Royal Oak Tribune

Headed to court: Trump sues in 3 states, laying ground to contest outcome

- By Mark Sherman

WASHINGTON » President Donald Trump’s campaign filed lawsuits Wednesday in Pennsylvan­ia, Michigan and Georgia, laying the groundwork for contesting battlegrou­nd states as he slipped behind Democrat Joe Biden in the hunt for the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.

The new filings, joining existing Republican legal challenges in Pennsylvan­ia and Nevada, demand better access for campaign observers to locations where ballots are being processed and counted, and absentee ballot concerns, the campaign said. However, at one Michigan location in question

The Associated Press observed poll watchers from both sides monitoring on Wednesday.

The AP called Michigan for Democrat Joe Biden on Wednesday. Nevada, Pennsylvan­ia and Georgia are undecided.

The Trump campaign also is seeking to intervene in a Pennsylvan­ia case at the Supreme Court that deals with whether ballots received up to three days after the election can be counted, deputy campaign manager Justin Clark said.

The actions reveal an emerging legal strategy that the president had signaled for weeks, namely that he would attack the integrity of the voting process in states where the result could mean his defeat.

His campaign also announced that it would ask for a recount in Wisconsin, a state the AP called for Biden on Wednesday afternoon. Campaign manager Bill Stepien cited “irregulari­ties in several Wisconsin counties,” without providing specifics.

Biden said Wednesday the count should continue in all states, adding, “No one’s going to take our democracy away from us — not now, not ever.”

Campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said legal challenges were not the behavior of a winning campaign.

“What makes these charades especially pathetic is that while Trump is demanding recounts in places he has already lost, he’s simultaneo­usly engaged in fruitless attempts to halt the counting of votes in other states in which he’s on the road to defeat,” Bates said in a statement.

Election officials continued to count votes across the country, the normal process on the day following voting. Unlike in previous years, states were contending with an avalanche of mail ballots driven by fears of voting in person during a pandemic.

At least 103 million people voted early, either by mail or in-person, representi­ng 74% of the total votes cast in the 2016 presidenti­al election.

Every election, results reported on election night are unofficial and the counting of ballots extends past Election Day. Mail ballots normally take more time to verify and count. This year, because of the large numbers of mail ballots and a close race, results were expected to take longer.

The Trump campaign said it is calling for a temporary halt in the counting in Michigan and Pennsylvan­ia until it is given “meaningful” access in numerous locations and allowed to review ballots that already have been opened and processed.

The AP’s Michigan call for Biden came after the suit was filed. The president is ahead in Pennsylvan­ia but his margin is shrinking as more mailed ballots are counted. There have been no reports of fraud or any type of ballot concerns out of Pennsylvan­ia. The state had 3.1 million mail-in ballots that take time to count and an order allows them to be received and counted up until Friday if they are postmarked by Nov. 3.

 ?? EVAN VUCCI — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, early Wednesday.
EVAN VUCCI — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, early Wednesday.

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