- President Donald Trump’s campaign said Wednesday that it had filed suits to halt the counting of ballots in Michigan and Pennsylvania, as the campaign demanded increased access to observe the tallying process at numerous locations in those battleground states.
- The Trump campaign also said that its lawsuit demands that the campaign be allowed to “review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access.”
- The announcement comes as the Republican incumbent faces an ultra-tight race against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the key battleground states, and in Georgia and Nevada.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about early results from the 2020 U.S. presidential election in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., November 4, 2020.Carlos Barria | Reuters
President Donald Trump’s campaign said Wednesday that it filed suits to halt the counting of ballots in Michigan and Pennsylvania, as the campaign demanded increased access to observe the tallying process at numerous locations in those battleground states.
The states have a combined 36 Electoral College voters at stake.
The Trump campaign said that its in Michigan lawsuit demands that the campaign be allowed to “review those ballots” … “which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access.”
In Pennsylvania, the campaign said it is moving to intervene in an existing Supreme Court case related to that state’s extension of its mail-in ballot receipt deadline.
Separately, the campaign is filing two legal actions: one aimed at stopping what the campaign called the “hiding” by Democratic officials of “ballot counting and processing from our Republican poll observers,” the other which seeks to undo an order extending the deadline for absentee and mail-in voters to provide missing proof of identification.
As the actions were announced, Trump’s inner circle tried to prematurely and falsely claim victory for the president in Pennsylvania even as the count remained incomplete there.
The announcements comes as the Republican incumbent faces an ultra-tight race against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and in two other battlegrounds, Georgia and Nevada.
At the time the suits were announced, NBC News was reporting that Biden was leading Trump by 49.5% of the votes cast in Michigan, compared to 48.8% percent for Trump, a margin of fewer than 38,000 votes.
A total of 94% of the ballots in the state had been counted so far. There are 16 Electoral College votes up for grabs in Michigan.
In Pennsylvania, where 20 Electoral College votes are at stake, Trump was leading by 3,099,477 votes, or 52.3%, compared to 2,745,468 votes, or 46.4% for Biden. A total of 83% of the expected votes had been tallied in Pennsylvania, which does not expect to have a final result for days.
NBC News has the current Electoral College vote tally at 237 for Biden and 214 for Trump. To win the presidency, a candidate must reach at least 270 Electoral College votes.WATCH NOWVIDEO02:27Michigan becomes major battleground state between Biden and Trump as officials count ballots
The suits were announced as Trump suggested, without any evidence, that Michigan had “found” ballots to deny a victory to John James, the Republican nominee for the Senate race in Michigan.
“As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely tight as we always knew it would be,” said Bill Stepien, Trump 2020 campaign manager.
“President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law,” Stepien said.
“We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted. We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access,” Stepien said.
“President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else.”