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Pennsylvania to Seek Dismissal of Latest Trump Election Suit (2)

Nov. 10, 2020, 9:59 PM

Pennsylvania’s top election official is planning to move quickly to dismiss a lawsuit filed Monday by President Donald Trump’s campaign in order to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the swing state -- the very action the suit seeks to block.

Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, said Tuesday in a court filing that she does not believe the lawsuit states a valid claim and that her office would seek an expedited ruling since she is “preparing to certify the results of the election.”

Trump’s campaign filed suit in federal court in Williamsport to block Boockvar from certifying the results, alleging a variety of voting irregularities. It’s the latest effort by Trump and national Republicans to cast doubt on the outcome of last week’s vote. Most election-law experts say the campaign’s claims of rampant voter fraud across the U.S. lack merit.

Boockvar also requested the case be transferred from Williamsport to the state capital of Harrisburg. U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann set a status-conference hearing for 3 p.m., though it was closed to the press.

There is no legal precedent for a court blocking a state from certifying the result of an election, according to David Becker, executive director and founder of the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation & Research. It’s even less likely in this case because Pennsylvania’s election officials were following rules passed last year by the state’s GOP-led legislature, he said.

“This is not about winning Pennsylvania -- there’s no way that’s going to happen,” said Becker, who isn’t involved in the suit. “They’re just trying to sow enough doubt that they can make people doubt the outcome of the election.”

Read More: Trump’s Vote Count Lawsuits Fail in Court but Rouse His Base

The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Several outside groups on Tuesday asked the judge for permission to intervene in the lawsuit, including the Pennsylvania chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters.

“Plaintiffs have launched an all-out attack on voting by mail-in and absentee ballot,” the groups said in a joint filing. “This flagrant attempt to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania voters must be rejected.”

(Updates with groups seeking to intervene in the suit.)

To contact the reporter on this story:
Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net

Anthony Lin

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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