While the states continued the vote count on Wednesday and there was still no clear winner in the presidential election, President Donald Trump’s campaign launched a series of lawsuits related to the vote count.
In addition to the election-related lawsuits filed in Georgia and Nevada, the campaign filed two lawsuits for lack of transparency in the Michigan and Pennsylvania elections, two contested states in which Trump campaign officials demanded that the counting of ballots be halted until the alleged problems could be resolved.
But heads of state and electoral law experts have stated that the campaign’s accusations are unfounded.
“The Trump campaign’s allegations are unfounded, and we will respond accordingly in court,” Ryan Jarvi, press secretary for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, told Washington Newsday.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf also criticized the Trump campaign’s lawsuit during a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “This afternoon, the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit to stop the counting of ballots in Pennsylvania. This is just wrong,” Wolf said. “It violates the most basic principles of our democracy. It deprives every American citizen of the right to vote for the election of our leaders.
Wolf said that the election officials will continue counting the ballots and that his government will fight attempts to disenfranchise those who vote either before or on election day.
“Let me make one thing clear: Every vote will be counted in Pennsylvania,” the governor said.
In a statement he told Washington Newsday, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it was reviewing the legal challenges to the Trump campaign.
“We are analyzing this latest submission and deciding if we can get involved,” said Andy Hoover, spokesman for the ACLU Pennsylvania. “We want every eligible voter who has cast a vote in Pennsylvania to have their vote counted.
Clifford Levine, a lawyer with a background in electoral law with Denton’s law firm, told Washington Newsday that key legislative texts discussed in the courts earlier this year have already resolved most of the issues surrounding Pennsylvania’s electoral process.
Speaking about the Trump campaign’s lawsuit alleging that Democratic election officials “hide” the counting of ballots from Republican election observers, Levine noted that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had already clarified that the state’s electoral code governing election observers does not allow them to conduct a signature-by-signature review of returned ballots.
The Pennsylvania lawsuit and other legal efforts that the Trump campaign launched this week in the state “openly reflect a candidate who is behind in the polls and is trying to throw everything up against the wall and hope that something sticks,” Levine said.
As in other states not yet called, the outstanding ballots in Pennsylvania were submitted by mail and could not be counted by election officials until election day. “It would be grossly unfair to the voters to say that because your ballots were at the bottom of the pile, your votes don’t count,” Levine said.
By Wednesday night, about 88 percent of the Pennsylvania vote was counted, with Trump ahead of Biden by about 3 points. At the national level, Biden had a 264-214-point advantage over Trump in Wednesday night’s election; 270 are needed to win the presidency.
While the outcome of Wednesday’s 20 Pennsylvania votes was still unknown, Associated Press and several major media called for Biden earlier in the day and gave him 16 votes. Shortly after Trump’s campaign announced her lawsuit to try to stop the counting of Michigan’s votes, Trump supporters at the TCF Center, a convention center in downtown Detroit, began protesting against the counting efforts and called on election workers to “stop the counting.
“President Trump’s campaign has not been given meaningful access to numerous counting sites to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process as guaranteed by law in Michigan,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement. “We filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to stop the counting process until meaningful access is granted. We are also calling for a review of the Sti