U.S. President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit in Wisconsin on Tuesday seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two most Democratic counties, a longshot attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the battleground state he lost by nearly 20,700 votes.
Trump filed the day after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and the chairperson of the Wisconsin Elections Commission certified Biden as the winner of the state’s 10 electoral college votes. Trump asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly, rather than have it start in a lower court, and order Evers to withdraw the certification.
The state’s highest court, controlled 4-3 by conservatives, also is considering whether to hear two other lawsuits filed by conservatives seeking to invalidate ballots cast during the presidential election.
Trump repeats many claims he made during a recount of votes in Milwaukee and Dane counties that large swaths of absentee votes were illegally cast. Local officials rejected his claims during the recount, and Trump is challenging procedures that have been in place for years and never been found to be illegal.
Trump is not challenging any ballots cast in conservative counties he won.
The Biden campaign issued a statement calling the lawsuit “completely baseless and not rooted in facts on the ground.”
“The hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites targeted by this lawsuit did nothing wrong,” Biden campaign spokesperson Nate Evans said. “They simply followed longstanding guidance from elections officials issued under the law.”
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, said the lawsuit seeks to create a two-tiered election system where voters in Dane and Milwaukee counties are disenfranchised “under much stricter rules than citizens in the rest of the state.”
Similar lawsuits in other states have failed
Trump’s Wisconsin lawsuit seeks to discard 170,140 absentee ballots where there was not a written application on file and all absentee ballots cast in person during the two weeks before election day.
Trump is running out of time to have his legal cases heard. The electoral college is scheduled to meet on Dec. 14 and Congress is to count the votes on Jan. 6.
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Trump’s Wisconsin attorney, Jim Troupis, said in a statement that voters “deserve election processes with uniform enforcement of the law, plain and simple. During the recount in Dane and Milwaukee counties, we know with absolute certainty illegal ballots have unduly influenced the state’s election results.”
Similar Trump campaign lawsuits have failed in other battleground states.
In Phoenix, a judge has scheduled a Thursday trial in Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward’s lawsuit that seeks to annul Biden’s victory in the state.
A judge is letting Ward’s lawyers and experts compare the signatures on 100 mail-in ballot envelopes with signatures on file to determine whether there were any irregularities.
Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ office, which certified Arizona’s election results on Monday, said there was no factual basis for conducting such a review.