SCOTUS Denies Appeal to Stop Counting of Mail-in Ballots in Penn
Earlier, judges in Georgia and Michigan dismissed lawsuits filed by Donald Trump’s campaign.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who handles emergency appeals from Pennsylvania, on Friday, 6 November, night denied a request by Republicans in Pennsylvania to halt the counting of ballots arriving after Election Day and referred the challenge to the full court to consider on Saturday, AFP reported.
However, Judge Alito ordered the state's county elections officials to keep separate the mail-in ballots that were received after 8 pm on Election Day.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign finally filed a lawsuit in Nevada on Thursday, after having threatened to do so, in what appeared to be a repetition of complaints they have already filed in several courts, trying to stop the count until they had "meaningful access" to counting of ballots, ABC reports.
On the same day, judges in Georgia and Michigan dismissed lawsuits filed by the president’s re-election campaign, halting an attempt by the team to lay the groundwork to attack the integrity of the voting process and to challenge the election results at the United States Supreme Court, AP reported.
Prior to Supreme Court judge’s decision, the state’s top elections official had ordered the ballots that arrived at 8 pm on Election Day be kept apart, USA Today reports. However, Judge Alito’s order came after the Pennsylvania Republican Party said they were unsure of election officials complying with a guidance issued by Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat.
The order is related to a Republican attempt to try and keep ballots received in the mail after Election Day from being counted.
Boockvar had ordered state election officials to segregate mail ballots that arrived between Election Day and the Friday deadline. However, the guidance also allowed the votes to be counted, the Republican appeal said, according to USA Today.
Earlier in Pennsylvania, meanwhile, the Trump campaign won an appellate ruling to allow the party and campaign observers to observe ballot counting in Philadelphia. The order has allowed the President's re-election campaign to immediately begin watching election workers count votes from a distance of 6 feet, in accordance with public health rules.
According to the ABC News, the lawsuit was filed before the federal district court, against Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.
“Irregularities have plagued the election in Clark County, including lax procedures for authenticating mail ballots and over 3,000 instances of ineligible individuals casting ballots. Ballots have even been cast on behalf of deceased voters. Moreover, the public has often been prohibited from observing the processing of mail ballots, resulting in much of their work being done in the shadows without public accountability," the lawsuit claims, without providing any evidence.
A state court judge on Thursday dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Trump campaign that asked for an immediate halt to the vote counting until its representatives had “meaningful” access to ballot counting and adjudication.
The lawyer representing the state, Heather Meingast, said the case was essentially moot because the counting had already concluded. “The ship has really sailed on the relief that they’re requesting in this case,” according to CNN.
Judge Cynthia Stephens said that the Trump campaign’s request is going to be denied in a written order, which will not come today, but she was not convinced of any substantial likelihood of success on the merits of the case. She said she will get an order out tomorrow afternoon if she can.
“What I have is, at best, a hearsay affidavit that addresses a harm that would be significant,” said Judge Stephens. “We’ve got an affidavit that is not first-hand knowledge.”
Meanwhile, a state judge in Georgia dismissed a case lawsuit over 53 absentee ballots in Chatham County after elections officials reportedly testified that all of those ballots had come in on time.
The case had been filed on Wednesday after a Republican poll watcher named Sean Pumphrey said, without providing evidence, that he was unsure if a pile of 53 ballots were received on time, The Independent reported. Pumphrey said he saw 53 ballots kept separately from ballots ready to go out to be counted.
Judge James Bass dismissed the case in a one-sentence ruling.
“After listening to the evidence, I’m denying the request, dismissing the petition, thank you gentlemen.”Judge James Bass
(With inputs from The Associated Press, USA Today, CNN and The Independent)
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