Trump marketing campaign says it’s sued to cease Michigan and Pennsylvania ballots


U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about early results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election in the East Room of the White House in Washington, USA, on November 4, 2020.

Carlos Barria | Reuters

President Donald Trump's campaign on Wednesday said it had filed lawsuits to stop ballot counting in Michigan and Pennsylvania as the campaign called for improved access to monitor the counting process at numerous locations in these battlefield states.

The states together have 36 electoral college votes at stake, more than double the 17 electoral votes Democratic candidate Joe Biden needed as of Wednesday night to claim victory in the White House race.

The Trump campaign said its lawsuit in Michigan requires that the campaign "review" the ballots … "which were opened and counted while we had no meaningful access."

The lawsuit came before NBC News predicted Biden, a former vice president, as the winner of Michigan's presidential election.

In Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign announced that it would intervene in an existing Supreme Court case related to the state's extension of the deadline for receiving ballots.

Regardless of Keystone State, the campaign is filing two legal actions: one to stop what Democratic officials call "hiding" "by our Republican election observers" stealing and processing ballots, and another to try and one Extension of the order to reverse the deadline for absenteeism and mail-in voters to provide missing proof of identification.

When the actions were announced, Trump's inner circle prematurely and falsely tried to claim victory for the president in Pennsylvania, although the count there remained incomplete.

Later on Wednesday, the Trump campaign announced it had filed a lawsuit in Georgia to oblige all districts there to separate ballot papers that arrive after the voting deadline from other "legally cast ballot papers".

The campaign said the lawsuit was spurred by a Republican election observer who reportedly saw 53 late-arriving postal ballots "illegally added to a batch of on-time postal ballots in Chatham County".

As in Pennsylvania, Trump's lead over Biden diminishes in a number of ballot papers in Georgia, where an updated balance sheet on Wednesday night showed the president with less than 50,000 votes ahead of the challenger, about a 1 percent lead on all ballots counted.

In Georgia, 16 electoral college votes are at stake.

Trump is also behind Biden in Nevada and Arizona. If Biden wins both states, he would have 270 electoral college voters, enough to secure a national victory.

In Pennsylvania, where 20 electoral college votes are at stake, Trump was in the lead with 3,099,477 votes, or 52.3%, compared with 2,745,468 votes, or 46.4% for Biden. A total of 83% of the expected votes were cast in Pennsylvania, which does not expect a final result for days.

NBC News has the current electoral college number of 253 for Biden and 214 for Trump.

The suits were announced after Trump suggested, without evidence, that Michigan had "found" ballot papers denying a victory to John James, the Republican candidate for the Michigan Senate race.

"With the votes in Michigan still counting, the president's race in the state remains extremely close, as we've always known it to be," said Bill Stepien, Trump 2020 campaign manager.

"President Trump's campaign was not given meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of the ballot papers and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law," Stepien said.

"We filed a lawsuit with the Michigan Court of Claims today to stop counting until meaningful access is granted. We also request a review of the ballots that were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access," said Stepien.

"President Trump is campaigning for all legal votes in Michigan and everywhere else to be counted."

Biden's campaign spokesman Andrew Bates replied, "When Donald Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by roughly the same number of votes as Joe Biden, or Michigan won with fewer votes than Joe Biden is now winning, he bragged about a landslide," and called recount efforts. " ; sad & # 39 ;. "

"What makes these charades particularly pathetic is that while Trump demands recounts in places he has already lost, he is simultaneously making unsuccessful attempts to stop the count in other states where he is on the path to defeat" said Bates.

"This is not the behavior of a successful campaign. Plain and simple, Donald Trump has lost Wisconsin, he is losing Michigan and he is losing the presidency. In other words," It is what it is. ""

Jordan Acker, a Michigan attorney and Democratic election observer who watched the vote count at the TCF Center in Detroit, scoffed at Trump campaign claims that access to counting stations was inadequate.

"It's honestly ridiculous," Acker told CNBC in an interview.

He said when he got to the center at around 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, there were Republican poll workers in the counting room.

"There's a Republican at every table," said Acker.

"The people counting these ballots are incredibly professional. They do whatever they're supposed to," he said.

Acker said the lawsuit was an act of "desperation" by Republicans.

"They're trying to keep it close enough that they have a way to do a recount," Acker said.

He predicted that Biden Michigan would win, just as the Biden campaign said it would.

A spokesman for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel responded to the lawsuit: "Michigan's elections were conducted transparently, with access to both political parties and the public, and a solid system of checks and balances used to ensure that all ballots were cast are counted fairly and accurately. "

"At this point in time, our department has not yet been notified of this lawsuit by the Court of Claims. If we are served, we will look into it and act accordingly," said spokesman Ryan Jarvi. "Michigan will always protect the right of all voters to have their ballots counted."

Michigan State Secretary Jocelyn Benson said Wednesday the state will finish counting ballots by Thursday morning.

Benson said Michigan is focused on "counting every single ballot".

– CNBC's Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.


Katherine Clark