Otago Daily Times

Elec­toral Col­lege new Trump fo­cus


DETROIT/WILMINGTON: Af­ter a painstak­ing re­count, Ge­or­gia of­fi­cials con­firmed yes­ter­day that pres­i­dent­elect Joe Bi­den de­feated Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in the bat­tle­ground state on Novem­ber 3, fur­ther nar­row­ing the pres­i­dent’s du­bi­ous ef­fort to over­turn the elec­tion re­sults.

The re­sult of the six­day hand re­count of the state’s 5 mil­lion bal­lots had been ex­pected, despite base­less al­le­ga­tions from Trump and his al­lies of widespread fraud.

Amid a se­ries of losses in court, Trump’s re­elec­tion cam­paign has shifted to a new strat­egy that re­lies on per­suad­ing Repub­li­can state leg­is­la­tors in cru­cial states to ig­nore the elec­tion re­sults and in­ter­vene on Trump’s be­half, ac­cord­ing to three peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the plan.

The cam­paign has filed mul­ti­ple law­suits to try to chal­lenge the re­sults in bat­tle­ground states that Bi­den won, as elec­tion of­fi­cials across the coun­try af­firm there is no ev­i­dence of ma­jor ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties. Judges in three states de­liv­ered new le­gal set­backs to the cam­paign yes­ter­day, re­ject­ing claims of im­proper vote count­ing.

Bi­den, a Demo­crat, has cap­tured 306 elec­toral votes to the Repub­li­can Trump’s 232 in the state­by­state Elec­toral Col­lege that de­ter­mines the win­ner of the elec­tion, well above the 270 needed for vic­tory.

Ge­or­gia’s au­dit, launched af­ter un­of­fi­cial re­sults showed Bi­den lead­ing Trump by about 14,000 votes cast, ended with Bi­den win­ning by 12,284, ac­cord­ing to Sec­re­tary of State Brad Raf­fensperger’s of­fice. The state is ex­pected to cer­tify Bi­den’s vic­tory to­day.

Trump and his al­lies, in­clud­ing Ge­or­gia’s Repub­li­can US sen­a­tors David Per­due and Kelly Lo­ef­fler, who both face runoff elec­tions in Jan­uary, have ac­cused fel­low Repub­li­can Raf­fensperger with­out ev­i­dence of over­see­ing a flawed elec­tion, which he has an­grily dis­puted.

In re­marks yes­ter­day af­ter a call with 10 state gover­nors, Bi­den called Trump’s at­tempt to re­verse the re­sults ‘‘to­tally ir­re­spon­si­ble’’.

‘‘It sends a hor­ri­ble mes­sage about who we are as a coun­try,’’ the pres­i­dent­elect said.

Le­gal ex­perts see Trump’s last­gasp ef­fort as un­likely to suc­ceed, but say the strat­egy rep­re­sents an un­prece­dented as­sault on the coun­try’s demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions by a sit­ting pres­i­dent.

The Trump cam­paign has al­ready asked a judge in Penn­syl­va­nia, where Bi­den won by 82,000 votes, to de­clare Trump the win­ner, al­low­ing the Repub­li­can­con­trolled leg­is­la­ture to choose the state’s 20 Elec­toral Col­lege vot­ers.

Sev­eral law firms have pulled out of the cam­paign’s le­gal chal­lenges, leav­ing Trump’s per­sonal lawyer Rudy Gi­u­liani to spear­head the ef­forts.

At a news con­fer­ence yes­ter­day, Gi­u­liani said he planned to file more law­suits and that Democrats had en­gaged in a ‘‘na­tional con­spir­acy’’ to ma­nip­u­late vote to­tals, al­though he ad­mit­ted he did not have any ev­i­dence.

Other mem­bers of the le­gal team floated a the­ory in­volv­ing Venezuela and Ge­orge Soros, a bo­gey­man of con­ser­va­tives, al­though they said they would prob­a­bly not pur­sue it in court.

Gi­u­liani’s ag­i­tated per­for­mance, fea­tur­ing rivulets of hair dye run­ning down his face, was widely mocked by Democrats. Oth­ers ex­pressed alarm.

‘‘That press con­fer­ence was the most dan­ger­ous 1hr 45 min­utes of tele­vi­sion in Amer­i­can his­tory,’’ tweeted Christo­pher Krebs, who headed the US Govern­ment’s ef­forts to com­bat elec­tion dis­in­for­ma­tion un­til he was fired by Trump this week. — Reuters

 ?? PHOTO: REUTERS ?? For­mer New York City mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani wipes away sweat and hair dye as he speaks about the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion re­sults in Wash­ing­ton yes­ter­day.
PHOTO: REUTERS For­mer New York City mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani wipes away sweat and hair dye as he speaks about the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion re­sults in Wash­ing­ton yes­ter­day.

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