The President’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, remarked Monday that if legal challenges are successful in contesting election results in President Trump’s favor, they will need to line up and come in like landing several aircrafts at the same time. He was commenting particularly on how he is juggling and managing them all.
Pennsylvania—mail-in vote challenge
Former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley from 1955-1976, photo by: Paul Sequeira
Representing the Trump campaign, Rudy Giuliani said the margin in Pennsylvania is 41,000 votes, and the legal team is questioning hundreds of thousands of votes, referring to the counting of mail-in ballots. He said, for decades, Democrats like Mayor Daley in Chicago would hold back a county, and when they found out how much they needed to win, that amount usually came through. “Mail-in votes are ripe for this.”
Moreover, Republicans had no observers for more than 680,000 of the mail-in votes that were counted. Normally, mail-in or absentee votes go through a process with a Democrat observer, Republican observer, and an election official and they all verify the vote without looking to see who the vote was cast for. If either observer objects, that vote is separated and goes to an independent judge. This is required by Pennsylvania law and gives scrutiny and legitimacy to the tally. Guiliani says there are 50 different witnesses along with video to show that for more than 650,000 votes no Republican witnesses were present.
A lawsuit was filed Monday with regard to these claims. The focus is on Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Lackawanna county. “As an example of how brazen the Philadelphia Democrat machine is,” Giuliani said, “former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier voted in the 2018 election. He died on Nov. 7, 2011! Donald Trump’s election night 800,000 lead was wiped out by hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots counted without any Republican observer. Why were Republicans excluded? Tweet me your guess, while I go prove it in court.”
Other Pennsylvania irregularities
Additional irregularities also abound. For example, podcast host Steven Crowder gave the Trump legal team a list of 16,000 people born before 1902 voting in Pennsylvania. These challenges will work in tandem with the legal effort already underway with regard to non-authorized Pennsylvanian officials disregarding election law in the 2020 count, and giving unequal preference to Democrats enabling vote “curing.” See details here.
Legally in Wisconsin, an absentee ballot must be signed by a witness who also lists his or her address. A ballot without a witness address is disallowed and must be returned to the voter so the witness can provide that information. Legal disputes on election conduct here will focus on reports that show “clerks and vote counters” in the state wrote in the witness signatures themselves.
Reports say they were advised to do so by the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) illegally, and if proven, the ballots are invalid. The report states, “The WEC sent uniform instructions to voters with their mail-in ballots that informed them that ‘your witness must sign and provide their full address (street number, street name, city) in the Certification of Witness section’ and warned that ‘if any of the required information above is missing, your ballot will not be counted.'”
According to retired Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, “The statute is very, very clear. If an absentee ballot does not have a witness address on it, it’s not valid.” The WEC may know the shaky legality of its directive as it told clerks to write the addresses in using red ink, which would make the ballots easier to locate during a recount. The reports concludes that “The Republican Party of Wisconsin estimates that thousands of witness addresses may have been changed, thus invalidating the ballots on which they appeared. The statutory remedy for this is to subtract a commensurate number of votes for the candidates for whom those ballots were cast, meaning that vote totals may substantially change.” President Trump’s lawyers have said that they will be filing on irregularities with the vote count and mail-in ballots in Wisconsin.
Legal challenges here are similar to the irregularities in Pennsylvania. Legal documents filed Monday detail the problems:
Forging voters on the qualified voter list (QVL)
From the affidavit of Zachary Larsen, attorney and former Michigan Assistant Attorney General who worked as a certified poll challenger at the TCF Center: “As Mr. Larsen watched the process, he was concerned that ballots were being processed without confirmation that the voter was an eligible voter. Mr. Larsen reviewed the running list of scanned-in ballots in the computer system, where it appeared that the voter had already been counted as having voted. An official operating the computer then appeared to assign this ballot to a different voter as he observed a completely different name that was added to the list of voters at the bottom of a running tab of processed ballots on the right side of the screen.”
He also said, “I observed that the secrecy of the ballot was not being respected. Instead, the second official at the table where I was observing was repeatedly placing her fingers into the secrecy sleeve to separate the envelope and visually peek into the envelopes in a way that would allow her to visually observe the ballot and identify some of the votes cast by the voter. Sometimes, the third official whose job was merely to remove the stub from the ballot would likewise remove the ballot from the secrecy sleeve or otherwise peek to observe the ballot. Sometimes a ballot would be removed completely from the secrecy sleeve and then placed back inside and passed along this process. I conferred regarding this issue with another challenger at a nearby table, and he indicated he had observed similar irregularities regarding the use of the secrecy sleeves. When that challenger raised the issue with a supervisor, he was immediately asked 'Why does it matter?' and 'What difference does it make?' Beyond the legal requirements for maintaining ballot secrecy, both of us were concerned that the violations of the secrecy of the ballot that we witnessed could be or were being used to manipulate which ballots were placed in the problem ballots box.”
