ELECTIONS

Trump campaign sues for Michigan ballot access, asks for recount in Wisconsin

Nov 4, 2020, 12:48 PM
Trump recount...
A Detroit police officer stops election challengers from entering the central counting board due to overcrowding, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Michigan state court demanding access to locations where ballots are being counted in one of the undecided states that could determine whether President Donald Trump gets another four years in the White House.

The campaign said it is calling for a temporary halt in the counting until it is given “meaningful access” in numerous locations and allowed to review ballots that already have been opened and processed. President Trump is running slightly behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Michigan.

The campaign also said it would ask for a recount in Wisconsin, a state The Associated Press called for Biden on Wednesday afternoon. Campaign manager Bill Stepien cited “irregularities in several Wisconsin counties.”

The actions came as elections officials counted votes in several undecided states that are crucial to the outcome of the presidential election.

The former vice president’s campaign meanwhile welcomed the ongoing vote count and a Biden campaign attorney said they are ready for any legal fight. And Michigan Democrats said the suit was a longshot.

Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, a liberal advocacy group, said President Trump only filed the suit to stop The Associated Press and other media outlets from calling the race for Biden.

“This is a Hail Mary,” he said.

Republicans already are mounting legal challenges involving absentee votes in Pennsylvania and Nevada, contesting local decisions that could take on national significance in the close election.

Earlier Wednesday, President Trump said he’ll take the presidential election to the Supreme Court, but it’s unclear what he meant in a country in which vote tabulations routinely continue beyond Election Day, and states largely set the rules for when the count has to end.

“We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court — we want all voting to stop,” President Trump told supporters at the White House early Wednesday morning.

But the voting is over. It’s only counting that is taking place across the nation. No state will count absentee votes that are postmarked after Election Day.

Biden’s campaign called Trump’s statement “outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect.”

“If the president makes good on his threat to go to court to try to prevent the proper tabulation of votes, we have legal teams standing by ready to deploy to resist that effort,” Biden Campaign Manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement. “And they will prevail.”

Election law expert Richard Hasen wrote in Slate on Sunday that “there has never been any basis to claim that a ballot arriving on time cannot be counted if officials cannot finish their count on election night.”

Ohio State University election law professor Edward Foley wrote on Twitter Wednesday: “The valid votes will be counted.

The U.S. Supreme Court would be involved only if there were votes of questionable validity that would make a difference, which might not be the case. The rule of law will determine the official winner of the popular vote in each state. Let the rule of law work.”

In any event, there’s no way to go directly to the high court with a claim of fraud. President Trump and his campaign could allege problems with the way votes are counted in individual states, but they would have to start their legal fight in a state or lower federal court.

There is a pending Republican appeal at the Supreme Court over whether Pennsylvania can count votes that arrive in the mail from Wednesday to Friday, an extension ordered by the state’s top court over the objection of Republicans. That case does not involve ballots already cast and in the possession of election officials, even if they are yet to be counted.

The high court refused before the election to rule out those ballots, but conservative justices indicated they could revisit the issue after the election. The Supreme Court also refused to block an extension for the receipt and counting of absentee ballots in North Carolina beyond the three days set by state law.

Even a small number of contested votes could matter if either state determines the winner of the election and the gap between President Trump and Biden is so small that a few thousand votes, or even a few hundred, could make the difference.

Today’s Top Stories

Elections

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson wants his old job back. ...
Mark Jones

Rocky Anderson announces bid to run for SLC mayor in 2023

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson announced Wednesday that he is seeking reelection to get his old job back.
3 days ago
A ballot drop box is pictured. Those wanting to vote in the utah primary election can still vote in...
Sydnee Gonzalez

Analysis shows ‘sizable’ gap in Salt Lake’s west side/east side voter turnout

Voters on Salt Lake City's west side turned out for the 2022 midterms at a much lower rate than their east-side counterparts.
10 days ago
FILE: Former President Donald Trump, seen here on May 28, filed his paperwork on November 15 establ...
Gabby Orr and Fredreka Schouten, CNN

Former President Donald Trump says he’s launching another White House bid

On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump announced that he will run again for President in 2024.
18 days ago
Rep. Kevin McCarthy was nominated by a secret ballot of his peers to replace Rep. Nancy Pelosi if R...
LISA MASCARO and FARNOUSH AMIRI Associated Press

McCarthy wins nomination for House speaker, but grind ahead

McCarthy won the nomination Tuesday from his GOP colleagues in a secret ballot election. But it's just the start.
18 days ago
utah house members...
Elizabeth Weiler

Utah welcomes new house members in both parties

There are three new party members in both the Utah House and Senate, and a full female line-up in the Utah Democrat's leadership.
18 days ago
Former U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the press on the grounds of his Mar-a-Lago resort on mi...
Gabby Orr and Steve Contorno, CNN

Trump is on the defense as he prepares for expected 2024 announcement

It's a concern Trump allies are confronting head on as they privately explore ways to make the monstrous pile of cash he has raised since leaving office available to him as a presidential candidate.
18 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Trump campaign sues for Michigan ballot access, asks for recount in Wisconsin