Opinion

Republican Lawyers Are Fighting to Stop The Steal

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Posted: Nov 05, 2020 4:00 PM
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Republican Lawyers Are Fighting to Stop The Steal

Source: AP Photo/Matt Slocum

In the face of historic and unprecedented irregularities in the counting of votes in swing states including Michigan and Pennsylvania, Republican lawyers are suing to ensure the integrity of this election.

The Trump campaign and state-level Republican Party organizations have filed lawsuits in Michigan and Georgia, as well as new lawsuits in Pennsylvania, where the U.S. Supreme Court has requested Democrats respond to a motion by the Trump campaign to intervene in an earlier suit over Pennsylvania’s decision to keep accepting new mail-in ballots for days after Election Day, in violation of state law. In addition, private, non-partisan groups such as the Thomas More Center’s Amistad Project are suing in Michigan and Pennsylvania over specific allegations of election law violations that could affect the outcome of these critical vote tallies.

The Democrats charge that these lawsuits are intended to “stop the counting of votes,” but that is the exact opposite of the truth. When these Democrat officials — who stopped reporting votes in the middle of the night as Donald Trump was accumulating a victory margin — talk about the Constitution, they are gaslighting the American people. Republicans seek to ensure that every single valid vote be counted in exactly the way the law demands. Why would election officials in multiple locations controlled by Democrats seek to block Republican poll watchers’ view of the counting process? There is no valid reason for this.

Republicans are fighting for our legal right to observe these counts as massive dumps of improbably Biden-heavy ballots continue to turn up and be counted by Democrat poll workers and election officials. There are numerous eyewitness accounts of Republican poll watchers in Philadelphia and Detroit – including colleagues at my law firm – being excluded from the process, put behind bicycle barriers 30 feet away from the actual counting, or having their view obstructed by sheets of cardboard as thousands of ballots are added to Democratic totals.

The Amistad Project’s Michigan lawsuit contains first-hand, eyewitness accounts of Democrat election observers filling out new ballots for votes that machines could not read without the participation of Republican observers. That is illegal.

The same group also filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania alleging that poll workers in heavily-Democratic districts gave incorrectly filled-out ballots back to Democrat activists to “fix” them. These actions, taken with the approval of Pennsylvania’s Democrat Secretary of State, violate established Pennsylvania election law. Moreover, because the last-minute nature of this announcement — less than 24 hours before polls closed — prevented rural counties from taking full advantage of the new process, it likely violated the constitutional guarantee of equal protection, even if this abrupt rule change might otherwise be valid.

These irregularities are just the tip of the iceberg. Every indication suggests there is far more illegal activity waiting to be documented and challenged: poll workers wearing Biden-Harris campaign gear as they tabulate votes, reports from Michigan that hundreds of Trump mail-in ballots were “misplaced,” and thousands more Trump votes excluded from counts by election software problems in Michigan.

Others reports are even more disturbing, including postal workers being told to backdate late ballots, and even long-dead Michigan residents being listed on the state’s election website as having not just received postal ballots, but having also completed and returned them from beyond the grave.

Every valid vote must be counted in the manner prescribed by law. We knew months ago — when Democrats launched an all-out effort to change election rules using the COVID pandemic as cover — that it might take a protracted effort to reach that outcome. As it turns out, our fears were well-founded, and the situation appears to have played out almost exactly as we expected. 

We are fighting the fight we knew might come. In the courts and in the ballot counting centers themselves, we will not rest until we secure what the Constitution guarantees to the American people: a fair election.

Harmeet K. Dhillon is a nationally recognized lawyer focusing on commercial litigation, employment law, First Amendment rights, and election law matters. She is the Co-Chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association.