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Here’s where recounts and lawsuits stand in battleground states

As the winner of the 2020 election remains unclear, numerous lawsuits and recounts continue. The President-Elect will be determined on December 14, by which time all states will have certified the winner as outlined by the US Constitution. While media outlets have labeled Joe Biden as the winner, there are still no official results.

Below is a recap of what’s happening in the states that matter.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin is moving ahead with a recount of two counties after the Trump campaigned wired $3 million to pay for it. The Elections Commission on Wednesday night issued an order to recount ballots in two counties after arguing for nearly six hours.

“An order will be issued mandating that the recount take place. This is not a discretionary decision. This is simply what will happen,” Chairwoman Ann Jacobs, a Democrat, said at the beginning of the hearing.

But members of the commission, which has three Republicans and three Democrats, debated for hours over how the recount would be conducted. Some said state law governing a recount contained ambiguities.

Republican Commissioner Dean Knudson said he believed the commission should issue guidance to canvassers that they should set aside ballots that had a correction made to the witness address.

The commission eventually approved an order that made no reference to its recount manual, which has guidelines for how local officials should conduct recounts.

Trump’s campaign earlier in the day filed a petition asking for recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties because of “illegally altered absentee ballots, illegally issued absentee ballots, and illegal advice given by government officials allowing Wisconsin’s voter ID laws to be circumvented.”

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Republicans are asking the nation’s top court to review a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that requires election officials to accept absentee ballots received up to three days after Nov. 3. The State Supreme Court’s ruling created an election rule that was not approved by the State Legislature.

READ: Media expert lays out 4 ways Trump could be declared winner

Republicans are arguing that the court’s extension violates the Constitution as the decision to extend the deadline belongs to lawmakers, not the courts. The Supreme Court had previously rejected two requests by Republicans in this case: one to hold the state Supreme Court decision and the other to expedite consideration of a petition to review the merits of the case. Nevertheless, some members of the court have indicated an interest in taking up the case.

Pennsylvania saw some of the most unusual ballot activity with over 450,00 votes being dumped in overnight hours showing an almost 100% result for Joe Biden – a statistical impossibility.

The Trump campaign filed a motion on Nov. 4 to join the Supreme Court challenge. On Nov. 6, Justice Samuel Alito issued a temporary order in the Supreme Court case requiring Pennsylvania to segregate ballots that arrived after Election Day.

There are also substantial questions about votes processed through the Dominion voting computers, whose software was developed by funding through Cuba and Venezuela.

Georgia

After a reporting error discovered over 9,600 Trump votes had been given to Biden, Georgia Republicans are pointing out numerous instances of similar mistakes in Georgia’s most populous Democrat counties.

Most discovered errors have benefited Joe Biden but on late Wednesday a fourth county in Georgia discovered a memory card with uncounted votes. This time the card showed a handful of uncounted votes for Joe Biden after the previous three cards showed Trump had more votes.

“They did their hand count and they realized they had more ballots than they had votes put into the election management system. They went back and audited and realized, ‘we forgot to upload one memory card from one precinct,’” Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting systems manager, told reporters during a virtual briefing.

Taking into account all the uncounted ballots found during the audit, Biden’s lead over Trump dropped from 14,156 to 12,781.

That could change drastically after results from an “error” are tabulated in.

“One of our monitors discovered a 9,626-vote error in the DeKalb County hand count. One batch was labeled 10,707 for Biden and 13 for Trump—an improbable margin even by DeKalb standards. The actual count for the batch was 1,081 for Biden and 13 for Trump,” David Shafer wrote on Twitter on Nov. 18.

When those 9,626 votes are counted towards Trump, Biden’s lead narrows to just over 3,100 votes with more errors expected to be discovered. Biden’s original lead had been almost 15,000.

Georgia’s audit was scheduled to end by midnight Wednesday but some counties were racing to finish before the deadline. At least 21 counties were still conducting the audit several hours before the cutoff. Officials planned to release a final report on the audit on Thursday. The deadline for Georgia to certify election results is on Friday.

