Does Trump Still Stand A Chance?

Dear Rich Lifer,

It has been over two weeks since Joe Biden was officially predicted to be the winner of the 2020 Presidential race. 

Since then, President Trump has been mounting legal battles to keep key states from certifying election results and confirming Biden as the President-Elect. 

It’s been reported that the president has authorized the GSA to begin the initial protocols that will recognize Biden as the winner of the election, but he has also said his legal battles over the result would continue. 

States certify their results after reviewing disputed ballots, conducting post-election audits and double-checking numbers for accuracy. 

Georgia certified the election last Friday after a manual recount. However, the state is now doing a second machine scan recount at the request of Trump’s campaign.

In Michigan, results may be certified on Monday, but The Republican National Committee has asked the Michigan Board of State Canvassers to take an additional two weeks and conduct an audit of the vote count in Wayne County, which includes Detroit.

In Pennsylvania, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by Trump’s campaign that claimed there were widespread improprieties with mail-in ballots in the state.

Recounts are also underway still in Arizona and Wisconsin. 

There are clearly a lot of moving parts and a lot of states still certifying their election results; so today, we will try to clarify — state by state — when we can expect official certifications. 

Georgia

On Friday, November 20, Georgia became the first contested state to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

This certification came after a hand recount of the state’s five million votes. The recount was ordered by Republican Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s top election official, after a request by the Trump campaign.

The recount found that Mr. Biden beat Mr. Trump by more than 12,000 votes, a 0.25% margin.

According to Georgia law, if the margin is less than 0.5%, another recount can be requested.

The Trump campaign had two business days from Friday’s certification to request the recount.

On Saturday, November 21, Trump’s campaign did go forward with requesting a third recount, which will be done by a machine scan. 

Trump’s third request seems to be focused on issues related to signature matching. Signatures on absentee ballot applications and envelopes are required to be checked when they are received initially. 

Campaign law expert Jonathan Diaz believes It is unlikely that the third recount will change Biden’s lead.

Pennsylvania 

Judge Matthew Brann issued an order Saturday dismissing the Trump campaign’s effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania, shooting down claims of widespread irregularities with mail-in ballots.

Judge Brann wrote in his decision, “In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.”

Trump’s campaign does not seem to be giving up. Politico reports that on Sunday, November 22:

The Trump campaign filed an emergency motion with the Philadelphia-based 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals asking that court to compel a lower court to accept a redrafted complaint contending that election officials excluded observers as part of an effort to process thousands of flawed mail-in ballots that largely favored Biden.

However, the court said it had not decided whether to schedule oral arguments on the appeal.

Biden’s current lead in PA is at 81,000 votes, and most of the state’s 67 counties are expected to meet Monday, November 23 to certify election results, barring any continued legal action. 

Counties must certify their results to Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, and then she will make her own certification. 

Pennsylvania is not expected to conduct a recount as the margin between the presidential candidates is greater than 0.5%. 

Michigan 

In Michigan, Biden holds a lead of more than 154,000 votes.

The Board of State Canvassers in Michigan is scheduled to meet Monday, November 23, to consider the certification of results — which have already been certified by county canvassing boards. The state board is made up of two Republicans and two Democrats, and three votes are needed to certify the results. 

However, this certification is facing challenges.

The leaders of the Republican National Committee and the Michigan Republican Party have asked the Michigan board to delay the state’s certification for two weeks.

Election law experts say the certification vote is a strictly ministerial duty that the board members are obligated to fulfill, but if the two Republican members vote against certification, a gridlock could follow. 

One Republican member, Norman Shinkle, has indicated that he would vote against certifying election results until an investigation is completed. The other Republican board member, Aaron Van Langevelde, has signaled he will certify stating, “I think we have a duty to do this.”

This is an ongoing situation — the board is meeting as we type — and more updates will be forthcoming. 

Arizona

In Arizona, Biden currently holds a slim margin of more than 10,000 votes, and the election results are scheduled for certification on November 30.

Maricopa County, home to the state’s largest city of Phoenix, certified its election results on Friday, November 20, giving Biden a clear 45,109 vote margin of victory in the county and making it likely he soon will be declared the official winner.

Last week, Judge John Hannah dismissed the Arizona Republican Party’s lawsuit seeking a broader audit of votes cast on Election Day. He also denied the party’s request for an injunction to block certification in Maricopa. 

Wisconsin 

In the final state we will look into today, Biden currently leads by more than 20,000 votes. However, two counties are in the middle of recounts, requested by Trump’s campaign. 

The counties are scheduled to count every day (except Thanksgiving) until December 1, the state certification deadline.

Trump’s campaign has already been unsuccessful in its attempts to nullify more than 60,000 ballots coming from the mostly Democratic Dane County. 

It is clear there are ongoing battles in certifying the election. Trump’s attempts to invalidate Biden’s lead may not result in any actual change.

However, Trump’s drummed up displays have taken the procedural process of states certifying their results and turned it into a dramatic and, at times, desperate display to cling to power. 

All of the above states have ongoing certification processes, and we will continue to update you when we know more. 

To a Richer Life,

The Rich Life Roadmap Team

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