“A poll challenger witnessed tens of thousands of ballots being delivered to the TCF Center that were not in any approved, sealed, or tamper-proof container.”
No transparency, denied access
“After denying access to the counting rooms, election officials used large pieces of cardboard to block the windows to the counting room thereby preventing anyone from watching the ballot counting process.”
Absentee ballot signatures
“Election officials at the TCF Center instructed workers to never validate or compare the signatures on absentee applications and the absentee envelopes to ensure their authenticity and validity.”
Changing Dates on Ballots
On Nov. 4, 2020, a City of Detroit election worker was instructed to improperly pre-date the absentee ballots' receive date that were not in the qualified voter file (QVF) as if they had been received on or before Nov. 3, 2020
Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield,
Photo Credit: David Eggert/AP
Legal actions so far by the Trump campaign emphasize the sentiment made by Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) Friday. “Every single legal vote needs to be counted, regardless of who cast it or who they voted for.” Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox said in the same press conference, "Irregularities have plagued this process and we are shining a light on them."
In Georgia, former Vice President Joe Biden currently leads President Donald Trump by 10,621 votes, close enough to warrant an automatic recount. Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling said, "We are going to find that people did illegally vote. There are going to be double voters” . . . but an audit will be done to limit risks to voter integrity going forward.
Unhappy with the handling of the count, Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) on Monday, called on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign. They said “the management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state. Georgians are outraged, and rightly so. We believe when there are failures, they need to be called out—even when it’s in your own party.” On Sunday, the Trump campaign tapped Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) to lead a recount effort for the campaign in Georgia.
The major claims in Georgia regard technical problems, which are suspicious since they use the Dominion voting system, which had allocated votes to Democrats that should have gone to Republicans in Michigan. Further, there was a delay on election night caused by a broken pipe in Fulton County, which Guiliani asserted did not interfere with the count, so why was it stopped?
In a press conference Sunday, headed by Adam Laxalt, the former Attorney General of Nevada and Matt Schlapp, of the Republican National Committee, evidence was provided to support their legal claims. Laxalt said voting changes, made unilaterally by Democrats in Nevada, fundamentally changed the electoral system to one based on mail within 90 days of the election. This threatened the integrity of the system. He raised concerns about ineligible voters on the voter rolls in Clark County, and said, “How do you do a mail-in election without clean voter rolls? We have raised this alarm many times and it just simply wasn’t done. Couple that with a lax signature verification system and this is what the result is: improper votes being counted.”
600,000 votes were counted through the mail-in system in Nevada, and none were seen or verified by observers on the Republican side. Also, at least 200,000 votes were processed by the Clark county register with an Agilis machine—meaning no human being verified signatures. Adam said they have documented in legal filings that Joe Gloria, registrar of voters, reduced the Agilis machine setting to 40 percent, and that in order to have confidence in the machine, experts say that it should have been tested months in advance. This was simply not done. Other claims center on voter roll irregularities, with thousands of examples of out-of-state and dead voters, like Fred Stokes Jr, reported here. As well, as an affidavit detailing suspicious ballot drop-offs. From point 9 onward:
Claims in Arizona initially seemed to rest on the Sharpiegate episode described here, but the Trump campaign has sent a team out to keep on top of any problematic developments.
Gov. Doug Ducey released a statement regarding the lengthy ballot-counting process today stating, "We’ve been through this drill before in Arizona. Making it easy to vote and hard to cheat has also resulted in time-consuming efforts to ensure the integrity of our elections."
He added, “We’ve already seen the outcome of races change to a dramatic degree, and some results remain unclear. The President, just like any other candidate, has the right to all available legal challenges and remedies, and we are confident they will be properly adjudicated. We will respect the election results.”
Carol King received a first-class BA (honors) in History and Politics from Stirling University, along with an exceptional commendation for a study on U.S. public opinion and Foreign Policy. She also completed a year of study at the University of London before taking up a Graduate Proctor Fellowship at Princeton University. She further completed an MPhil in American Politics at Dundee University. Aspiring to be a writer/commentator on American politics, she now writes for UncoverDC.