A lawyer for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign contradicted the president in a court in Arizona on Thursday, claiming that the campaign “does not say that someone is trying to steal the election,” but that mistakes were made “in good faith” in the counting of the ballots.
Kory Langhofer, one of the campaign’s lawyers, appeared in a Maricopa County court to argue a lawsuit filed last week alleging that some election workers “mistakenly rejected” personal ballots on election day, possibly affecting the final ballots, the Republic of Arizona reported.
Trump lost to President-elect Joe Biden with a margin of 11,537 votes, according to the Associated Press Arizona. However, the President and a number of his associates have claimed, without proper evidence, that widespread cases of election fraud and other irregularities before, during and after the November 3 election decided the race in favor of his opponent.
Except in Arizona, members of the Trump team and the Republican Party have filed lawsuits in Georgia, Nevada, Michigan and Pennsylvania-all states in which the president has either already lost or appears to be losing.
“If you count the legal votes, I win easily,” Trump said at a press conference at the White House on November 4. “This is a case of them trying to steal an election. They’re trying to rig an election, and we can’t let that happen.”
But on Thursday, Langhofer distracted sharply from his boss’ messages. “This is not a case of fraud. We are not implying fraud. We are not saying that someone is trying to steal the election,” the lawyer said during the evidence hearing.
Instead, Langhofer claimed that there were “good faith mistakes” in the counting of the ballots on behalf of the election workers, according to New York Times reporter Alan Feuer.
Kory Langhofer, an attorney for the Trump campaign, has just said, “This is not a fraud case. We are not implying fraud. We are not saying that anyone is trying to steal the election”.
Rather, he says that there were “good faith mistakes” in the counting.
– Alan Feuer (@alanfeuer) November 12, 2020
Washington Newsday contacted the Trump campaign to comment, but did not return in time for publication.
The suit filed by Maricopa County on behalf of the campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Arizona Republican Party alleges that the election workers disregarded procedures designed to give voters a chance to correct electoral errors on election day, the Republic said.
Trump’s re-election team is particularly concerned about “over-elections” that occur when voters mark more options than are allowed in a given race. The voting machines are programmed to warn voters if an overvote is detected; voters then have the choice of either requesting a new ballot or casting the original ballot with a warning that overvotes should not be counted, the Republic reported.
Voters who choose to proceed with their original ballots are entitled to a manual check by a polling officer. The Trump lawsuit alleges that the election workers disregarded this step, so legitimate votes could not be counted, the Republic said.
The Trump campaign wants officials to manually re-check these ballots and only discard votes in cases where “it is impossible to positively determine the voter’s choice,” the Republic reported. But officials in the Maricopa district estimated that in the presidential campaign, fewer than 200 ballots are a cause for concern, not the thousands the plaintiffs claim, the Republic said.
A district attorney said during Thursday’s hearing that “99.998 percent” of the total number of presidential ballots cast in Maricopa were accurately recorded, twittered fire.
Evidence provided by the Trump campaign to support their claims also appears to be missing. Langhofer explained in court that the procedure for collecting such evidence included an online form that allowed complainants to submit submissions detailing a falsely discarded ballot.
Lawyers then visited the complainants’ homes to further investigate the allegations and found that a subset of the affidavits were filled with lies and “spam,” Langhofer said. The attorneys did not enter these erroneous submissions into the trial as evidence, but added