Washington, November 21
While President Donald Trump vows to press ahead with efforts to overturn the election, judges across the country have consistently swatted down his legal challenges.
Trump’s campaign has failed to make any real headway in court without proof of widespread fraud, which experts widely agree doesn’t exist. Over the course of a single day this week, Trump and his Republican allies dropped or lost cases seeking to block the certification of election results in three different states.
Experts say Trump won’t succeed in stopping President-elect Joe Biden from taking office in January.
Where Republican election challenges stand in six states:
The case: The Arizona Republican Party had tried to block the certification of the election results in the state’s most populous county, Maricopa, until a court ruled on the party’s lawsuit asking for a new hand count of a sampling of ballots. An audit already completed by the county found no discrepancies, officials said.
What happened: A judge on Thursday rejected Republicans’ bid to postpone the certification of election results and dismissed the party’s legal challenge that sought a new audit of a sampling of ballots.
Judge John Hanna provided no explanation, except to say that the GOP’s request to amend its lawsuit was futile and barred the party from refiling the case. The judge promised a full explanation in the future. Maricopa County officials are expected to certify elections results on Friday.
In a separate case, Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee also had sought to delay the certification of election results in Maricopa County. In that case, they asked for the manual inspection of ballots in metro Phoenix, alleging that some votes were improperly rejected.
A judge dismissed the case on November 13 after the campaign’s lawyers acknowledged the small number of ballots at issue wouldn’t change the outcome of how Arizona voted for president. Maricopa County leaders certified election results Friday.
The case: A high-profile conservative attorney, L Lin Wood Jr, sued in an attempt to block the certification of election results in Georgia. Wood alleges Georgia illegally changed the process for handling absentee ballots.
Wood’s lawsuit takes aim at a legal settlement signed earlier this year that addresses accusations about a lack of statewide standards for judging signatures on absentee ballot envelopes. Georgia’s deputy secretary of state has called Wood’s case a “silly, baseless claim”.
What happened: A judge on Thursday denied Wood’s request for a temporary restraining order to halt certification. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp certified the state’s slate of electors Friday. Trump has until the end of the day Tuesday to request a recount.
The case: Trump’s campaign sued in an attempt to block the certification of election results in the state, alleging that election officials “allowed fraud and incompetence to corrupt the conduct of the 2020 general election”.
Trump’s legal team alleged that its observers were prevented from being able to properly watch the vote counting, that ineligible ballots were counted and that Republican challenges to ballots were ignored.
What happened: The Trump campaign dropped its case on Thursday, citing statements from Republican Wayne County canvassers who initially blocked certification of election results in Michigan’s largest county before approving them on Tuesday. The two canvassers now say they want to change their position again, but officials say there’s no way for them to rescind their vote.
The case: Trump’s campaign is asking a judge to nullify Nevada’s election results or set them aside and declare him the winner, arguing that illegal or improper votes were cast and the use of optical scanning to process signatures on mail-in ballots violated state law.
What happened: There have been no rulings in either case. A judge will hear arguments from the watchdog group and in another case on Friday.
The case: A Trump campaign case aims to stop the state from certifying the election, alleging Philadelphia and six counties wrongly allowed voters to correct problems with mail-in ballots that were otherwise going to be disqualified for a technicality, such as lacking a secrecy envelope or a signature.
What happened: Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, signed onto the case this week after others abruptly withdrew, and the former New York City mayor argued in court on Tuesday for the first time since the 1990s. Giuliani made wild, unsupported allegations of a nationwide conspiracy by Democrats to steal the election. The judge did not immediately issue a ruling and cancelled a hearing that was set for Thursday but set out a schedule for both sides to make new filings this week.
The case: Trump’s campaign on Wednesday filed for a recount in the counties that cover Milwaukee and Madison, both Democratic strongholds. It alleged — again without evidence — that absentee ballots were illegally altered or issued and that government officials violated state law.
What happened: Biden won Wisconsin by 20,600 votes. The recount of the presidential election in the state’s two most heavily Democratic counties began Friday with Trump’s campaign seeking to discard tens of thousands of absentee ballots that it alleged should not have been counted. AP