While US President Donald Trump’s legal options to attack US election results continue to fall apart, reports claim his team is trying to target the US electoral college directly.
The plan, which was discussed before the election but largely rejected, is now identified as unprecedented and “potentially illegal” in a new analysis by Die Washington Post.
In key battlefield states in the US, pressure has increased on state and local officials to accept claims of election fraud and count irregularities before reaching critical dates to confirm the results.
REVOLT IN COLLEAGUE
In November, The Atlantic published an investigation called The Election That Could Break America, including interviews with GOP lawyers and sources.
It has been alleged that at this stage of the election the president’s team would be on track to shift its focus from the referendum favoring Joe Biden and giving him the electoral college to appointing Trump-loyal voters.
In each state, voters are usually selected by popular vote, with insiders from each party voting on behalf of their state. But the Constitution does not require it to be so.
Since the 19th century, all US states have given their voters the choice of voting – but the Supreme Court ruled during Bush v. Gore that the constitution allows states to “take back the power to nominate voters.”
After the election comes December 8th, also known as the “Safe Harbor” date for the selection of all 538 electoral college members.
While voters don’t meet until December 14th, they must be nominated by Safe Harbor Day for their IDs to be accepted. There is also a provision that says that Congress can step in and decide which voters can cast the votes for the president when there is “controversy or competition”.
Republican Party sources said the “Trump campaign discussed contingency plans to circumvent election results and appoint loyal voters in battlefield states where Republicans have a legislative majority.”
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“With a justification based on allegations of rampant fraud, Mr. Trump would urge state lawmakers to overturn the referendum and exercise their power to vote directly on a electoral roll. The longer Mr Trump manages to keep the number of votes in doubt, the more pressure lawmakers will feel to act before the safe harbor deadline. This was reported before the election.
Maggie Haberman of the New York Times also reported that the electoral college was discussed at a meeting of Trump advisors this week.
“He knows it’s over,” said an advisor, according to the New York Times report.
“But instead of admitting, they said, he is hovering one improbable scenario at a time to stay in office as he ponders his uncertain future after the presidency,” wrote Haberman.
“A SECOND TRUMP ADMINISTRATION”
Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed a question about whether the US government would work with Mr Biden’s transition team.
“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” said Pompeo. “Correct? We are ready. The world is watching what happens.
“When all the votes are counted, voters are chosen. There is a process. The constitution makes it pretty clear.
“The world should all have confidence that the transition necessary to ensure that the State Department is operational today is successful today and is successful with a President in office on January 20th, one minute past noon , will also be successful. ”
Mr Pompeo’s comments are in line with Mr Trump’s claims that he will “win” the election despite the fact that the result was requested for Mr Biden six days ago.
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The electoral college uprising is far-fetched, but not an impossible task for the Trump campaign.
According to reports, the Trump campaign would take around 40 voters to defy the referendum for Mr Biden in key states like Pennsylvania and Arizona and cast their vote for Mr Trump.
Seven voters changed their votes in 2016 – but this practice has not been common throughout history. According to the advocacy group’s fair vote, around 23,507 votes were cast in 58 presidential elections – and only 90 of them were “dissenting” votes.
Members of the GOP have refused to turn down the option, telling the media that it is on the table.
“You must have a reason, right?” Said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham when asked about the strategy. “What would be the reason to get a voter to vote against the result?”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News it was “constitutionally … an accurate argument.”
“But at the moment (Trump’s legal team) has been completely focused on litigation.”
GOP PRINTING OFFICIALS WHO DO NOT CERTIFY RESULTS
In Michigan, Republican attorneys have put pressure on Wayne County’s canvassing board. Die Washington Post Reports. GOP attorneys have urged board members to vote to accept claims of alleged inappropriateness before confirming the outcome.
The Canvassing Board is responsible for reviewing and confirming the election results.
Once the election results have passed through the advertising commission, they become official. In Wayne County, where the advertising commission is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, GOP lawyers have urged the board to delay its decision.
The board has to decide whether the result should be confirmed by November 17th or not. The longer the delay, the further the voters will get to their “safe haven” – and the closer Trump officials are to nominating their own voters.
The state of Michigan was appointed US President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday by the AP and major US cable networks.
REPUBLICANS SHOULD APPOINT TRUMP LOYALISTS
In Pennsylvania, Republican politicians are targeted by online campaigns specifically calling for the nomination of Trump Loyalist voters.
Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel told the media on Wednesday that she feared Republicans were trying to use unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud to prevent the election results from being confirmed.
“It seems that this is the strategy they are pursuing,” said Ms. Nessel in a call to the non-partisan voter protection project.
“We’ll do everything we can in the state of Michigan to make sure this doesn’t happen and that the electoral roll reflects exactly who got the most votes.”
In Michigan, that would take 16 votes away from Mr Biden. However, comments from other senior Trump advisors suggest they believe they can stop certification of up to 20 states.
Regardless, the Trump campaign submitted its 238 pages of affidavits from 107 poll watches that were allegedly inappropriate. One area of particular concern was Detroit.
Most affidavits reportedly complained about the conditions under which the ballots were counted – including the number of Republicans in the counting room and proximity to a counting table, rather than actual allegations of inappropriateness.
The main allegations were concerns about a “handful” of votes The Washington Post.
In other states, Republican officials are targeted by online campaigns calling for Trump loyalists to be appointed to electoral college.
An analysis of Die New York Times called the Trump campaign strategy “a series of hundred legal bank shots, all successful in multiple states at the same time”. The report claimed that a successful election campaign would reverse a decided election and lead to “widespread public outrage”.
On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security broke Trump’s rhetoric about the election and assured the US that there had been no allegations of widespread electoral fraud.
“The November 3rd elections were the safest in American history,” the DHS said in a statement.
The department’s electoral infrastructure government coordinating council, which coordinated the executive boards of the electoral infrastructure sector, said they had “found no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or compromised in any way”.
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