Case Updates Nov 2-6

(re-posted with updates on Nov 11)

By Matt Cooper

On Saturday, numerous news organizations including the Associated Press “called” the Presidential race, declaring that former Vice President Joe Biden had won. Nevertheless, election cases remain pending around the country, including cases filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign. President Trump has not conceded and has expressed an intention to proceed with litigation. Many lawsuits were filed in the days around Election Day, including in the states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Courts rather quickly dismissed a fair number of these lawsuits, though some cases remain active including the cases below, many of which were filed in Pennsylvania:

Arizona:

  • In Trump v. Hobbs, the Trump campaign filed suit in Maricopa County Superior Court, alleging that Maricopa County elections officials violated state and federal law in dealing with ballots rejected by an electronic tabulation device.

Michigan

  • In Donald J. Trump for President v. Benson, the Trump campaign alleged that Michigan’s Secretary of State unlawfully failed to provide an opportunity for an election inspector of each political party to be present at each absent voter counting board.

Pennsylvania:

  • In Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar, the Trump campaign filed a motion to intervene in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case in which the Pennsylvania Republican Party filed a petition for writ of certiorari. The case involves whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court could lawfully extend the mail-in ballot receipt deadline past the Election Day deadline established by the state legislature. The Trump campaign subsequently filed an emergency application for an injunction, asking the court to ensure that Pennsylvania ballots arriving after Election Day are segregated in case later relevant to resolve the legal dispute. Justice Alito subsequently issued an order requiring county boards of elections to segregate the ballots.
  • In the related case of Bognet v. Boockvar, the parties are filing briefs in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on the issue of whether a district judge erred in not issuing a preliminary injunction preventing Pennsylvania from counting mail-in ballots arriving after Election Day as allowed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision.
  • In In re: Canvassing Observation, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is hearing an appeal on whether the Philadelphia County Board of Elections provided meaningful access to the ballot canvassing process to political party observers.
  • In Barnette v. Lawrence, two Republican electors filed a lawsuit alleging that Montgomery County, a populous county near Philadelphia, violated Pennsylvania law by pre-canvassing mail-in ballots.
  • In Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar (Commonwealth Court), the Trump campaign alleges that Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State unlawfully extended the time period during which mail-in voters can provide missing proof of identification.
  • In Donald J. Trump for President v. Montgomery County Board of Elections, the Trump campaign asserts that the Montgomery County Board of Elections acted in violation of Pennsylvania law when it allegedly canvassed and counted absentee and mail-in ballots for which the outer declaration envelope was not completely filled in with voters’ signature, address, and date.
  • In Hamm v. Boockvar, the plaintiffs alleges that instructions sent by Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State to county election officials about providing information to party and candidate representatives during the pre-canvass on voters whose ballots were rejected violates Pennsylvania law. The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ordered the segregation of certain provisional ballots cast on Election Day.