US election: All you need to know about Trump's lawsuits
Democrat Joe Biden has been elected President of the United States in the 2020 US election. However, outgoing President Donald Trump has alleged fraud in the election, claiming that he had won. These claims have not been substantiated with proof. Trump has also filed several lawsuits challenging the election result in some battleground states. Here's all you need to know about these legal challenges.
In Pennsylvania, Trump's campaign has filed a federal lawsuit over a dispute regarding poll watchers (people who observe the counting of votes). At a Philadelphia counting facility, a 20-foot perimeter was set up for observers in view of the coronavirus pandemic. A court ruling had said the perimeter should be reduced to six feet. Trump's lawsuit accuses election officials of violating the judge's order.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar has said, "Every candidate and every political party is allowed to have an authorized representative in the room observing the process. Some jurisdictions including Philly are also livestreaming, so you can literally watch their counting process."
Another lawsuit is regarding mail-in ballots that were postmarked by Election Day but arrived up to three days later. This dispute was already pending before the Supreme Court. Republicans argue that postal ballots arriving after 8 pm on Election Day shouldn't be counted. This is unlikely to affect the result as state officials had already ordered counties to segregate ballots arriving after Election Day.
A lawsuit was filed to stop Philadelphia election officials from counting ballots. A federal judge dismissed the request. Two other ongoing litigations include requests to stop counting mail-in ballots in Montgomery County and another to impose an earlier date for voters to show identification proof.
Trump's campaign had filed a lawsuit in Michigan to stop the count of absentee ballots as the Associated Press called the state in Biden's favor. The lawsuit had alleged that officials had not been given access to observe counting. The request was denied by the court. The request in another lawsuit to halt the certification of election results in Detroit was also denied.
In Nevada's Clark County, Republicans had sought to stop the use of signature-verification machines. A federal judge rejected the request. Trump's legal team also released a list of over 3,000 voters, claiming they had moved from the state. However, this doesn't prove a violation, according to Politifact, as people can vote in Nevada if they leave the state within 30 days before an election.
A lawsuit was filed in Georgia's Chatham County to pause the count on the grounds that a ballot that allegedly arrived past the 7 pm deadline had gotten mixed with other ballots. A judge dismissed this lawsuit, citing "no evidence" of improper ballot mixing.
Trump's campaign has said it will request a recount in Wisconsin, citing "abnormalities" on Election Day. This wouldn't require a lawsuit. However, it's unclear when a recount would take place. Normally, a recount doesn't happen until after officials are done reviewing the votes. The deadline for this process is November 17. Reportedly, a recount in Wisconsin in 2016 had changed about a hundred votes.
In Arizona, Trump's campaign has alleged that some legal votes were rejected because they contained "bleeds," splotches" and "stray marks." The lawsuit is under review. However, Arizona's Secretary of State has said it was "grasping at straws." Election officials have said these claims are false.