Rocking the vote
Politics | Election disputes play out across the map
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 11/06/20, 03:11 pm
Having trouble keeping up with the electoral battle in swing states? We don’t blame you. Each state has slightly different ballot counting rules, recount provisions, and lawsuits over everything from mail-in voting deadlines to how close observers can stand to election workers. Here’s a snapshot of the state of affairs on disputed parts of the electoral map.
WISCONSIN: Although the Associated Press called Wisconsin for Joe Biden on Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s campaign already said it would demand a recount. The state’s laws allow for recounts when returns show a margin of less than 1 percent of votes between candidates, and Biden led by 0.63 percentage points as of Friday afternoon. The largest change resulting from a statewide recount since 2000 has been 0.1 percent. Still, the Trump campaign said Wednesday it believed ballot irregularities might have affected the result in the swing state. The president and his team have not yet officially submitted their request for a recount to Wisconsin’s election board since any such move would have to come after the state finishes counting and certifying every vote.
PENNSYLVANIA: Biden took the lead in Pennsylvania early Friday morning, although the race remained within a mere 0.1 percent. That state requires automatic recounts if the margin is less than 0.5 percent after certification. Many of the precincts that have not reported their totals are in blue areas like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, although that advantage might not be enough to push Biden over the recount threshold. The Trump campaign has filed lawsuit after lawsuit in the state over issues ranging from the deadline for voters to submit valid IDs to allowing election observers to watch the ballot count from six feet away, according to NBC Philadelphia.
GEORGIA: Biden nosed ahead in Georgia early Friday, but his lead is even smaller there than in Pennsylvania, sitting at about 1,500 votes as of noon Friday. The Peach State does not have automatic recounts, but it also allows for recount requests if the margin is 0.5 percent or less. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger predicted Friday there would be a recount in the state. A county judge already dismissed one of the Trump campaign’s lawsuits over the count. It alleged that ballots submitted after the state’s deadline mixed with legitimate ballots. Both Senate races in that state may be headed for January runoffs.
MICHIGAN: Biden leads by 2.5 percent with nearly all ballots counted, making Michigan an unlikely spot for Trump to challenge the result. More than that, the state’s recount law only kicks in if the difference between candidates is 2,000 votes or fewer. AP called the state for Biden on Wednesday. The Trump campaign launched lawsuits in the state, claiming it did not have enough access to the counting process and demanding surveillance footage. A judge dismissed that claim on Thursday, leaving the state seemingly in Biden’s hands.
ARIZONA: News outlets clashed over whether to call the Grand Canyon State for Biden as his lead dwindled over the past two days. AP said Biden won the state on Thursday, and his lead remained at nearly 1.5 percent at noon on Friday. The state demands a margin of less than one-tenth of a percent for a mandatory recount to kick in. Some Arizona residents filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming that Sharpie markers election workers gave them to fill out their ballots invalidated their votes. The Trump campaign is seeking to join the suit, and Arizona Democratic Party is seeking to participate in the suit in opposition.
NEVADA: Biden’s lead in Nevada grew Friday morning to more 20,000 votes, or over 1.5 percent, with only 86 percent of the vote counted. Trump can request a recount no matter the margin in Nevada. The state Republican party sued Thursday over potential voter fraud, saying signature recognition software did not have high enough resolution to properly identify voters’ handwriting, according to CBS Las Vegas. Trump’s campaign has also threatened to bring more suits against the state over potential issues in the vote count.
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