Saturday, December 3, 2016

Trump Campaign and GOP Allies in Full Legal Panic as Recounts Could Create Electoral College Crisis

Republicans are panicking because the Green Party’s presidential recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania could prevent Donald Trump from receiving 270 Electoral College votes—the final hurdle to the presidency—on December 19.

In the past 24 hours, the Trump campaign and its GOP allies in the three states that gave him an apparent Electoral College victory after on November 8 have filed lawsuits and legal motions to block, delay and freeze the recounts. In the case of Michigan, where Trump’s lead is smallest, 10,704 votes, the state's Republican attorney general is arguing the recount's results should be ignored.

“If a recount cannot be accomplished by the ‘safe harbor’ date [a week before the Electoral College meets], or if it is started but not finished by that date, then the State Defendants must, on or before December 13, 2016, certify to the federal government the initial elector results announced on November 28, 2016,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said in his lawsuit filed against the Michigan board overseeing the recount and its state election director.  

The Trump campaign filed a similar complaint Thursday against Michigan's Board of State Canvassers, saying Stein has no basis for the recount because she has no grievance and no chance of winning—ignoring that presidential candidates, even in minor parties, have standing under state and federal law.
By midday Friday, the canvassers board had met to consider the Trump campaign's motion and deadlocked along partisan lines. That means the recount will resume next week, barring other appeals and court orders. Thus, the Trump campaign’s first legal move in Michigan has delayed the start, and therefore the finish of the recount, increasing the likelihood of an upcoming legal fight over whether the state's Electoral College members can vote by December 19.

But Trump allies have filed even more eyebrow-raising lawsuits in the other states. 
In Wisconsin, where counties started recounting ballots Thursday, two super PACs supporting Trump, Great America PAC and Stop Hillary PAC, sued in federal district court to stop the recount, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s intervention in Florida in 2000 where they stopped a recount and awarded the presidency to George W. Bush. That decision followed the twisted logic that since Florida counties weren’t following identical procedures, Bush did not receive equal treatment under the law. (In Wisconsin, counties have differing voting machinery and local officials have discretion to decide if they want to recount votes by hand or electronically.)  READ full story here 

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