Several recount volunteers have stated publicly that they were instructed by the Secretary of State’s office to ignore any recounted numbers that favored Trump and report only the original tally. Republicans are calling for an investigation into the claims.

In addition, it has been revealed that Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, signed an agreement with the Hillary Clinton Campaign that the state would count ballots using standards developed by the Democrat Party.

Lawmakers are now calling that agreement illegal with some calling for a revote of the entire state.

Nevada

The United States Electoral College candidates in Nevada who pledged to President Donald Trump filed an election contest on Nov. 17, alleging irregularities, improprieties, and fraud in the state’s 2020 presidential election. The contest, filed in the First Judicial District Court in Carson City, seeks to have Trump declared as the winner in Nevada, or to have the election annulled. The plaintiffs allege that the election machines used throughout the state are unreliable, that observers were denied access to the ballot duplication process, and that alleged vote-buying occurred through some Native American outreach programs.

A third party in Nevada filed a lawsuit that had several of its allegations promoted by the Trump campaign. The lawsuit seeks to change the signature verification procedures used for processing ballots. The plaintiffs include the congressional campaigns of two Nevada Republicans and a voter. On Nov. 6, a federal judge denied a request for a preliminary injunction or a temporary restraining order to block the use of the signature verification machine. No other actions have been taken in the case since.
Voter Fraud Allegations: The Nevada Republican Party announced that its lawyers have sent Attorney General William Barr a criminal referral alleging at least 3,062 cases of voter fraud in the state. The party alleged that after cross-referencing more than 60 pages of voter records with the National Change of Address database they found at least “3,062 individuals who appear to have improperly cast mail ballots in the election.”

Michigan

The Great Lakes Justice Center filed a lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court alleging voter fraud in ballot-counting procedures. The suit alleges county election officials allowed various fraudulent processing of votes, including telling poll workers to backdate ballots and not verify signatures on absentee ballots. Several witnesses have filed sworn affidavits attesting to alleged election fraud. The plaintiffs, two poll challengers, are seeking a temporary restraining order on ballot counting. The judge in the case heard arguments on Nov. 11 over a motion asking the court to block the certification of election results, to order an audit, and for a protective order. On Nov. 13, the judge denies the requests, prompting an appeal at the state appellate court. The appellate court also denied the request. The plaintiffs on Nov. 17 appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court.

The Trump campaign sued Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and other officials in the U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan Southern Division, alleging pervasive election irregularities and violations in Wayne County. The lawsuit is also seeking to determine the accuracy of tabulating equipment or software used in the state due to reports of malfunctioning software. The Democratic National Committee and Michigan Democratic Party, both of whom asked to intervene in the case, asked the court to dismiss the case on Nov. 17.

The two Republicans who voted to certify election results in Michigan on the night of Nov. 17 have reversed themselves after saying they were threatened and harassed.

Wayne County Board of Canvassers Chairperson Monica Palmer and board member William Hartmann signed sworn affidavits on Nov. 18 testifying that they voted to certify the election results the day before only because they were promised that a full audit of the election would take place to address their concerns. After learning that no audit would occur, they rescinded their votes.

“Vice-Chairman Jonathan Kinloch gave me assurances that voting for the certification of the November election would result in a full, independent audit of Detroit’s unbalanced precincts,” Palmer wrote, according to an affidavit obtained by Just The News. “I relied on that assurance and voted to certify the election based on that assurance.

Arizona

The Republican Party of Arizona filed a lawsuit on Nov. 13 against Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes and other state officials, seeking a hand count of votes by precinct, as opposed to by voting centers. Under the Secretary of State’s manual, election officials must perform a limited precinct hand count audit after every general election. For the 2020 election, Maricopa County set up “vote centers” across the county rather than assign voters to “polling places” in their precincts, as had been the traditional practice in prior elections. The difference in sampling vote centers compared to precincts is that there are significantly fewer vote centers. The state’s Republicans, hence, are asking for the sampling of precincts rather than vote centers for the hand count audit. The court heard oral arguments in the case on Nov. 18.

–wire services

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