11/30 Daily Update: Back At It in the Battleground States

Published: 11.30.20

After a brief holiday hiatus, the Voter Protection Program Daily Update returns! Today, Arizona and Wisconsin certified their results in the presidential election . As states across the country vindicate the will of the people, the Voter Protection Program is maintaining a resource to keep track of certification, recount, and litigation progress in battleground states. We’re also tracking key upcoming deadlines.

In case you missed it, the Washington Post on Saturday reported the VPP’s poll findings that a bipartisan majority of Michigander respondents believe that President-elect Joe Biden won the state and did not approve of President Trump encouraging state legislators to hijack the popular vote in Michigan. Here’s your update:

State Updates

Arizona:  Arizona certified its election results on Monday, cementing a win for President-elect Biden in yet another state where President Trump has contested the election. Biden won the state by 10,457 votes. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs stated: “This election was conducted with transparency, accuracy and fairness in accordance with Arizona’s laws and election procedures — despite numerous unfounded claims to the contrary.” Elsewhere in Arizona, Rudy Giuliani hosted another hotel ballroom press conference spouting misinformation and attempting to undermine the election.

Georgia: Georgia’s top elections official, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, announced investigations on Monday into potential violations of election law, even as he defended the integrity of the state’s election against baseless attacks. According to the Secretary of State’s office, the investigations are unlikely to change the outcome of the election. Raffensperger has emphasized repeatedly that there is no evidence of systemic problems in Georgia’s November elections. Read more here.

Minnesota: In response to news that Minnesota led America in voter turnout, Attorney General Keith Ellison thanked Minnesotans for caring about democracy, as well as the thousands of state and local elections officials and volunteer election judges who made sure everything ran smoothly.

Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Saturday rejected a request that some 2.5 million mail-in ballots in the Commonwealth be thrown out. Attorney General Josh Shapiro called it another “win for democracy.”

Wisconsin:  Wisconsin Elections Commission Chairwoman Ann Jacobs on Monday formally declared President-elect Biden the winner of the state’s presidential race following a partial recount. Biden won by roughly 20,700 votes. Later today, Governor Tony Evers signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for the slate of electors for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Following the completion of the recount, Attorney General Josh Kaul reassured voters that the results of the recount affirm that Wisconsin’s general election was conducted professionally and securely.

Legal Corner

Clearing the Board in Pennsylvania: Like families across the country, Pennsylvania’s federal and state appellate courts threw out spoiling leftovers this weekend, leaving election deniers with a bare cupboard.

Also, less floridly, the courts came down pretty hard on the Trump campaign’s remaining Pennsylvania cases.

First, on Friday, a unanimous panel of the federal Third Circuit affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of the Trump campaign’s sole remaining trial-level federal case anywhere in the country. Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, wrote: “Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.” The case was Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 20-3371 (3rd Cir.).

Then, on Saturday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reached down, took jurisdiction, and dismissed a trial court case brought by Republican Congressman Mike Kelly and a handful of Trump supporters. The plaintiffs maintained that the state’s Act 77, which authorized universal mail-in voting, violated the state constitution. The remedy, the plaintiffs suggested, was to throw out millions of mail-in votes. But the state Supreme Court – the final authority on the state constitution – was having none of it. The court held that plaintiffs could not sandbag the electorate by delaying their challenge for more than a year after the legislation was passed and waiting until they saw how the election ended before bringing their case. The case wasKelly v. Pennsylvania, 68 MAP 2020 (Penn.).

After this weekend, what remains in Pennsylvania are certiorari petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court that either cannot change the result of the election – as in Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar, No. 20-542 (U.S.), which challenges the status of 10,000 ballots in an election that was decided by more than 80,000 votes – or stand no chance of succeeding.

What’s Left: With Pennsylvania in the clear for now, the Trump campaign and its supporters are down to one or two remaining lawsuits in each of six battleground states – AZ, GA, MI, MN, NV, and WI. In each state, those suits seek to overturn results that have already been certified for President-elect Biden. The prospect is more than a long-shot: There is no record in living memory of a contest lawsuit reversing the result of a presidential election in any state. Stay tuned!

Messaging Guidance on Moving Forward Together

  • We are grateful for the state and local officials and poll workers across the country who made sure this year’s election was free, fair, and accurate, and the voters who turned out in record numbers.
  • The outcome of the election is crystal clear: voters chose Joe Biden as their next president, and as states continue to certify the election results, we get closer to the peaceful transition our country needs at this challenging time.
  • The will of the American people has been heard and upheld.
  • There is much that divides us in this country, but as today’s certifications in key states so clearly demonstrates, what unites all of us is a shared commitment to our democracy.
  • It’s time to move forward, together.

Key Events and Deadlines

For ongoing tracking of progress in battleground states, check our resource here. For a calendar of key upcoming events, check out our timeline here.

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