Trump campaign retreats from key claim in Pennsylvania suit
Mon - November 16, 2020
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s campaign is withdrawing a central part of its lawsuit seeking to stop the certification of the election results in Pennsylvania, where Democrat Joe Biden beat Trump to capture the state and help win the White House.
Ahead of a Tuesday hearing in the case, Trump’s campaign dropped the allegation that hundreds of thousands of mail-in and absentee ballots — 682,479, to be precise — were illegally processed without its representatives watching.
The campaign's slimmed-down lawsuit, filed in federal court on Sunday, maintains the aim of blocking Pennsylvania from certifying a victory for Biden in the state, and it maintains its claim that Democratic voters were treated more favorably than Republican voters.
The Associated Press on Nov. 7 called the presidential contest for former Vice President Joe Biden, after determining that the remaining ballots left to be counted in Pennsylvania would not allow Trump to catch up. Trump has refused to concede.
The remaining claim in the lawsuit centers on disqualifying ballots cast by voters who were given an opportunity to fix mail-in ballots that were going to be disqualified for a technicality.
The lawsuit charges that “Democratic-heavy counties” violated the law by identifying mail-in ballots before Election Day that had defects — such as lacking an inner “secrecy envelope” or lacking a voter’s signature on the outside envelope — so that the voter could fix it and ensure that their vote would count, called “curing.”
Republican-heavy counties “followed the law and did not provide a notice and cure process, disenfranchising many,” the lawsuit said.
Cliff Levine, a lawyer representing the Democratic National Committee, which is seeking to intervene, said it isn't clear how many voters were given the chance to fix their ballot.
But, he said, it is minimal and certainly fewer than the margin — almost 70,000 — that separates Biden and Trump.
“The numbers aren't even close to the margin between the two candidates, not even close,” Levine said.