Trump’s Path to Reversing Election Nearly Closed After Key States Certify Votes

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Trump’s Path to Reversing Election Nearly Closed After Key States Certify Votes” – below is their description.

    President Donald Trump’s path to reversing the election result has nearly closed after all the key battleground states certified their vote totals and took steps to appoint electors ready to formalize Joe Biden’s victory.

    Trump continues to hurl unsubstantiated accusations of voter fraud on Twitter, but he is now left with only a few extremely improbable options to derail Biden’s inauguration, with the next step — the casting of votes by electors to the Electoral College — set to happen in each state on Dec. 14.

    Arizona and Wisconsin became the final contested battleground states to certify their presidential election results on Monday, making the results there harder to overturn. There’s a recount underway in Georgia that isn’t expected to change the results. A recount in two Wisconsin counties demanded by the Trump campaign ended up adding to Biden’s margin of victory in the state.

    Theoretically, the courts could still step in. But almost all of the cases filed so far by Trump and his allies have been rejected for lack of actual evidence needed to invalidate legally cast votes.

    Even as Trump rejects the outcome, the U.S. General Services Administration has acknowledged Biden as the apparent winner and the president has called on his agencies to cooperate with the transition. Biden is moving forward to assemble his administration, with his economic team set to be introduced on Tuesday.

    The president’s last gasp may be trying to persuade Republican legislators in multiple states to ignore the popular vote and appoint Trump electors, but that wouldn’t stop Biden’s inauguration, said Edward Foley, director of an election-law program at Ohio State University who has studied disputed elections.

    “It’s checkmate in terms of the various chess moves on the board, but they could try go for other moves anyway,” Foley said. “Normally when you see that it’s going to be checkmate, you sort of concede.”

    If all legal challenges are resolved by Dec. 8, the so-called safe-harbor deadline, Congress must accept a state’s electors based on certified results. But even if there are still outstanding disputes in some states, the Biden electors in each state will cast their votes on Dec. 14, and there’s no reason to think Congress won’t accept them when it meets on Jan. 6 to count electoral votes, Foley said.

    That hasn’t stopped Trump from insisting he can still win and raising money off the furor. Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, his personal attorneys, have been holding public meetings with Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan highlighting what they say are election irregularities, statistical anomalies, and rejected claims of voting-machine manipulation as part of an unproven Democratic conspiracy to steal the election.

    “President-elect Biden’s clear win in every state that Donald Trump’s campaign has contested has now been certified by a bipartisan array of election officials,” Biden spokesman Michael Gwin said. “As has been clear for weeks, Joe Biden will be sworn in as president come January 20, 2021.”

    Trump’s campaign and his allies are still filing lawsuits to challenge the election results, and more are expected — especially in Wisconsin and Arizona, which require results to be certified before the election can be contested.

    On Tuesday, the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in the Wisconsin Supreme Court challenging the state results, primarily by attacking practices with absentee ballots in an election system that state officials have repeatedly defended.

    Many of the other claims haven’t been presented in court, and those that have — such as Republican observers saying they weren’t able to effectively monitor the counting of mail-in ballots — have been almost universally rejected for lack of evidence of actual fraud to disqualify tens of thousands of votes.

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    The United States Electoral College is the group of presidential electors required by the Constitution to form every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president. Each state appoints electors equal in number to its congressional delegation. Federal office holders cannot be electors.

    Of the current 538 electors, an absolute majority of 270 or more electoral votes is required to elect the president and vice president. If no candidate achieves an absolute majority there, a contingent election is held by the United States House of Representatives to elect the president, and by the United States Senate to elect the vice president.

    The appropriateness of the Electoral College system is a matter of ongoing debate. Supporters argue that it is a fundamental component of American federalism by preserving the Constitutional role of the states in presidential elections. Candidates must appeal to a broad and diverse set of states rather than focusing only on the few U.S. cities with the highest population densities.

    Critics argue that the Electoral College system is less democratic than a direct popular vote and that the College violates the democratic principle of “one person, one vote.” Thus, a president may be elected who did not win the national popular vote, as occurred in 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016.

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