The president demands to discard the ballots that remain to be counted and announces legal actions “in all the states” where the advance of the scrutiny favors Biden
While the world was still pending on Thursday the counting of the votes, the president of the United States began the day crying out for it to stop: “STOP THE SCRUTINY!” Donald Trump tweeted from the White House as the country prepared for a new day of anguish and frustration at the slowness of the process. In parallel, the Republican’s campaign team announced legal action in states where the progression of the vote favors Democrat Joe Biden.
It is not entirely clear what Trump would gain if he succeeds in pushing ahead with his plan to stop the scrutiny, a long shot but one that he and his team consider possible. Joe Biden was ahead enough states Thursday to win the presidency even if the count was stopped. The Republican’s strategy seems more aimed at sowing doubts about the legitimacy of the votes received at the last minute by mail, which are those that have overflowed the electoral offices. In the United States, it is not uncommon for a tight election to take days or weeks to count those lagged ballots. It happens often at the local level. It is only rare in presidential elections, which by the arithmetic of the States are usually clear in a few hours.
The first leg of Trump’s strategy would thus consist in sowing doubts about this process. “STOP THE FRAUD!” He tweeted shortly after. He then said they had achieved “a great legal victory in Pennsylvania.” Two members of his team displaced there, Corey Lewandowsky and Pam Bondi, gave a press conference in which they announced that a judge had given them permission to observe the vote count. Any campaign team has that right.
Trump also announced that “all the states recently attributed to Biden will be taken to court for electoral fraud.” The president seemed to be referring to Wisconsin and Michigan, where votes cast in person in the early hours favored Trump. Biden ended up winning those decisive states on Wednesday thanks to an unprecedented amount of vote-by-mail in the cities, mostly Democrats. The trend had been anticipated by experts for months. On Thursday, a Michigan judge dismissed a complaint in which Trump’s team sought to stop the scrutiny and access the results tabulation system.
Most of the messages from the president of the United States were pointed out by Twitter as electoral disinformation.
On the strictly legal side, Trump’s campaign attorneys want all ballots in Pennsylvania that arrived after the election date to be left without counting. Pennsylvania considers mail-in ballots valid as long as they are postmarked before the polls close, that is, last Tuesday. The scrutiny of these votes is evaporating in a matter of hours the 800,000-vote lead that Trump had on election night. On Thursday morning, that difference was 115,000. Most of the votes that remain to be counted are from urban areas where Biden is taking a wide advantage, so experts, and Biden’s team, predict that there is a good chance that Pennsylvania will end up giving the victory to the Democrat.
The Pennsylvania Secretary of State assures that there are at least two legal precedents that support the electoral law that allows those votes by mail to be counted. Still, they are being separated while the courts decide. Trump’s goal is to go to the Supreme Court, but so far the highest court has refused to interfere with the electoral laws of the states. The last time, last October 19.
Trump’s campaign team extended its legal offensive to Georgia as well, a state where mail-in vote counting could also give Biden a very tight but possible winner. The argument in this case was that the postal ballots had not been properly stored and had been mixed with those cast in person. A judge rejected the complaint this Thursday morning assuring that there was no evidence that anything illegal had been done. The scrutiny continued normally in Georgia this noon.
In Nevada and Arizona, two states where Biden has led the vote since election night, Trump’s teams cast doubt on the validity of votes because they were not allowed to “check” the ballots. “Votes are not automatically legal until they are verified. They’re not letting us check them out, ”said Richard Grennell, who runs Trump’s offensive in Las Vegas. Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt said that “many of these mail-in ballots are not from actual voters.”
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