsuit alleging that scanning machines could not read and record votes cast with the permanent marker. This lawsuit has now been voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs.
On October 6, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order addressing a judge-created requirement that Arizona allow voters up to five days after the election to correct their ballots that otherwise would be rejected for lack of signature. The Ninth Circuit rejected this change in the rules.
As of Monday, the late counting has chipped away at Biden’s lead reducing it to a razor-thin margin of 14,746. The Arizona Republic estimated that 63,000 votes in Arizona remain uncounted.
On October 2, the 11th Circuit overruled a judge-created extension of the deadline for absentee ballots. The appellate court upheld Georgia law, which set the deadline at 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.
On October 11, a federal judge granted in part a petition challenging the security of the Dominion vote-counting platform. This is the same system that is faulted for a vote tabulation error in Michigan that resulted in Trump initially losing thousands of votes. The case raises the question of whether recounts will discover additional errors when the results are audited. On October 24, the 11th Circuit overturned the decision but did not resolve the doubts about the software.
The Georgia secretary of state reports a current vote tally of 2,457,177 for Biden, 2,469,828 for Trump—a difference of less than 13,000 votes.
In late October, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the North Carolina State Board of Elections’ decision to extend the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots until November 12. Thus, at the time of this writing, North Carolina could potentially continue adding votes to its final tabulation for days to come.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has staged a much-needed comeback. Epoch Times on Tuesday projected Trump as the winner of North Carolina as his lead now appears to be too large for Biden to overcome through the remaining uncounted ballots.
On October 26, the Supreme Court reversed a federal court’s attempt to expand Wisconsin’s deadlines for receipt of ballots. The court ruled that the federal court should not unnecessarily intrude into state election procedures.
Additionally, the Trump campaign has now initiated a recount in Wisconsin after closing the gap with Biden to less than the one percent threshold required to trigger a recount.
It’s worth remembering that after the 2016 election, the Clinton campaign and its allies continued to fight the result through recounts and lawsuits. Then, in December of that year, Clinton allies harassed electors in a partially successful attempt to coerce individual electors into betraying their voters. Then her allies attempted to engineer an “intelligence briefing” to persuade the electors to switch their votes from Trump.
We now know that Clinton herself paid for the Russia collusion smear campaign and urged that the electors be briefed on her phoney opposition research without disclosing her role in developing the smear.
In contrast, it appears the Trump campaign has confined its election challenges to the normal legal process that follows a close election. Recall that Al Gore did not concede the 2000 election until mid-December. By comparison, Donald Trump’s efforts to review and audit the results are well within established precedents. The Biden campaign and the media should welcome the scrutiny as it will solidify the legitimacy of his victory, if it is indeed legitimate.