Election Law

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Hundreds of lawyers have been assembled to fight legal battles across the nation over which ballots can be counted and how the process should unfold.

According to the New York Times, the deployments “go well beyond what has become normal since the disputed outcome in 2000, and are the result of the open efforts of President Trump and the Republicans to disqualify votes on technicalities and baseless charges of fraud.”

Many legal disputes in the coming days will likely concern late-arriving ballots, said Justin Riemer, the chief counsel for the Republican National Committee, in an interview with the New York Times.

Some lawyers think that unclear postmarks could become to 2020 what “dimpled chads” were to the 2000 Florida recount that ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court. The phrase “dimpled chads” refers to incompletely punched holes in Florida’s punch card ballots.

Riemer told the New York Times that he sees unclear postmarks as the main area that could lead to disputes.

“There is some ambiguity particularly in Pennsylvania in regard to how you treat a ballot that arrives after Election Day but does not have an indication that it is postmarked by Election Day,” he told the New York Times.

In Pennsylvania, the state supreme court has allowed absentee ballots to be counted if they are received within three days of Election Day, unless a preponderance of the evidence shows the ballot was mailed after Election Day. The Supreme Court left the decision in place when it split 4-4 on a stay request Oct. 19. On Oct. 28, the Supreme Court denied expedited review of a cert petition in the case.

President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that the Supreme Court’s Pennsylvania decision “is a VERY dangerous one. It will allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws. It will also induce violence in the streets. Something must be done!”

A twitter warning said some or all of the content “is disputed and might be misleading.”

Republican lawyers have also sought greater access to ballot counting, including in a Clark County, Nevada, lawsuit. A judge sided with Democrats in a decision Monday.

In another decision Monday, a federal judge refused to stop the counting of nearly 127,000 votes cast in drive-thru voting in Harris County, Texas. On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court also refused to interfere with the drive-thru vote count.

Democratic Party chairman Tom Perez told the New York Times that Democrats are keeping track of rejected ballots in key swing states in hopes of getting them fixed and reinstated.