Politics

Trump supporters are dropping lawsuits that query voting ends in 4 states. One other setback to undo Biden's victory

U.S. President Donald Trump replaces his putter when he plays golf at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, USA on November 15, 2020.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

Plaintiffs, who allied with President Donald Trump in four states on Monday, abruptly dropped recently filed lawsuits and challenged ballot papers highlighting President-elect Joe Biden as the winner in those areas.

The dismissal of the cases, which involved all plaintiffs, represented by attorney James Bopp and the conservative group True the Vote, took place in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The cases belong to a group brought in by supporters of Trump and the president's campaign to undo Biden's planned victory in the national White House race.

For the most part, those efforts have failed, and it is not clear that Trump has the chance to take legal action to reverse his loss.

With results for all 50 states forecast last Friday, Biden has 306 votes for the electoral college, 36 more than he needs to win, compared to just 232 votes for Trump.

But that didn't stop the president from claiming otherwise and falsely saying he won the election.

When asked why the cases were dismissed, Bopp emailed CNBC to say that due to attorney and client privilege, "and because I am not telegraphing my next steps, I cannot comment."

It's not clear if Bopp will attempt to revive the claims, but it is legally possible that he and the plaintiffs could do so.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office found that plaintiffs represented by Bopp in the case, seeking to invalidate the Wayne, Ingham and Washtenaw counties on alleged electoral irregularities and fraud, filed the lawsuit before service the defendants had dismissed the suit.

"This case was clearly designed to spread misinformation about the security and integrity of the Michigan elections," the Democrat Nessel said in a statement.

"Our elections were conducted fairly and transparently, and the results reflect the will of the voters in Michigan. Any claims to the contrary are completely unfounded," said Nessel.

Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Civil Rights Lawyers' Committee, said: "We are not surprised that plaintiffs have dismissed their own claims in this case as it confirms the pattern we saw in these by-elections – they are littered with lawsuits unsubstantiated allegations that cannot be substantiated in court. "

"There is no clear or coordinated strategy as these suits continue to crumble," Clarke said in a statement.

"The litigants in these cases have been desperately seeking a judge who could agree with their allegations. These lawsuits are part of a final effort to fuel chaos and discord while undermining public confidence in the outcome of our elections. "

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign speech at the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the United States, on September 21, 2020.

Mark Makela | Reuters

In Wisconsin, where Biden had a profit margin of about 20,000 votes, a lawsuit by Bopp for three plaintiffs, Michael Langenhorst, Michael LeMay and Stephen Fifrick, said the case was "dropped unscathed," meaning the plaintiffs had reserved theirs Right to assert the claims again.

When the lawsuit was filed, plaintiffs alleged that enough illegal postal ballot papers had been counted in the three counties to invalidate the election results.

The Wisconsin lawsuit was filed in the US District Court in Green Bay just last Thursday. The named defendants included three district employees, Wisconsin's election officer and chairman of the electoral commission, Governor Tony Evers and other officials.

Plaintiffs had argued that votes should be dropped in Milwaukee, Dane and Menominee counties because "the sudden flood" of postal ballot papers meant that poll workers could not carefully examine those ballots for fraud.

Law Forward, which was formed to challenge conservative elections and voting-related legal efforts, said the layoff was "an exercise in efficiency."

"This case was completely unfounded and plaintiffs saved the court the hassle of saying so," Jeff Mandell, president of Law Forward, said in a statement.

Biden, a former Democratic vice president, narrowly defeated Republican Trump in Wisconsin with 10 votes from the electoral college.

Biden received 1.63 million votes against 1.61 million votes for Trump, a margin of 49.5% to 48.8%.

Trump has said he wants a recount of the votes in Wisconsin. Georgia will recount its presidential election results because of Biden's similarly tight profit margin.

Milwaukee County voted heavily for Biden, giving him more than 69% of the votes cast. The actual voting margin in that county was more than 180,000 ballots for Biden.

Biden also outperformed Trump in Dane County, which Biden won with 75.5% of the vote.

In Menominee County, where there were relatively few voters, Biden knocked Trump down by 1,303 votes to just 278 votes for the incumbent.

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