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‘I don’t believe that’s by our laws,’ Trump says of counting all the votes in an election

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Donald Trump (Olivier Douliery:AFP)

Repeating his desire for a winner to be declared on the night of November 3, President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday that he doesn’t “believe” tallying votes for weeks after Election Day is lawful, a remark observers interpreted as yet another open signal of the president’s intention to challenge the counting of legally submitted ballots.

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“Donald Trump is planning to everything he can to make sure your vote doesn’t count.”
—Indivisible
“It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on November 3, instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate, and I don’t believe that that’s by our laws,” Trump said before departing the White House for a campaign rally in Lansing, Michigan. “I don’t believe that. So we’ll see what happens.”

It is, in fact, perfectly legal for states to count ballots for weeks after the election; some states allow mail-in ballots to arrive up to two weeks after November 3 as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. Due to the unprecedented surge in mail-in voting sparked by the pandemic, the process of tallying ballots and determining the election winner is expected to take longer than usual.

“He wants to throw out legal votes. That’s what he’s saying here,” tweeted Garance Franke-Ruta, executive editor of GEN magazine.

Watch Trump’s comments:

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Progressive critics and election analysts have long been warning of a “nightmare scenario” in which Trump falsely declares himself the winner on November 3 based on an early lead in in-person votes and proceeds to declare all votes counted after Election Day illegitimate. The president’s comments Tuesday bolstered those fears.

“Donald Trump is planning to everything he can to make sure your vote doesn’t count,” progressive advocacy group Indivisible—part of a coalition planning mass protests should Trump attempt to steal the election—said in response to the president’s remarks Tuesday, which came hours after the conservative-dominated U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the battleground state of Wisconsin cannot extend its Election Day deadline for the arrival of mail-in ballots.

In his concurring opinion in the case, Trump-nominated Justice Brett Kavanaugh parroted the president’s attack on the common state practice of counting ballots that arrive after Election Day—a possible indication that Kavanaugh is, as Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern put it, “open to stealing the election for Trump.”

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The implications of Kavanaugh’s reason could reach beyond Wisconsin. As Stern pointed out on Twitter, North Carolina Republicans are already citing Kavanaugh’s argument to justify their own push for the Supreme Court to limit the state’s absentee ballot deadline.

“Brett Kavanaugh’s stunning opinion last night should be a huge story today,” said Stern. “It cast aspersions on mail ballots. It’s riddled with errors. It endorses a theory too radical for the Bush v. Gore majority. It’s a preemptive attack on our election’s integrity.

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2020 Election

Biden’s lead in Milwaukee increases after Trump blew millions on Wisconsin recount: report

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President-elect Joe Biden's lead over Donald Trump in Wisconsin extended on Friday as Milwaukee finished their recount.

The Trump campaign had to pay $3 million for the recount in Wisconsin.

"Milwaukee County concludes its recount of the presidential election -- one of two counties where Trump sought a recount in Wisconsin. The results: Biden's lead, currently at about 20,000 statewide, grew by 132 votes," Rosalind Helderman of The Washington Post reported Friday.

Edward-Isaac Dovere of The Atlantic did a quick, back-of-the-envelope economic analysis.

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2020 Election

Utah Republican accuses Dems of ‘cheating’ in Georgia Senate runoffs — but his hometown paper doesn’t buy it

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A Utah Republican is facing backlash after accusing Democrats of “cheating” in the two January runoff elections in Georgia that will determine control of the United States Senate.

The Peach State will be holding two runoff elections on January 5th. There is a special election, with interim Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) being challenged by the Rev. Raphael Warnock. In the other race, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) is being challenged by Democrat Jon Ossoff.

In a fundraising appeal posted to social media, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) accused Democrats of cheating in the race. But his hometown newspaper, The Salt Lake Tribune, noted there was no evidence to support his accusations.

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2020 Election

Trump legal team mocked after attacking Trump-appointed judge for being part of the ‘activist judicial machinery’ in Pennsylvania

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Jenna Ellis, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and the Senior Legal Adviser to the Trump campaign is once again being mocked, this time for her near-immediate response to a unanimous 3-0 ruling against the campaign in a Pennsylvania election case.

Ellis says she and Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, have decided that the three judges, who were all appointed by Republican presidents – including the one who wrote the opinion who was appointed by Trump himself – are all part of the “activist judicial machinery” in Pennsylvania.

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