Election 2020 updates: Michigan elections board faces deadlock; Trump requests recount in Georgia

 Election 2020 updates: Michigan elections board faces deadlock; Trump requests recount in Georgia

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USA TODAY’S coverage of the 2020 election continues this week as states begin to certify their vote counts after President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the hard-fought presidential race. President Donald Trump has yet to concede the race as Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to take office in January.

Be sure to refresh this page often to get the latest information on the election and the transition.

Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell says new lawsuit will be ‘biblical,’ refuses to provide evidence

Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell said that the campaign’s forthcoming lawsuit alleging fraud in the Pennsylvania election system will be “biblical” during an interview on Newsmax.

Powell, without evidence, blamed several conspiracy theories for President Donald Trump’s loss in the presidential election, specifically the state of Pennsylvania.

“Our votes must be counted fair and true and every illegal vote must be nullified,” Powell insisted. “It’s absolutely counter to everything this country was founded on.”

Powell declined to offer specifics on what instances of widespread voter fraud or conspiracy the Trump campaign had documented, instead insinuating that Republican senators, the Trump Justice Department and the state of Pennsylvania were complicit in a vast conspiracy theory meant to defeat the president.

“Thousands of people, including the people operating the voting machines,” must have been involved in the conspiracy, Powell estimated.

In a ruling Saturday, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann criticized the Trump campaign’s lack of evidence to support claims of widespread conspiracy and voter fraud.

Brann noted that the campaign’s legal team had d enveloped a “tortured procedural history” over the past few weeks with its various arguments.

“One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption,” Brann wrote. “Instead, this court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations … unsupported by evidence.”

– Matthew Brown

Will Michigan elections board deadlock Monday?

LANSING — For what is believed would be the first time in history, Michigan’s elections board could deadlock Monday on certifying the state’s presidential election results.

By law and by practice, certification by the Board of State Canvassers — comprised of two Democratic appointees and two Republican ones — is supposed to be a routine sign-off. But these are not normal times.

The climate is hyper-partisan, disinformation is rampant, and Republican President Donald Trump and his team of lawyers are spreading false claims, working to somehow overturn election results in Michigan and other key states, and upend President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College, where Biden rung up 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.

At the Michigan Board of State Canvassers, Republican board member Norman D. Shinkle said he has many concerns, ranging from election equipment used in Michigan to the absentee voting process, to transparency issues, and he is leaning toward seeking a delay in certification. Shinkle’s wife, Mary, was a Republican poll challenger at the TCF Center in Detroit and signed an affidavit used by the Trump campaign in a federal lawsuit that has since been withdrawn.

It would take Shinkle’s vote plus one other to delay certification. The other Republican member, Aaron Van Langevelde, has not said how he plans to vote. Van Langevelde, an attorney and former assistant prosecutor in Branch County, works for state House Republicans, whose leader, Speaker Lee Chatfield flew to Washington, D.C., on Friday with a handful of other GOP lawmakers to meet at the White House with Trump.

– Paul Egan, Dave Boucher and Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press

Trump campaign requests another recount in Georgia

The Trump campaign’s legal team on Saturday requested a recount of votes cast in Georgia’s presidential election after the state conducted a historic manual recount and certified President-elect Joe Biden as the election winner.

“Today, the Trump campaign filed a petition for recount in Georgia. We are focused on ensuring that every aspect of Georgia State Law and the U.S. Constitution are followed so that every legal vote is counted,” the president’s legal team said in a statement. “President Trump and his campaign continue to insist on an honest recount in Georgia, which has to include signature matching and other vital safeguards.”

The president’s team insisted signature matching on absentee ballots was necessary to keep the recount from being a “sham” that allows “illegal votes to be counted.” But election officials matched those signatures on the envelopes when they counted the ballots but then separated them to protect the voters’ constitutionally protected right for their vote to remain secret.

Georgia law allows a candidate to request a recount if the margin is less than 0.5%, but unlike the previous review that was conducted by hand, this recount will consist of rescanning the ballots.

– William Cummings

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Election 2020 updates: Michigan elections board could deadlock Monday