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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 7 March 2021

Trump and allies begin litigation to stop counting ballots

President Trump and allies have already filed lawsuits to stop ballot counting in key swing states

President Donald Trump speaks about early results. Reuters
President Donald Trump speaks about early results. Reuters

Republicans have begun filing lawsuits in key swing states as President Donald Trump told voters he would challenge a Joe Biden election victory on Wednesday morning.

“We will be going to the US Supreme Court,” Mr Trump said, drawing bipartisan rebukes, as states continued to count all ballots.

Before the election, Republicans and Democrats had already filed more than 20 election-related lawsuits in key swing states that are still tabulating ballots, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Nevada.

Mr Trump's team filed a lawsuit in Michigan on Wednesday to stop the counting of ballots in the presidential election, claiming Republican vote watchers were not given access to counts.

"We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted," the campaign said.

"We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access."

Edison Research said there was no clear winner in the state, which has 16 electoral votes.

Mr Trump’s and Joe Biden’s campaigns have thousands of lawyers standing by ready to press their claims in court.

Republicans are generally pushing lawsuits that would stop states from counting additional votes amid the heavy influx of mail-in ballots that generally favour Mr Biden.

The Nevada Supreme Court struck down the Trump campaign’s lawsuit against a county’s method to count mail-in ballots.

But Mike Kelly, a Republican member of the US House of Representatives, filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania on Tuesday to block the state from counting provisional ballots for voters who had their absentee ballots disqualified.

And Kathy Barnette, a Republican congressional candidate in Pennsylvania, filed a separate lawsuit in that state to stop election officials contacting voters who had their absentee ballots rejected.

Although the US Supreme Court ruled last month that mail-in ballots arriving by Friday could be counted in Pennsylvania, as long as they were postmarked by November 3, the case may not yet be over.

The Supreme Court could also re-examine a case that would upend North Carolina’s current rule allowing it to count ballots arriving by November 12, as long as they were postmarked by election day.

The 2000 election came down to the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v Gore regarding ballot counts in Florida.

But there were more than 20 other lawsuits filed in Florida alone in the 2000 election.

Mr Trump has appointed three of the Supreme Court’s current justices: Mr Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Conservatives now dominate the high court, with six of them comfortably outnumbering its three liberal justices.

Updated: November 5, 2020 02:45 AM

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