Election Day has come, and in theory gone, and although we have a reprieve from the political ads and campaign mailers, the election remains in the headlines.
Since Joe Biden was declared president-elect, the Trump campaign has been working tirelessly to defend the president’s position and to keep former Vice President Biden out of the White House through the filing of various lawsuits. The Trump campaign has spent the better part of the week in court after filing countless lawsuits. Here is a brief summary of the litigation and, where applicable, the results of the Trump campaign’s legal filings.
Arizona: The basis of the legal filing in Arizona comes down to conjecture which, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is a baseless rumor. Social media began the spreading of a rumor that votes were rejected based on the use of a Sharpie marker. The Trump campaign used this rumor as the basis for lawsuits filed alleging voter fraud; the suit has since been dropped.
Michigan: The Trump campaign filed suit alleging voter fraud in Detroit due to an alleged lack of transparency in the vote counting process. Two separate judges have dismissed the claim as baseless, citing no evidence has been presented to support the claims made in the lawsuit.
Georgia: The Trump campaign filed suit alleging that ballots that were received after the deadline were combined with, and subsequently counted, with timely submitted ballots. Similar to Michigan, the matter was dismissed as the judge found no evidence to support the baseless claim.
Nevada: The Trump campaign filed suit alleging that voters had been denied the ability to vote due to issues with the automated signature verification machines. The suit was dismissed by the judge due to lack of evidence.
Pennsylvania: The Trump campaign has successfully won a select few lawsuits; the problem is that the success has brought the campaign no closer to victory than when they started. For example, two separate courts have agreed that local elections officials must segregate mail-in ballots that were given an extended filing deadline of Nov. 12 following voter identification issues. While the victory may be promising on its face, election experts do not believe that the number of ballots affected will come anywhere near eradicating Biden’s lead. Since then, the Trump campaign has taken aim at the larger picture and has sought to stop the certification of the vote for Biden in Pennsylvania by stating that the mail-in voting system was not as transparent or as verifiable as traditional in-person voting. However, even the Trump campaign has acknowledged that it presently lacks solid evidence of any illegal voting. Its argument to court is that if given more time, the Trump campaign will be able to produce facts and evidence to support claims of wrongdoing. This lawsuit represents the newest challenge presented by the Trump campaign, and it is too early to tell if the campaign will be successful in this endeavor. And on Nov. 17, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out a Trump campaign claim that argued Republican observers could not accurately witness vote counting procedures.
At this point, the lawsuits seem to best represent President Donald Trump’s willingness to continue his time in the spotlight as opposed to hard legal challenges that have the ability to change the outcome of the election. The president has made it very clear that he will not concede the election, therefore, while the Pennsylvania suit remains pending, it is likely that headlines related to the Nov. 3 election will dominate our televisions, newspapers and social media feeds well into December.
Andrew Zashin writes about law for the Cleveland Jewish News. He is a co-managing partner with Zashin & Rich, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus.