Harmeet Dhillon: Republicans fight to ensure every legal vote is counted

Republicans seek to ensure that every single valid vote be counted in exactly the way the law demands

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While vote tallies continue, President Trump is pushing ahead with legal challenges, and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said Sunday he expects to have four or five more lawsuits over alleged voter fraud in battleground states filed by the end of the week.

Here's a rundown of the challenges being pursued in the 2020 campaign between the president and former Vice President Joe Biden.

In the face of historic and unprecedented irregularities in the counting of votes in swing states including Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania, Republican lawyers are suing to ensure the integrity of this election, and to give the public comfort that every legal vote has been counted – legal being a critical adjective the Biden/Harris campaign have conspicuously left out of their public statements on this election. 

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The Trump campaign and state GOP organizations have filed lawsuits in Michigan and Georgia, as well as new lawsuits in Pennsylvania, where the U.S. Supreme Court has requested Democrats respond to a motion by the Trump campaign to intervene in an earlier suit over Pennsylvania’s decision to keep accepting new mail-in ballots for three days after Election Day, in violation of state law.  

This dispute is still pending before the Supreme Court, where the week before the election the court deadlocked 4-4 with Justice John Roberts joining liberal justices in declining to grant an injunction, while newly-seated Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate, citing lack of time to prepare.  

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The Trump camp expects that if the high court takes up the case again, Barrett will participate in the vote so that there is a clear decision on the constitutional question: may a state official or even a state court change a state election law that governs the date by which ballots must be received – Election Day, in Pennsylvania – when the Constitution requires that only state legislatures fix that deadline? 

Republicans seek to ensure that every single valid vote be counted in exactly the way the law demands.

In addition, private, nonpartisan groups such as the Thomas More Center’s Amistad Project are suing in Michigan and Pennsylvania over specific allegations of election law violations that could affect the outcome of these critical vote tallies. 

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On Saturday, the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in Arizona alleging that Maricopa County elections officials gave the wrong guidance to in-person voters who may have had a so-called “overvote” on their ballots, which could be a stray mark, paper defect or mistaken marking of two choices instead of one.   

Instead of correcting their ballots with the voter still there, officials apparently unfamiliar with new voting machines instructed the voters to hit an override green button on the machines that caused their votes to be discarded. Given that the race had tightened to an under 19,000 vote difference on Nov. 7, with over 100,000 votes remaining to be counted, such errors could determine the outcome of the race in Arizona. 

In several states the margin between the candidates is less than 1% – and if there is even a 1-2% error rate in counting ballots – particularly in states where massive first-time vote-by-mail numbers may have overwhelmed election officials who failed to verify signatures, receipt dates or other irregularities, recounts, audits or court-ordered remedies may well affect the outcome of more than one state. 

Democrats charge that Republican lawsuits are intended to “stop the counting of votes” – but the opposite is true. When these Democrat officials – who stopped reporting votes in the middle of the night as Donald Trump was accumulating a victory margin – talk about the Constitution, they are gaslighting the American people.  

Republicans seek to ensure that every single valid vote be counted in exactly the way the law demands. 

Republicans seek to ensure that every single valid vote be counted in exactly the way the law demands. Why would election officials in multiple locations controlled by Democrats seek to block Republican poll watchers’ view of the counting process? There is no valid reason for this. 

Republicans are fighting for our legal right to observe these counts as massive dumps of improbably Biden-heavy ballots continued to turn up and be counted by Democrat poll workers and election officials in Democrat-run cities, including Philadelphia and Detroit – both of which are notorious for election shenanigans. In Philadelphia, the Commonwealth Court sided with Republicans challenging barriers to poll-watchers, but city officials ignored the court order for several hours and continued counting the ballots while keeping Republicans too far away to observe. 

The Amistad Project’s Michigan lawsuit contains first-hand, eyewitness accounts of Democrat election observers illegally filling out new ballots for votes that machines could not read without the participation of Republican observers. These and more irregularities require redress before a vote can be certified. 

The Amistad Project also filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania alleging that poll workers in heavily-Democratic districts gave incorrectly filled-out ballots back to Democrat activists to “fix” them – while Republicans were kept far away and could not witness the “fixing.” These actions, taken with the approval of Pennsylvania’s Democrat secretary of state, violate established Pennsylvania election law. Moreover, because the last-minute nature of this announcement – less than 24 hours before polls closed – prevented rural counties from taking full advantage of the new process, it likely violated the constitutional guarantee of equal protection, even if this abrupt rule change might otherwise be valid.  

These gross errors – or worse – will require court resolution before the public can have any faith in the election results in Pennsylvania. 

The irregularities discussed above are just the tip of the iceberg. Every indication suggests there is far more illegal activity waiting to be documented and challenged: poll workers wearing Biden-Harris campaign gear as they tabulate votes, reports from Michigan that hundreds of Trump mail-in ballots were “misplaced,” and thousands more Trump votes excluded from counts by election software problems in Michigan – software used in several other swing states as well. Are there more “glitches” in ballot tabulations that have been hidden from public view? 

Credible reports of outright fraud are even more disturbing, including postal workers being told to backdate late ballots, and even long-dead Michigan residents being listed on the state’s election website as having not just received postal ballots, but having also completed and returned them from beyond the grave. 

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Every valid vote must be counted in the manner prescribed by law. We knew months ago – when Democrats launched an all-out effort to loosen election safeguards using the COVID pandemic as their excuse – that it might take a protracted effort to reach that outcome. Republican lawyers' fears were well-founded, and we are now fighting the fight we knew might come.  

In the courts and in the ballot counting rooms themselves, we will not rest until we secure what the Constitution guarantees to the American people: a fair election where all the legal ballots were counted, correctly. 

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