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Trump’s Battle With The Courts: A Breakdown of Each Lawsuit by State

Trump’s Battle With The Courts: A Breakdown of Each Lawsuit by State

Donald Trump’s legal team are attempting to contest the certification of votes in key battleground states (including: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Arizona) in an attempt to overturn the results of the election and Joe Biden’s victory.

So far, the president’s series of legal actions have largely been recieved sceptically by the courts and, thus far, it appears that they will not alter the results of the election in any dramatic fashion.

However, we will have to await the results of all of these state and federal cases, and reserve our judgement, until all of the evidence is put on display.

Pennsylvania:

  • JOE BIDEN’S MARGIN OF VICTORY: 68,312 VOTES, OR 1%
  • CERTIFICATION DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 23rd

State Court Cases:

(1) Donald J Trump for President, Inc v. Kathy Boockvar and County Boards of Election

  • RELIEF SOUGHT: THE REMOVAL OF CERTAIN BALLOTS
  • CURRENT STATUS: RELIEF GRANTED
  • NUMBER OF BALLOTS IN QUESTION: UNCLEAR

This case focused on whether the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Kathy Boockvar, had the authority to extend the deadline for voters to cure (fix their ballots from errors) through photo identification.

Boockvar extended the deadline from the 3rd of November to the 6th. Furthermore, she attempted to extend the period by which Pennsylvanian voters could provide proof for their ballots to the 12th, however, failed to do so.

In the case the court sided with the Trump Campaign stating:

Respondent Kathy Boockvar, in her official capacity as Secretary of the Commonwealth lacked statutory authority… to change the deadline

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

The case would be closed on November 5th, after the court would order that:

“Respondent County Boards of Election are enjoined from counting any ballots that have been segregated”

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

(3) Donald J Trump for President V. Montgomery County Board of Elections

  • RELIEF SOUGHT: THE REMOVAL OF CERTAIN BALLOTS
  • CURRENT STATUS: DENIED
  • NUMBER OF BALLOTS IN QUESTION: 592

The Trump campaign would challenge the validity of ballots in Montgomery County, alleging that ballots that did not have handwritten addresses on the envelope were invalid.

The 600 ballots in question would be deemed as valid on November 13th by a state judge, who rejected the lawsuit, stating that:

“that state law does not require a voter to provide an address on the envelope”

While Trump’s legal team would initially filed a notice of appeal, it would subsquently be withdrawn.


(4) Canvassing Observation

  • RELIEF SOUGHT: ALLOWING ELECTION OBSERVERS TO STAND CLOSER TO POLL WORKERS AS THEY COUNTED BALLOTS.
  • CURRENT STATUS: DENIED
  • NUMBER OF BALLOTS AT ISSUE: N/A

Trump contested that the observers looking at polls in Pennsylvania were forced to stand 20 feet away in a designated area.

On November 5th the judge would issue an order that observers should be ‘permitted to observe all aspects of the canvassing process within 6 feet’.

This delayed voting across the State and paused the voting process in Philadelphia so that it could comply with the judge’s order.

However, the Trump campaign would subsequently sue the state as they contended that this order had not been followed thoroughly enough. While a state trial court would deny the request, a state appeals court would side with the campaign.

The state’s high court would rule against the Trump campaign on November 17th in a 5-2 decision, in which the majority would find that Philadelphia had complied with state election law.


(5) Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election

  • RELIEF SOUGHT: THE REMOVAL OF CERTAIN BALLOTS
  • CURRENT STATUS: ON APPEAL
  • NUMBER OF BALLOTS AT ISSUE: 8,329

The Trump campaign attempted to pass through 5 petitions challenging the validity of mail-in and absentee ballots votes in Philadelphia. The campaign would contend that certain mail ballots were unlawful as the voters had failed to write key information on the envelopes, including: their name, address, and the date.

A judge would order on all petitions that:

Ballots containing the elector’s signature on the Declaration envelope but missing the date and other “fill out” information is AFFIRMED as in accordance with the provisions of the Election Code and the decisions of the Courts interpreting the Code.

The judge would note that, ‘the pre-printed ballot already contains the elctor’s name and addres on the pre-envelope’ and would state that there was no requirment for voters to write the date of when they sent their ballot.

The Trump campaign has appealed this decision and we will have to wait to see the final result.


(6) Donald J. Trump for President v. Bucks County Board of Elections

  • RELIEF SOUGHT: THE REMOVAL OF CERTAIN BALLOTS
  • CURRENT STATUS: DENIED
  • NUMBER OF BALLOTS AT ISSUE: 2,175

The case would call for the court to throw out 2,157 “defective ballots” and 76 ballots unsealed privacy envelopes. The Trump campaing would contend the validity of these ballots, however, after a hearing on Tuesday 17th of November, the court would rule in favour of the defendents on the 19th.


