Politics

Pennsylvania secretary of state says she will ask judge to promptly toss out Trump ballot lawsuit

Key Points
  • Pennsylvania's secretary of state plans to "promptly" ask a federal judge to dismiss the Trump campaign's latest lawsuit related to the election between President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden.
  • The lawsuit requests "an emergency order prohibiting Defendants from certifying the results of the General Election."
  • The suit was filed three days after news outlets, including NBC News, projected Biden would defeat Trump in Pennsylvania, thus securing enough electoral votes to win the election.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar speaks at a press conference regarding election vote counting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, November 5, 2020.
Mark Kauzlarich | Reuters

Pennsylvania's secretary of state will ask a federal judge to dismiss a new lawsuit by the Trump campaign, which seeks to bar the state from certifying the results of its election between President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden.

"The Secretary disputes that Plaintiffs have stated a claim," lawyers for Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar wrote in a court filing Tuesday, which also asked the judge to move the case to Harrisburg, the state's capital.

Boockvar, a Democrat, "intends to promptly move to dismiss and request expedited consideration of that motion," the lawyers wrote.

The signal from the Keystone State official came less than a day after the Trump campaign filed its complaint in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, requesting "an emergency order prohibiting Defendants from certifying the results of the General Election."

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The suit was filed three days after news outlets, including NBC News, projected that Biden would defeat Trump in Pennsylvania. That projection put Biden over the threshold of 270 electoral votes required to win the election.

Trump, however, has not conceded the race. Rather, he has claimed he won, "by a lot," and has launched a barrage of claims, without providing evidence, about voter fraud and illegality in key states. His campaign has taken legal action in multiple states; some of those lawsuits have already been tossed out by judges.

The Trump campaign's 86-page document accused Pennsylvania of, among other things, ignoring "legislative mandates" by evaluating mail-in ballots "on an entirely parallel track to those ballots cast in person."

This "two-track" system violates the Constitution, the campaign argued.

"Pennsylvania has created an illegal two-tiered voting system for the 2020 General Election, devaluing in-person votes," the complaint alleged.

"Democrat-majority counties provided political parties and candidates, including the Trump Campaign, no meaningful access or actual opportunity to review and assess mail-in ballots during the pre-canvassing meetings," the complaint said.

It also alleged that counties favoring Democrats were unfairly advantaged in the contest by reviewing ballots earlier and allowing voters more time to "cure" problems with their votes.

Judge Matthew Brann scheduled a telephone status conference for 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday. A clerk for the court told CNBC that media would not be allowed to listen in on the call.