President Donald Trump has still not conceded his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, but his attempt to reverse the election results erupted last week.
The lawsuits of the Trump campaign and its allies have failed. The main swing states that Biden won confirmed their results on time. And GOP lawmakers don’t seem to be trying seriously to disrupt voter nominations.
Trump, of course, is still trying his best to cast doubt on the results by making false claims about large-scale electoral fraud. His latest gimmick is his legal team working with sympathetic Republican lawmakers in key states to hold press events highlighting alleged electoral irregularities. But no GOP-controlled legislature in a state won by Biden appears to be making serious efforts to reverse the outcome (a move that would pose many practical and legal obstacles).
However, the deadline for federal law to finalize the results is December 8th through Tuesday of next week. Then the members of the electoral college will meet (separately in each state) to cast their votes on December 14, two weeks from today. They will cast the votes that will officially make Biden the next president. And Trump has not yet managed to disrupt this process.
State certifications are on schedule
There were six major swing states that Biden won with small margins that Trump had hoped to compromise certification of results (certification is when a state makes its results official).
Four of those six states – Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Nevada – have confirmed their results in the past week and a half, with Biden winning. A fifth – Arizona – confirmed Biden’s win on Monday. And the last major swing state, Wisconsin, will confirm Biden’s win as early as Monday.
Trump made political, procedural, and legal attempts to delay or compromise these certifications, but those efforts have consistently failed.
Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rejected attempts by the Trump team to get him to support fictional claims of widespread election fraud in the state. In Michigan last week, Trump allies’ attempts to get two Republicans on the State Board of Canvassers to block certification for similar reasons failed (one of them supported this).
In most other states, Democrats were the primary responsible for certifying the results, so Trump could only hope a judge will step in and block the certification. Nobody has – so the Trump team’s lawsuits flopped.
Recounts did not change the result either. Wisconsin’s two counties recount is complete, and Biden’s lead of approximately 20,000 votes has been increased by 87 votes. Georgia’s new machine count is not yet complete, but Biden’s 12,000-vote lead is not expected to change as the ballot papers have already been hand-checked.
No state parliament is seriously trying to steal the election for Trump
After states confirm their results, the next step in the process is to nominate voters. And that’s the key – voters are the 538 people who make up the electoral college and cast the votes that will officially determine the next president.
If Biden wins a state, he is entitled to have his selected group of people nominated as voters for that state.
However, some Republicans have accepted the theory that the Constitution empowers state lawmakers to ignore the outcome of the vote in their states and instead appoint whoever they want.
Any attempt to do this would violate various state and arguably federal laws. In essence, lawmakers would argue that the power given them by the Constitution enables them to ignore these existing laws.
Some GOP lawmakers have actually voted in favor, such as Senator Doug Mastriano of Pennsylvania (who met with Trump last week before abruptly leaving the meeting after being told he tested positive for Covid-19) .
There is growing evidence that the PA’s presidential election was compromised. If so, Article II, Section 1.2 of the US Constitution gives the legislature sole power to determine the manner in which delegates are selected to the electoral college. (1)
– Senator Doug Mastriano (@SenMastriano) November 28, 2020
But GOP lawmakers have not spoken out in favor of this effort, and most have said outright that they will not. Pennsylvania lawmakers have no plans to put this on their legislative agenda. And Michigan’s Republican leaders left a meeting with Trump earlier this month, saying they would “obey the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s voters”.
And while Trump’s legal team has been working with Allied lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Arizona for the past few days to hold alleged “hearings” on electoral irregularities, these were not official hearings – they were essentially press stunts.
With neither certification officials nor Republican lawmakers willing to try to steal the election for Trump, the president’s attempt to do just that appears dead in the water.
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