U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin, October 30, 2020.
Carlos Barria | Reuters
President Donald Trump’s campaign on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in Wisconsin seeking to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the state, claiming in a press release that voter fraud “irrefutably altered the outcome.”
The suit asks the Wisconsin Supreme Court to nullify and withdraw Gov. Tony Evers’ certification of the election. It also asks the court to order Evers and the state’s elections commission to exclude swaths of absentee ballots, which the campaign asserts are “illegal.”
The plaintiffs, who include the campaign, the president himself and Vice President Mike Pence, ask the court to block the certification of the presidential election until those ballots are cut from the final vote tally.
The suit is the latest attempt by the Trump campaign to reverse Biden’s projected victory in the Electoral College.
The campaign has lost or withdrawn lawsuits in other battleground states that sought to invalidate ballots for Biden.
The new suit was filed in Wisconsin Supreme Court and comes a day after state elections commission chair Ann Jacobs signed a so-called determination of the win for Biden.
That determination came after a recount of ballots in Dane and Milwaukee Counties failed to result in any net gain of votes for Trump. Those partial recounts cost Trump’s campaign $3 million.
Biden, who won the state by more than 20,000 votes, will get Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral College votes. Trump had won the state in 2016.
Biden is projected to win 306 votes in the Electoral College when that body meets Dec. 14.
In a press release, the Trump campaign claimed the “unlawful actions” described in the court filing affected “approximately 221,000 ballots” in Wisconsin.
Trump is falsely claiming he won the race, and is refusing to concede to Biden. The president, his surrogates and his campaign’s legal team, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have loudly spread a raft of unproven fraud conspiracies to bolster their claim that the election was illegitimate.
But in a series of court cases, the campaign has not argued that voter fraud or election fraud were committed. Rather, the lawsuits have focused on disputes over state election rules, such as the distance from which volunteers can observe ballots being counted, and whether mistakes on mail-in ballot envelopes should be disqualifying.
Despite the Trump campaign’s press release, the latest case in Wisconsin also does not explicitly allege fraud. It argues instead that “there was a pattern of activities improperly undertaken that affected the Election.”
The suit offers four examples of the alleged “improperly undertaken” actions. For example, it says that more than 170,000 absentee ballots were “improperly counted” because they were issued to voters who did not first submit a written application.
This is developing news. Please check back for updates.