The counts continue in the United States and the announcement of the victory of the 46th American president is perhaps only a matter of hours. But the lucky winner, whoever he is, will not have the opportunity to taste the joys of total victory. Because the American nation seems more fractured than ever and the poison of suspicion about the sincerity of the ballot is already spreading to part of the American electorate.
This is the result, at this stage, of the strategy implemented by Donald Trump since the publication of the first results. The outgoing president chose to claim victory prematurely and accuse his opponents of fraud. He promised to turn to the Supreme Court to challenge the results. Then he called for an end to the counting of the advance votes. But Donald Trump and his army of councils could not ignore that the contesting of the ballot would be played out at the state level. In recent hours, several appeals have therefore been filed across the United States, for various reasons. The Parisian immersed himself in the proceedings initiated.
In Nevada, counting and secret room
Donald Trump’s campaign team has taken legal action in the states most sensitive to his political future. In Nevada, a state that could according to possible scenarios consecrate Joe Biden’s victory as early as Thursday, his lawyers filed a lawsuit on November 3, election day, to put an end to the counting of certain ballots . In line of sight, of course, the correspondence bulletins, rather favorable to the Democrats, and objects of all the criticisms in the Republican camp.
The complaint, filed on behalf of Donald Trump’s campaign team and the Republican Party in Nevada ( accessible by clicking on this link ), evokes the impossibility for the observers of the Republican camp to properly monitor the counting operations. Among all the grievances exposed, they advance especially that ballots which could not be read by the voting machines were transcribed by hand in a closed room, out of sight. They imply that this practice could have generated biased votes, whether through recklessness… or willful fraud. Facts serious enough according to them to put an end to the counting operations.
This complaint only concerns Clark County (which includes the city of Las Vegas), which leans towards Democracy. This sparked some irony among Biden’s teams, who argued that these challenges strangely hadn’t been brought to counties instead voting for Republicans.
It only took a few hours for the district court to dismiss this request. The judges ruled that the plaintiffs had not provided any evidence that would support their accusations.
Not wishing to drop the case, Republicans turned to the Supreme Court to demand an immediate end to the counting of ballots in the county. A demand rejected again by the highest authority, who said that he did not have sufficient information to make such a clear and immediate decision.
In Michigan, CCTV conflict
Despite Nevada’s unfavorable rulings, Donald Trump’s campaign teams announced Wednesday that they have taken action in Michigan to end recounts in the long-contested state. The final results should be communicated during the day and Joe Biden should officially win the 16 seats of the voters at stake.
As in Nevada, the complaint alleges an impediment in the control of counting operations, while observers are said to be denied access to many counting places.
Some charges are more specific. The complaint ( accessible by clicking on this link ) directly accuses the State of Michigan of violating the law. These allegations relate to the fact that the state did not grant observers appointed by the parties access to CCTV images of the thirty ballot boxes scattered around the city to collect ballots by correspondence. The complainants therefore demand that the count be suspended until access to these images is guaranteed.
Another grievance put forward: the fact that counting was launched in the absence of party observers. On Wednesday, strong tensions erupted in front of a counting center in Detroit, where Republican observers claim to have been prevented from entering the scene. These restrictions were justified by health constraints. They also concerned Democratic observers just as much. But the commotion escalated further when signs were posted on the windows behind which were observers. An election commissioner tried to calm the crowd by ensuring that observers from each party were present, information confirmed by the AP agency. In vain.
The controversy over “corrected” ballots in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, a dispute was brought before the polls even began. The Republicans thus hoped to challenge a change in electoral rules. To adapt to the explosion in the use of postal voting, the authorities had decided to tolerate ballots that would arrive up to three days after the November 3 ballot. And this even if the ballots in question would arrive without a legible postmark.
The Republicans tried to challenge these rules a few weeks before voting day before the US Supreme Coup. But the highest authority refused to take any urgent decision, without ruling out the possibility of subsequently invalidating this three-day period. It remains to be seen, if this were the case, what would be the consequences of such a decision for the current election.
Far from being resigned by this failure, Donald Trump’s lawyers are keeping the pressure on. A new complaint ( accessible by clicking on this link ) was tabled by the campaign team, demanding that many ballots be disregarded. In Pennsylvania, some voters who had chosen to vote before November 3 by mail were indeed contacted because their ballot had been identified as invalid. Because the signature was missing, or the envelope used was inappropriate. These voters were allowed to issue a new ballot, on time, respecting all the rules in force.
For the advice of the incumbent president, such a practice contravenes the local electoral code, which prohibits election officials from “disclosing the results” of the poll before polls close. They also base their claims on a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that “mail-order voters ‘have no opportunity to remedy’ perceived shortcomings in a timely manner.”
At a press conference on Tuesday evening, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar defended herself against any breach of the law and defended the need to “allow every voter to have the opportunity to have their vote counted” . She further argues that the practice concerns a small number of voters and that the consequences of any court decision will be marginal.
Georgia and the mix of 53 ballots
Georgia, whose results are eagerly awaited and which would become a catch of choice if the state switches to the Democratic side, is also at the heart of the attentions. The ballot there is tighter than ever, with a gap of less than 20,000 votes as of this writing.
The gap could be so small that the most anecdotal litigation could make the difference. On November 3, a complaint ( accessible by clicking on this link ) was tabled by the local Republican Party to call for the segregation of all ballots that arrived in Chatham County that day after 7 p.m.
The complainants believe that the chain of custody of ballots is not guaranteed. As proof, they accuse electoral agents of having irregularly mixed 53 ballot papers arrived after the close of the offices in a batch of ballots arrived on time.
The complaint cites an observer, a certain “Mr. Pumphrey”, who allegedly noted irregularities. Under oath, the latter declares having “seen an employee bring a stack of ballot papers from a back room before placing them on a table near the trash cans”. On this table were the 53 ballots that arrived late. The man said he was away and noticed that the stack of ballots had disappeared on his return. What to suppose according to him that the irregular ballots were mixed with ballots considered valid.
An argument swept aside by county election supervisor Russel Bridges to local media. “There is control over everything that moves in this building,” he explains. If someone mixed or moved something, it would already be recorded and taken into account. ” Interviewed by the New York Times Richard Barron, the Chief Electoral Officer of a neighboring riding, goes even further in this matter. Referring to the rules in force in his own county, he believes that ballots arriving after 7 p.m. are anyway valid, as soon as they arrive on November 3.
Recount in Wisconsin
Donald Trump undoubtedly remembers the conditions of his victory in 2016. That year, he succeeded in winning the state of Wisconsin from the Democrats, unheard of since 1984. A recount organized in this state at the request of the Democrats had come to increase its advantage by some 131 votes.
This time, the outgoing president is at a disadvantage. The latest projections give his opponent Joe Biden the winner by a very narrow margin, just over 20,000 votes with over 99% of the ballots counted.
Even before Joe Biden was officially declared the winner in Wisconsin, the president’s campaign team signaled its intention to call for a recount of the votes. It is also perfectly justified to do so since local legislation wants this request to be admissible as soon as the difference between the two candidates is less than one percentage point. At the time of this publication, it was 0.6 percentage point.
Too large a gap, however, to get a free recount, which is only possible for a gap of less than 0.25 percentage point. The Republicans will therefore have to get their hands on the wallet.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr