- The Washington Times - Monday, December 7, 2020

President Trump’s fading prospects of overturning Joseph R. Biden’s election victory were dealt more blows in Georgia and Michigan on Monday, while his Republican allies got a last-minute court reprieve in Arizona ahead of Tuesday’s “safe harbor” deadline for states to certify their results before the Electoral College vote next week.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, announced that his state will recertify the election results after completing three recounts.

“The results remain unchanged,” Mr. Raffensperger said. Mr. Biden defeated Mr. Trump in Georgia by 12,670 votes, or 0.2 percentage points of all votes cast.

A Republican-appointed judge in Georgia also dismissed a lawsuit brought by pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell that challenged the state’s use of Dominion Voting Systems machines.

“They want this court to substitute its judgment for that of 2½ million Georgia voters who voted for Joe Biden, and this I am unwilling to do,” the judge said.

In Michigan, a federal judge tossed a similar lawsuit brought by Ms. Powell. The court noted that Tuesday is the deadline set by federal law for states to resolve election disputes and certify their results ahead of the Electoral College vote Monday.

“This case represents well the phrase: ‘This ship has sailed,’” the judge wrote. “The time has passed to provide most of the relief plaintiffs request.”

The Trump team did receive some good news in Arizona, where the state Supreme Court agreed to hear an election challenge brought by state Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward over mail-in ballots in Maricopa County. It’s not clear how long it will take the court to rule in the case.

All states except Hawaii, New Jersey, Missouri ­— none of which is being legally contested — had certified their election results by Monday. Mr. Biden has 288 certified electoral votes, more than the 270 needed to win the presidency. The Democrat received a total of 306 electoral votes overall to Mr. Trump’s 232, according to media projections from election week.

Although courts repeatedly rejected his attorneys’ arguments, the president said Monday that he had proved his claims of election fraud in the court of public opinion.

“The case has been made, and now we find out what we can do about it,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. “You’ll see a lot of big things happening over the next couple of days.”

The president said his chief election attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, 76, was in good spirits after being hospitalized Sunday for COVID-19.

“Rudy’s doing very well. I just spoke to him. … No temperature,” Mr. Trump said. “He called me early this morning. He was the first call I got.”

Mr. Trump reiterated his claim that the presidential election was “rigged.”

“It’s a disgrace to our country. It’s like a Third World country, these ballots pouring in from everywhere, using machinery that nobody knows ownership,” Mr. Trump said. “The glitches weren’t glitches; they got caught sending out thousands of votes, all against me.”

The president told supporters in Georgia on Saturday night that his campaign had raised about $250 million since the election “because people believe in what we’re doing.”

Mr. Raffensperger, Georgia’s top elections official, said the Trump campaign’s claims of voter fraud have been debunked. He criticized the president and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, for blaming their defeats on fraud without good basis.

“All this talk of a stolen election, whether it’s Stacey Abrams or the president of the United States, is hurting our state,” he said. “Disinformation regarding election administration should be condemned and rejected. Integrity matters, truth matters.”

The lawsuit in Arizona, in which Ms. Ward claims a small sample of ballots and envelopes showed irregularities, was dismissed by a lower court Friday. Arizona results show Mr. Biden topping the president by about 10,457 votes or 0.3 percentage points.

The state Supreme Court said it will decide the case without hearing oral arguments. The court comprises seven justices appointed by the governor from a list derived by a bipartisan commission.

Two of the justices were appointed by Jan Brewer, and five were appointed by current Gov. Doug Ducey. Both governors are Republicans.

Mr. Ducey and state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, also a Republican, signed off on the election certification Nov. 30 by Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat.

Ms. Powell also has a lawsuit pending in Arizona claiming that Dominion software manipulated about 412,000 votes in the battleground state. Judge Diane J. Humetewa, an Obama appointee, will hear arguments in the challenge Tuesday.

In Colorado, a group of Republican state representatives called Monday for the formation of a special committee on election integrity to investigate suspected improprieties and an independent audit of Dominion voting machines.

“Free and fair elections are vital to keeping our republic, and it’s imperative to move expeditiously on this matter, answer lingering questions and restore confidence in the election process for the people of Colorado,” said Rep. Kevin Van Winkle of Highlands Ranch.

In the Michigan case, U.S. District Court Judge Linda V. Parker, also an Obama appointee, said Ms. Powell’s request to halt state certification of the election results and allow an audit of Dominion voting machines would be “stunning” relief.

The judge called the lawsuit a request to “disenfranchise the votes of more than 5.5 million Michigan citizens who, with dignity, hope, and a promise of a voice, participated in the 2020 general election.” Mr. Biden defeated the president in Michigan by 154,188 votes or 2.8 percentage points.

Ms. Powell’s lawsuit claimed Dominion software manipulated more than 280,000 votes in the battleground state. A spokesperson for Dominion Voting Systems has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the 2020 election and dismissed accusations of manipulated votes as conspiracies.

The Trump team did get a small victory over the weekend when Judge Kevin Elsenheimer, a county judge in Michigan, allowed for a forensic audit of 22 voting machines in Antrim County.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, blamed the election challenges for a crowd of armed protesters who gathered outside her home Saturday night.

“As my 4-year-old son and I were finishing up decorating the house for Christmas on Saturday night, and he was about to sit down and watch ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas,’ dozens of armed individuals stood outside my home shouting obscenities and chanting into bullhorns in the dark of night,” Ms. Benson said in a statement.

She said the demonstration was an “extension of the noise and clouded efforts to spread false information about the security and accuracy of our elections that we’ve all endured in the month since the polls closed on November 3.”

“Those unhappy with the results of this election have perpetuated an unprecedented, dangerous, egregious campaign erode the public’s confidence in the results of one of the most secure, accessible and transparent elections in our state’s history,” she said. “Nothing about the incessant and graphic threats made outside my home, or those that flood my social media accounts, will deter me, my team, or the more than 1,600 election administrators across the state of Michigan from doing our jobs.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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