WASHINGTON (AP) – Nowhere in the courts has President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory turn to vague election councils that confirm the vote, as Trump and his allies seek to support the election process, sow chaos and perpetuate unfounded doubts about the census.
The battle is concentrated in the states on the battlefield, which seal Biden’s victory.
In Michigan, two Republican election officials in the state’s largest county initially refused to certify the results, although there was no evidence of fraud. In Arizona, officials oppose signing the amounts for voting in a rural county.
The moves do not reflect the coordinated efforts in the states on the battlefield that broke for Biden, local election officials said. Instead, they appear to have been inspired by Trump̵
Yet what happened in Wayne County, Michigan, on Tuesday was a restless reminder of the disruptions that can still be caused as the nation works on the process of validating the Nov. 3 election result.
There is no precedent for a broad effort by Trump’s team to delay or undermine certification, according to Joshua Douglas, a law professor at the University of Kentucky.
“This would be the end of democracy as we know it,” Douglas said. “It’s just not something that can happen.”
Certification of results is a routine but important step after local election officials have collected the votes, reviewed the procedures, checked to ensure that the votes were counted correctly and investigated discrepancies. This certification is usually done by a local election commission and then the results are confirmed at the state level.
But as Trump refuses to acknowledge Biden and continues to spread false claims of victory, this secular process is taking on new significance.
Among the key states on the battlefield, the counties of Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin have gone through the initial step of verifying the results. With the exception of Wayne County, this process is largely smooth. Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia have not yet signed local certificates.
Then all eyes are on certification across the country.
In Wayne County, the two Republican adventurers first agreed to certify the vote, winning praise from Trump, and then reversed after widespread condemnation. A person familiar with the matter said Trump contacted payers Monica Palmer and William Hartman on Tuesday night after the revised vote to express his gratitude for their support.
For Trump, time is running out. Nationwide, censuses and court disputes must be completed, and election results must be confirmed by December 8th. This is the constitutional deadline before next week’s meeting of the Electoral College.
Matt Morgan, Trump’s campaign adviser general, said last week that the campaign was trying to halt certification in the states on the battlefield until it could do better. on the amounts of votes and whether there will be a right to automatic counting. Trump is currently seeking a census in Wisconsin in two counties, and Georgia is conducting a manual audit after Biden, with a thin margin of 0.3 percentage points, but there is no mandatory census law in the state. The law provides for this option for a lagging candidate if the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points.
Some in the president’s orbit had hoped that by delaying certification, GOP-controlled state legislatures would have a chance to elect different voters, or cancel Biden’s victory, or send her to the House, where Trump will almost certainly win.
But most of the president’s advisers believe fever is a dream. Trump’s team is unable to organize even major post-election legal activities, let alone the large-scale political and legal apparatus needed to persuade state lawmakers to try to undermine the will of their states’ voters.
Claims have been filed by Trump’s allies in Michigan and Nevada to suspend certification. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said he suspended voting in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, the first time he had been in a courtroom in decades. The same day, the Republican Party in Arizona asked a judge to ban Maricopa County, the most populous state, from certifying until a court ruled on the party’s lawsuit, seeking a new count of hands for ballot sampling.
The party is also pressuring county state officials to delay certification, although there has been no evidence of legitimate election questions showing Biden has won Arizona.
“The party is pushing not only for district supervisors, but also for all those responsible for certifying and conducting elections, to ensure that all questions are answered so that voters have confidence in the election results,” said Zac Henry. , a spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party.
While most Arizona counties continue to certify, officials in Mojave County have decided to postpone until November 23, citing uncertainty about the fate of election challenges across the country.
“There are lawsuits everywhere about everything, and that’s part of the reason I’m not in a hurry to anticipate the election,” Mojave County Governor Ron Gould said Monday.
Officials in all of Georgia’s 159 districts had to confirm their results by last Friday. But few have yet to prove that the state is working with about 5 million votes.
“They are crushed and trying to get to everything,” said Gabriel Sterling, a senior official in the Georgian secretary of state’s office. “Some of them are smaller counties with fewer resources and there are so many people who can do so many things.”
In addition, several counties must recertify their results after previously unreported votes were found during the audit.
Once the counties are certified, the focus shifts to state-level officials assigned to sign the election. This varies by country. For example, a bipartisan commission in Michigan is certifying elections, but in Georgia, the responsibility of the elected secretary of state is already facing calls from Republican colleagues to resign.
In Nevada, Secretary of State Barbara Chegavske’s role in certification is largely ministerial, but she still received a series of emails urging her not to certify “potentially fraudulent election results,” a spokesman said Wednesday. The Justice Department was considering a potential case of fraud in the state over voter lists, but an AP analysis found that the case did not appear to contain much water.
In Lucerne County, Pennsylvania, Republican board member Joyce Dombrosky-Gebhard said he would not certify the election in the county without auditing at least 10 percent of the vote to ensure that some voters did not vote twice.
Trump won the county, where the election commission consists of three Democrats and two Republicans. A Democrat on board, Peter Oulett, said he had no doubt the rest of the board would sign the certificate on Monday.
Philadelphia also had plans to verify the results on Monday.
And some delays may still occur, given the devastating workload of election officials this year during the pandemic, according to Susanna Almeida of the Pennsylvania Common Cause, a good government group that helps educate voters and oversee election work in the state.
“Delaying certification does not necessarily mean that there are maniacs; sometimes it takes longer to go through all the mechanics to get to certification, ”said Almeida.
Cassidy announced from Atlanta. Associated Press writers Bob Christie and Jacques Biot in Phoenix; Mark Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; Kate Brumback in Atlanta; and Ken Ritter of Las Vegas contributed to this report.