The Trump campaign’s lawsuit seeking to block Pennsylvania from certifying its election result is based on “absurd” logic contradicted by the facts in its own complaint, groups representing voters told a federal judge.
President Donald Trump, who alleges a vast Democratic conspiracy in his refusal to concede defeat in the Nov. 3 election, has “utterly failed” to produce evidence of such a fraud while seeking to scrap tens of thousands of votes over technical disputes related to mail-in ballots, the groups said in a filing Friday evening.
The campaign seeks “to justify mass disenfranchisement with an incoherent conspiracy theory,” the groups, including the Pennsylvania chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the League of Women Voters, said in the filing in Williamsport.
“We did not establish a representative democracy to ask courts to ‘declare’ who wins our elections,” the groups said.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, an Obama appointee, is simultaneously weighing the Trump campaign’s amended request for an injunction and Pennsylvania’s motion to dismiss the suit.
The campaign seeks to audit 1.5 million ballots in Democratic-leaning counties and subject them to a “statistical analysis” to determine how many may be “illegal,” who the ballots were cast for, and provide an estimate on many should be thrown out.
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The campaign claims that at least 70,000 ballots were probably counted illegally in Pennsylvania because voters were allowed to fix, or “cure,” minor errors in Democratic-leaning counties before Election Day, while some Republican-led counties rejected such ballots.
The voter groups said in their filing that election workers’ extensive documentation of voters who were allowed to “cure” errors contradicts the suit’s claim about a conspiracy. Workers also went to great lengths to help voters cast completed ballots, they said, contradicting the claim that officials were secretly counting defective ones.
“Plaintiffs do not explain why, if these counties were conspiring to count defective ballots, they went out of their way to help voters fix mistakes to cast non-defective ballots,” the groups said. And while the campaign claims that the counties’ curing process was intended “to favor Biden,” similar protocols were used in several counties where voters favored Trump by wide margins, according to the filing.
Those Republican-leaning counties aren’t named in the suit.
The groups’ filing included examples of individual voters whose ballots would be rejected over seemingly irrational deficiencies if the campaign succeeds, including 73-year-old Natalie Price of Montgomery County, northwest of Philadelphia.
“A day or two before the election, Ms. Price was notified that her ballot had been rejected because she did not write her name and address on the ballot declaration, which seemed unnecessary because it was pre-printed on the envelope,” according to the filing. Price traveled to a polling place and “added this duplicative information to her ballot.”
For that, the filing says, the Trump campaign would deem her vote “illegal.”
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Rejecting mail-in ballots from certified registered voters because they were given a chance to fix minor errors before Election Day would be a violation of the right to vote, they said. No evidence has been presented that ballots were cast by unregistered or invalid voters, they said.
“While plaintiffs’ allegations and claims continue to twist and turn, in search of a legal theory that could justify this lawsuit, their ultimate goal has remained the same: to disenfranchise” millions of voters “in an effort to overturn an unfavorable election result,” the said.
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