Politics

Trump sues to reverse Biden win in Wisconsin

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Key Points
  • President Trump's campaign filed a lawsuit in Wisconsin seeking to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden's win there.
  • The suit asks the Wisconsin Supreme Court to nullify and withdraw Gov. Tony Evers' certification of the election.
  • The lawsuit seeks to invalidate more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two most Democratic counties.
  • Biden won the state by nearly 20,700 votes.
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin, October 30, 2020.
Carlos Barria | Reuters

President Donald Trump's campaign filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Wisconsin seeking to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden's win there, the latest long-shot court battle aimed at overturning the presidential election.

The suit asks the Wisconsin Supreme Court to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two most Democratic counties. Biden won the state by nearly 20,700 votes.

It asks the court to order Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and the state's elections commission to exclude swaths of absentee ballots, which the campaign asserts are "illegal."

The plaintiffs, who include the campaign, the president himself and Vice President Mike Pence, ask the court to block the certification of the presidential election until those ballots are cut from the final vote tally.

The campaign has lost or withdrawn lawsuits in other battleground states that sought to invalidate ballots for Biden.

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Barr says no evidence of widespread voter fraud

The new suit, which skips the lower courts, comes a day after state elections commission chair Ann Jacobs signed a so-called determination of the win for Biden, giving him Wisconsin's 10 Electoral College votes. Trump had won the state in 2016.

Biden is projected to win 306 votes in the Electoral College when that body meets Dec. 14.

Jacob's determination came after a recount of ballots in Democratic strongholds Dane and Milwaukee Counties failed to result in any net gain of votes for Trump. Those partial recounts cost Trump's campaign $3 million.

The Trump campaign claims that "a pattern of activities improperly undertaken ... affected the Election." Without explicitly alleging fraud, for example, it says more than 170,000 absentee ballots were "improperly counted" because they were issued to voters who did not first submit a written application.

However, in a press release announcing the suit, the campaign claimed that "unlawful actions" affected the approximately 221,000 ballots and asserted, without evidence, that "fraud and abuse" had "irrefutably altered the outcome of this election."

Trump has claimed he won the election and is refusing to concede to Biden. The president, his surrogates and his campaign's legal team, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have loudly spread a raft of unproven fraud conspiracies to bolster their claim that the election was illegitimate.

But in a series of court cases, the campaign has not argued that voter fraud or election fraud were committed. Rather, the lawsuits have focused on disputes over state election rules, such as the distance from which volunteers can observe ballots being counted, and whether mistakes on mail-in ballot envelopes should be disqualifying.