Trump sues to halt vote counting in Michigan, Pennsylvania

Donald Trump. File photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Nov. 4 (UPI) — The Trump campaign filed lawsuits in Michigan and Pennsylvania on Wednesday asking to have the states’ vote counts halted, campaign officials announced.

The legal challenges come as elections officials have counted about 95% of the vote in the Michigan, with initial figures favoring Democrat Joe Biden 49.8% to President Donald Trump’s 48.6%. Trump leads in the Pennsylvania count 52.2% to Biden’s 46.5%, with 83% of the vote counted.

Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, called for Michigan to grant campaign representatives “meaningful access” to observe the counting process.

“As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely tight as we always knew it would be,” he said.

“President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law.”

The lawsuit also calls for the campaign to be allowed to review the ballots that have already been opened and counted.

“President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else,” Stepien said.

Justin Clark, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, said it seeks to stop the counting process in Pennsylvania over what it said was a lack of “transparency.”

“This is the most important election of our lifetime, and President Trump made clear our path forward last night: ensure the integrity of this election for the good of the nation. Bad things are happening in Pennsylvania.

“Democrats are scheming to disenfranchise and dilute Republican votes. President Trump and his team are fighting to put a stop to it.”

WPVI-TV in Philadelphia said there have been no reports of fraud or other ballot concerns reported in Pennsylvania.

Earlier Wednesday, the Trump campaign said it planned to officially request a recount in Wisconsin, where, with 99% of the vote counted, Biden is favored with 49.4% of the vote to Trump’s 48.4%. There’s a difference of about 20,000 votes, within the 1% margin that allows for a recount.

Multiple news outlets have called Wisconsin in Biden’s favor.

Trump may also challenge the counting effort in Pennsylvania, where his campaign is expected to hold a news conference around 3:30 p.m. EST.

“We are winning Pennsylvania big, but the PA Secretary of State just announced that there are ‘Millions of ballots left to be counted,'” Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

About 81% of the vote has been counted in Pennsylvania, which is leaning toward Trump with 53.1% of the vote to Biden’s 45.6%.

Trump has worked to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the counting process since Tuesday night, when he accused Democrats of “trying to steal the election” in a tweet. Twitter labeled the post — along with others posted since then — of being “disputed” or “misleading” in nature.

In a speech early Wednesday, he called the vote-counting, in which the processing of mail-in ballots delayed returns in some states, “a fraud on the American public.”

“We’ll be going to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 .a.m in the morning and add them to the list,” he said.

The Trump campaign hasn’t offered evidence of election fraud or the counting of illegal ballots in any state.

It’s normal for some states to still be counting mail-in ballots — including those from overseas members of the military — in the days after Election Day.

This election, officials expected the process to take longer than in previous years because of the surge in mail voting driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. States have individual laws setting different deadlines for when those mail ballots must be received to be legally valid.


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