US Elections 2020: Trump campaign files lawsuit to stop ballot counting in Michigan, Pennsylvania; pause counting in Georgia
As Democratic candidate Joe Biden inches closer to victory in the US Presidential elections, incumbent President Donald Trump's re-election campaign has filed a lawsuit to stop ballot counting in Michigan and Pennsylvania and to prevent the counting of absentee ballots in Georgia that it claims arrived after the deadline on Election Day.
This follows after Trump during an address to his supporters in the White House alleged election fraud and threatened about "going to the Supreme Court."
The USA Today reported, that the announcements of the Pennsylvania and Michigan lawsuits came shortly before Biden was projected on Wednesday afternoon to win Michigan. As of Wednesday afternoon, he led President Donald Trump by approximately 46,000 votes, with 96 per cent of the estimated votes tallied.
Thousands of Michigan votes remain to be counted, many from absentee ballots in traditional Democratic strongholds. And although Trump leads in Pennsylvania's incomplete vote counts, his lead has narrowed as absentee and mail ballots continue to be tabulated.
The Michigan lawsuit alleged that the Trump campaign did not get adequate access to areas in election boards where ballots are being counted, according to the filing and a statement from Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien.
"President Trump's campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law," Stepien said in a news release.
"We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted. We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access," the statement said.
Election-related decisions and actions by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson "have undermined the right of all Michigan voters -- including the voters bringing this action -- to participate in fair and lawful elections," the filing alleged.
Late Wednesday, Trump's legal team filed a lawsuit in Georgia Superior Court that seeks to enforce the state's election laws.
The Georgia suit has claimed late ballots were mixed with others.
The filing alleged that absentee ballots received after the 7 p.m. deadline on Election Day were not stored in a way that prevented inadvertent or intentional counting. That "harms the interests of the Trump Campaign and President Trump because it could lead to the dilution of legal votes cast in support of President Trump."
Trump's campaign is pursuing a few legal battles in Pennsylvania. It said it's suing to stop Democratic election officials from allegedly "hiding the ballot counting and processing from our Republican poll observers."
According to the New York Times Projections, Biden is edging towards a victory as he needs just 17 electoral colleges votes to reach the 270-mark in the race to the White House. Biden is predicted to win the key states of Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin.
US President Trump, who is leading the states of Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia, currently has 214 electoral votes.