Politico

Trump files suit to overturn his loss in Wisconsin


President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit seeking to throw out hundreds of thousands of ballots in Wisconsin, in an effort to overturn the results in a state he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.

Results in the state were certified on Monday, following a partial recount requested and paid for by the Trump campaign that increased Biden’s margin of victory in the state by a handful of votes.

The Trump campaign’s suit, which was filed in the state Supreme Court on Tuesday morning, targets roughly 221,000 ballots cast in two heavily Democratic counties, Milwaukee and Dane, which encompass the majority of Wisconsin’s Black residents. The president previously targeted those two counties for the recount his campaign requested.

The ballots the Trump campaign is seeking to have tossed fall into four buckets, according to a copy of the lawsuit circulated by the Trump campaign: 170,000 in-person absentee ballots, 5,500 ballots that had some witness address missing, 28,400 ballots from voters who claimed they were “indefinitely confined” and 17,300 ballots returned during “Democracy in the Park” events hosted by the city of Madison.

Biden’s margin of victory in the state was roughly 20,600 votes.

Trump’s suit alleges that Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, acted too early in certifying the election results on Monday afternoon, following the state elections board canvassing the statewide results and finding Biden winning.

Notably, Trump’s suit does not allege or provide evidence of widespread electoral fraud, as the president has repeatedly claimed on Twitter and elsewhere. Instead, the campaign is alleging that those roughly 221,000 ballots were cast in violation of state law.

“The people of Wisconsin deserve election processes with uniform enforcement of the law, plain and simple,” Jim Troupis, counsel to the Trump campaign, said in a statement. The case does make vague references to a “higher probability” of fraud with mail ballots.

The Trump campaign alleges that the counties did not follow state law with the largest bucket of ballots the Trump campaign is seeking to have tossed, the in-person absentee ballots, by not having voters submitting a separate written application.

But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that the practice of allowing voters to sign a form on the ballot envelope — which counts as both a ballot application and as a certificate that they are the one filling out the ballot — has been in use “for more than a decade.”

The Trump campaign is also trying to toss out ballots from all voters who newly claimed after March 25, the day the first stay at home order went into effect in Wisconsin, that they were “indefinitely confined,” which allows voters to submit an absentee ballot without a copy of a photo ID. The Trump campaign alleges some of those voters don’t meet the criteria.

When Trump narrowly carried the state in 2016, his campaign did not challenge practices like in-person absentee voting and clerks filling out missing witness information.

Troupis, a former Dane County judge, is actually seeking to have his own ballot tossed. He and his wife both voted via in-person absentee, the Journal Sentinel previously reported.

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