Federal Court Cases:

(1) Donald J Trump For President, Inc et all v. Boockvar et al

  • RELIEF SOUGHT: PREVENT THE CERTIFICATION OF PENNSYLVANIA’S ELECTION RESULT, DECLARE TRUMP THE WINNER
  • CURRENT STATUS: PENDING
  • NUMBER OF BALLOTS AT ISSUE: ALL

This lawsuit amassed a broad collection of alleged irregularities in Pennsylvania’s election and would argue that the entire process was unconstitutional. For example:

  1. Almost every critical aspect of the 2020 Election in Pennsylvania was shrouded in secrecy.
  2. The ballots were not allowed to be verified in certain counties.
  3. Democrats illegally returned absentee and mail ballots to their senders if they were signed incorrectly.
  4. Observers were not allowed to check the dates on mail-in ballots.
  5. Trump voters saw pollsters breaking state law.

These and many more points were made in the 105 page legal document presented to the court.

Two separate teams of lawyers, including Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, who represented the Trump campaign in the case have resigned in quick succession. The case is now pending, in which the Trump campaign is now being represented by Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor.


(2) Donald J Trump for President, Inc v. Philadelphia County Board of Elections

  • RELIEF SOUGHT: HALTING THE COUNT IN PHILADELPHIA
  • CURRENT STATUS: SETTLED
  • NUMBER OF BALLOTS AT ISSUE: NONE

On the 4th of November Trump attempted t

o stop the voting in Philadelphia and failed. They alleged that voters were barred from the Pennsylvania Convention Centre and then later admitted they just sought equal access and numbers to the Democrats. In a settlement between the two parties they agreed that up to 60 observers could be admitted.

The case was then dismissed.


Michigan:

  • JOE BIDENS MARGIN OF VICTORY: 147,398 VOTES, or 2.6%
  • CERTIFICATION DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 23rd

State Court Cases:

Donald J Trump for President, Inc et al v. Jocelyn Benson

  • RELIEF SOUGHT: HALTING THE COUNTING OF ABSENTEE BALLOTS
  • CURRENT STATUS: REQUEST DENIED, APPEAL PENDING
  • NUMBER OF BALLOTS AT ISSUE: UNCLEAR

The case looked at three key points submitted by the Trump campaign:

  1. That Plaintiff Ostegren was, ‘removed from an absent voter counting board’. He believed that his right to observe had been ‘obstructed‘.
  2. Jessica Connarn avers that she was: contacted by an unamed poll worker who was allegedly ‘being told by other hired poll workers at her table to change the date the ballot was recieved when entering ballots into the computer‘.
  3. Observers were denied the right to view all footage of the drop boxes before the ballots could be counted.

While the judge would not deny the first two claims, they would assert that it was not linked to the Secretary of State, stating that:

Allegations regarding the purported conduct of an unknown local election official do not lend themselves to the issuance of a remedy against the Secretary of State.

The allegation made by Connarn was attributed to fraud by an ‘unknown individual‘ but with a lack of evident to ‘warrant consideration‘.

However, the judge would deny the third request due to a large amount of ‘hersay‘ in the claim and the fact that many of these issue were not considered relvant to the case with:

 No allegations implicating the Secretary of State’s general supervisory control over the conduct of elections

Finally, the Trump campaign would fail to provide a statue which subjects the videos to review. In the judge’s final statement, they would deny the motion but would state that:

This is not a final order and it does not resolve the last pending claim or close the case

However, the case was dismissed on the 6th of November.


Federal Court Cases:

Donald J Trump for President, Inc et al v. Jocelyn Benson et al

  • RELIEF SOUGHT: PREVENT THE CERTIFICATION OF MICHIGAN’S ELECTION RESULTS
  • CURRENT STATUS: DISMISSED
  • NUMBER OF BALLOTS AT ISSUE: ALL

The Trump campaign claimed that Wayne County, ‘did not conduct […] this election as required by Michigan law‘ and had ‘refused to permit statuorily designated challengers to observe the conduct of the election and the processing of ballots‘.

They would request that the Wayne County and the State Canvassing Board should be enjoined to prevent a disenfranchisment of voters.

According to the Financial Times:

On November 19, the Trump campaign voluntarily dismissed the case, effectively claiming it had won. The move came after the Wayne County board of canvassers, which has two Republicans and two Democrats, two days earlier initially deadlocked on certifying the county’s votes before unanimously approving them.


