12/17: The Road Ahead

As 2020 approaches its finale, there’s still work to be done before the curtain closes. A pair of notable opinion pieces today laid out the road ahead, as fraudulent attempts to undermine the election persisted. Federal judges rejected two lawsuits seeking to change Georgia’s absentee voting procedures ahead of two Senate runoff elections next month, and Michigan conducted a post-election audit of Antrim County, which was at the center of fraud conspiracies in the state.

Here’s your daily update:

National Update

A Nation of Laws: In the aftermath of the election, with the electoral votes counted and the justices off on their four-week winter recess, New York Times opinion writer Linda Greenhouse discusses Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s assessment of SCOTUS’s refusal to hear the claims in Texas v. Pennsylvania. The Court, according to AG Nessel, delivered “an important reminder that we are a nation of laws, and though some may bend to the desire of a single individual, the courts may not.” Greenhouse says AG Nessel may have given the Court too much credit, because the Texas case was so patently absurd (Greenhouse compares it to a request for the Court to “declare the moon to be made of green cheese”). Nonetheless, Greenhouse agrees that the sentiment is one “we needed to hear” and that we should “celebrate the judges who were there when we needed them.” Read more here

Really Just Johnson: As frequent readers of the VPP Update know well, significant fraud was never identified in the 2020 election. According to Washington Post’s Dana Millbank, the only fraud being perpetrated is by Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Through it all, Johnson continues to forge ahead with his fraudulent attempt to undermine the election — and the credibility of elections in the United States generally. Read more here.

State Updates

Georgia: Federal judges dismissed two Republican lawsuits Thursday that sought to change the rules for absentee voting in Georgia ahead of the January 5th run-off. In the first case, a federal judge rejected a lawsuit that sought to eliminate the use of absentee ballot drop boxes in Georgia. In the second, a federal judge dismissed a request by the state’s two Republican incumbent U.S. senators – Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue – for more scrutiny of signature matching for absentee ballots. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the lawsuits are part of an extraordinary effort by Republicans to ask courts to change the rules for absentee ballots amid the runoff election that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. Notably, more than 423,000 Georgians had already cast absentee ballots for the runoff as of Wednesday this week. Early in-person voting began Monday. Read more here. 

Michigan: An audit of Antrim County election results gave President Donald Trump a net gain of just 12 votes from the certified results in the northern Michigan county, a minuscule  gain in light of unsubstantiated allegations of mass fraud related to the county’s election software. Following the audit, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson tweeted, “The #AntrimAudit confirmed the truth & affirmed the facts: Dominion’s voting machines accurately tabulated votes cast for President. Now it’s time for the disinformation campaigns to end, and for all leaders to unequivocally affirm the Nov election was secure, accurate & fair.”

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