President Trump alleges electoral misconduct in battleground states (updated)


Element5 Digital

A person putting their mail in ballot for the election in their mailbox.

Hazel Booth, Online Editor

In the midst of the 2020 Presidential Election incumbent President Donald Trump has sued three states: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. In Michigan and Pennsylvania, the Trump Campaign alleges that they have been denied the opportunity to witness the ballot counting process to the extent the law grants them. In Georgia, the campaign has indicated its lawsuit is based on their argument that ballots received up to three days after Election Day should not be counted, regardless of if they are postmarked before Nov. 3, Election Day. Trump has said that mail-in ballots will lead to increased voter fraud throughout the 2020 election season and has encouraged his supporters to vote in-person instead.

Beyond the scope of these lawsuits, Trump has indicated his unhappiness with this year’s electoral process via his Twitter account and public statements.  In a statement he made from the White House early on the morning of Nov. 4, Trump declared, “This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country.” He then  announced his intention to take his case to the Supreme Court, to get “all voting to stop.”

One action by the Trump Campaign that has already been decided is their lawsuit against Clark County, Nevada, where they alleged that mail-in votes should not be counted as there was not sufficient observation to verify that signatures on the ballots matched voters’ identifications. The Nevada Supreme Court ruled against the campaign, deciding that mail-in ballots could be counted in Clark County. According to the Associated Press, Nevada has remained an important state in this election since its six electoral votes would give Democratic candidate Joe Biden the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. Trump’s campaign continues to allege misconduct by officials in the state.

Government officials in charge of supervising their state’s vote counting procedures have defended their states’ election security and denied Trump’s allegation of misconduct by mishandling of ballots. Michigan’s Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson, called Trump’s lawsuit a “misinformation designed to sow seeds of doubt among our voters about the integrity of our election’s process.” She described it as “frivolous.” Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, said that the state has “strong security protocols in place to protect the security of our election” and demonstrated confidence in Georgia’s election integrity.

Beyond these lawsuits, Trump has said he will seek a recount in Wisconsin. Legally, he has a right to do this as long as the margin is under 1%, though the recount will take time. The recount can  only be triggered after the board of commissioners certifies the state’s results. Lawsuits in other states may also take time as current election results are unofficial, and the official results, which the lawsuits would have to be based on, will not be available until December. The outcome of Trump’s legal actions against states will likely not come about before an unofficial winner of the presidential election has been declared.

Updated November 5th, 12:45 PM CST

Trump’s lawsuits in Georgia and Michigan have been dismissed by judges in their respective states.