Georgia:

  • JOE BIDEN’S MARGIN OF VICTORY: 14,172 VOTES, OR 0.29%
  • CERTIFICATION DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 20th

Enforcement of Election Laws and Securing Ballots Cast or Received after 7pm on November 3rd 2020

  • RELIEF SOUGHT: TO SEGREGATE MAIL BALLOTS THAT ARRIVED AFTER THE 7:00PM DEADLINE
  • CURRENT STATUS: DISMISSED
  • NUMBER OF BALLOTS AT ISSUE: 53

There is only one court case in Georgia and it is a state court case:

The Trump campaign would petition to disqualify votes, alleging that there was a ‘failure to safely store absentee ballots recieved by the Chatham County Board of Electionsafter 7:00PM.’

Worse than this, they contend that there was ‘the possible counting of absentee ballots arriving after 7:00PM‘. This was made in accordance with the claim that this ‘dilutes lawful votes for Republican candidates.’

Further claims were also made that processed ballots were added to the absentee ballots, in whcih there are 53 ballots in contention.

However, the judge would rule that, ‘the court finds no evidence that ballots in the petition were recieved after 7:00PM on election day‘ and found ‘no evidence‘ of Chatham County failing to comply with the law. The judge would dismiss the petition on the 5th of November.


Arizona:

  • JOE BIDEN’S MARGIN OF VICTORY: 10,377 VOTES, OR 0.31%
  • CERTIFICATION DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 30th

There is only one court case in Arizona and it is a state court case:

Donald J Trump for President, Inc et al vs. Katie Hobbs et al

  • RELIEF SOUGHT: PREVENT MARICOPA COUNTY FROM CERTIFYING ITS RESULTS AND REVIEW ALL OVER-VOTES
  • CURRENT STATUS: MOOT
  • NUMBER OF BALLOTS AT ISSUE: 191

The Trump campaign alleged that voters were encouraged to ignore their over-vote (when the voter marks more than the maximum number of candidates) and that the officials would ‘override the tabulator’s rejection of the ballot‘.

The problem of overvote was supposedly caused by potential ‘ink splotches, stray markings or inadvertent voter errors.’ There have been multiple accounts pointing to incidents of mismangement by the counters and errors created by the machines.

Consequently, the Trump campaign requested for a review of ‘all ballots that were cast by overriding the tabulator.’

However, on November 13th the Trump campaign would state that the case was now moot because Arizon had finished counting its votes and the margin was much greater than the number of over-votes.


Other Electoral Issues:

Dominion Election Machines

Dominion is the largest producer of election machines, with more than 30 states using them.

In Michigan 6,000 Trump votes were turned into Biden Votes in just one county. Dominion Election machines are in use in 47 Michigan counties alone. If this ‘mistake’ was repeated in all 47 counties, Donald Trump would have won the state by recieving an additional 288,000 votes.

In Georgia there were severe issues with the companies software as well, in which officials still have no explanation for a technological glitch that created voting problems in two Georgia counties on the morning of November 3rd.

Politico reported that a Georgia election official, a local supervisor called Marcia Ridley of the Spalding County Board of Elections, had contended that the issue was caused by a vendor uploading an update into their Dominion Voting system.

Marcia Ridley of the Spalding County Board of Elections, had initially attributed the problem to a vendor’s 11th-hour update to the equipment. But log files for the devices — electronic poll books that poll workers use to sign in voters at precincts — show that no such update occurred to the devices the night before Election Day, Ridley said in a statement to POLITICO on Thursday. However, she said she stands by her previous statements last week that a representative for the election technology vendor, Dominion Voting Systems, told her office that it had uploaded some kind of update the night before the election and that this had created the glitch.

Politico

Data communications experts from the Texas Secretary of State and Attorney General’s Office would reject Dominion machines for failing to meet basic security standards.

In 2019, the state would reject Dominion systems for a third time after Texas officials found:

Multiple hardware and software issues that preclude the Office of the Texas Secretary of State from determining that the Democracy Suite 5.5-A system satisfies each of the voting-system requirements set forth in the Texas Election Code.

If these machines are indeed at fault and have led to thousands of votes to be counted for the wrong candidate then this would be a catastrophy unlike any other in modern western democracy. However, the Trump campaign will have to prove that these machines were at fault in court, rather than offer speculation.

About The Author

Lloyd Watts

I am from Portsmouth in Hampshire and I am currently studying International Relations at the University of Warwick. My main areas of interest in writing are in politics, history and sport. In terms of other hobbies I enjoy playing sports, mainly rugby and I love to game and read.

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