Republican officials and candidates have sued to throw out thousands of ballots in three key battleground states, The Washington Post reports.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last month sided with the Republican National Committee, ruling that election officials should not count ballots with undated outer envelopes, even if the ballots arrive before Election Day, even though the date has no bearing on a voter’s eligibility.
RNC spokeswoman Emma Vaughn said in a statement that the organization sued “because we are simply asking for counties to follow the state law, which by the way, dozens of Democrats supported.”
“We look forward to continuing our legal actions to ensure that elections are administered in accordance with this bipartisan rule of law,” Vaughn added.
Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement that “no voter should be disenfranchised simply because they made a minor error in filling out their ballot.”
“This was not a controversial concept in our country or our commonwealth until recently, with the rise of the Big Lie and the efforts to spread mis- and disinformation in the days leading up to the general election,” Wolf said. “I urge counties to continue to ensure that every vote counts.”
In Michigan, Republican secretary of state candidate Kristina Karamo sued the top election official in Detroit last month, seeking to throw out absentee ballots that were not cast in person with an ID.
Karamo’s lawyer declined to say why the suit only targets Detroit, the target of numerous Trumpworld conspiracy theories, but not the rest of the state.
Democratic election lawyer Mark Brewer called the lawsuit “racist, frivolous, and sanctionable.”
Michigan county clerks have also been deluged by organized groups seeking to challenge the eligibility of individual voters who have requested or cast absentee ballots.
Wisconsin Republicans won a court ruling that will prevent some mail ballots that do not have a witness addressed filled out from being counted. But when “voting rights groups sought new guidelines on what missing elements in the address would allow for tossing a ballot, judges ruled that it was too close to the election to change state policy,” the Post reported.
“There is a concerted effort by the Republican infrastructure, the party, and others working with it, as well as Republican leaders in the legislature, to undermine absentee voting and make it harder for people to vote that way,” Democratic lawyer Jeff Mandell told the outlet.
“They’re looking for every advantage they can get, and they’ve calculated that this is a way that they can win more seats,” added Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections for Common Cause. “Research has shown that absentee ballots are more likely to be discarded if they are voted by young people and people of color, which are not generally seen as the Republican base.”