President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit in Wisconsin on Tuesday to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two most democratic counties, a long-term attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in Field State battle he lost by nearly 20,700 votes.
Trump filed the case the day after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Wisconsin Election Commission chairperson certified Biden as the winner of the state’s 10 Electoral College votes. Trump has asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case straight, rather than having it start with a lower court, and order Evers to withdraw the certification.
The state’s highest court, controlled 4-3 by the Tories, is also considering hearing two more lawsuits from Tories seeking to invalidate the ballots cast in the presidential election.
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Trump is repeating numerous claims he made during a vote recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties that large swathes of absent votes were illegally cast. Local officials rejected his claims during the recount, and Trump is challenging procedures that have been in place for years and have never been deemed illegal.
Trump does not dispute any polls issued in the conservative countries he has won.
The Biden campaign issued a statement calling the trial “completely baseless and not rooted in the facts on the ground.”
“The hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites targeted by this lawsuit have done nothing wrong,” said Biden campaign spokesman Nate Evans. “They simply followed long-standing guidelines from election officials issued under the law.”
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Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, said the lawsuit seeks to create a two-tier electoral system in which voters in Dane and Milwaukee counties are denied their rights “under much stricter rules than citizens of the rest of the state ”.
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Trump’s lawyer in Wisconsin, Jim Troupis, said in a statement that voters “deserve electoral processes with uniform application of the law, plain and simple.” When recounting in Dane and Milwaukee counties, we know with absolute certainty that illegal ballots improperly influenced election results in the state.
Similar Trump campaign lawsuits have failed in other battlefield states.
In Phoenix, a judge has scheduled a trial Thursday in the trial of Arizona GOP President Kelli Ward, which seeks to overturn Biden’s victory in the state. A judge lets Ward’s lawyers and experts compare the signatures of 100 mailed ballot envelopes with the signatures on file to determine if there were any irregularities. The office of Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who certified the results of the Arizona election on Monday, said there was no factual basis for conducting such a review.
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Trump is running out of time to make his legal affairs heard. The Electoral College is to meet on December 14 and Congress is to count the votes on January 6.
Trump’s Wisconsin trial aims to reject 170,140 mail-in ballots where there was no written request on file and all mail-in ballots cast in person in the two weeks leading up to election day .
People who vote in person early fill out a certification envelope in which they deposit their ballot and serves as a written document. But the vast majority of absenteeism requests these days are made online, with an elector’s name entered in an electronic journal without a paper record.
Trump wants to throw 5,517 ballots where the election secretaries filled in the missing address information on the certification envelope where the ballot is inserted. The state election commission told clerks ahead of the election that they could fill in missing information on postal ballot envelopes, a practice that has been in place for at least the last 11 elections.
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Trump is also challenging 28,395 mail-in ballots where a voter declared himself “indefinitely confined” under the law. Such a declaration exempts voters from having to present photo identification to vote.
In March, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that it was up to individual voters to determine whether they were confined indefinitely, a designation used by nearly four times as many voters this year than in 2016 due to the pandemic of coronavirus.
Trump also alleges that Madison opened illegal voting sites when the city held events in parks where election workers accepted 17,271 absent ballots filled with voters seeking to avoid crowds and mail delays. City officials said election officials at 220 parks had the same purpose as ballot boxes statewide.
© 2020 The Canadian Press