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The judge dismisses the Trump campaign lawsuit in Pennsylvania



HARRISBURG, PA (AP) – A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign, dismissing his challenge to the Battlefield State Election Observation Act and efforts to restrict postal ballot collection and which of them can be counted.

The ruling in Pittsburgh by US District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan, who was appointed by Trump, also poured cold water on Trump’s allegations of election fraud.

Trump’s campaign said it would address at least one element of the decision, just under three weeks to election day in a state hotly contested by Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The lawsuit was dismissed by the administration of Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, the State Democratic Party, the Women̵

7;s Voter League, the NAACP Pennsylvania office and other allied groups.

“The verdict is a complete rejection of the persistent misinformation about electoral fraud and corruption, as well as those who want to sow chaos and discord before the upcoming elections,” Wolf’s office said in a statement.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat whose office fought against the Trump campaign claims, called the lawsuit a political ploy that should cast doubt on the state’s elections.

“We told the Trump campaign and the president to” silence or silence “allegations of election fraud in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro told The Associated Press. “It’s important to note that they didn’t even have to prove actual election fraud, just that it was likely or was imminent, and they couldn’t even do it.”

Trump’s campaigning said in a statement that he was looking forward to a quick appeal court decision “that will continue to protect Pennsylvania voters from the radical Democratic electoral system.”

The lawsuit is one of many partisan battles fought in state law and courts, particularly over postal votes in Pennsylvania, amid concerns that a presidential election outcome will remain pending for days in a lengthy vote in Pennsylvania.

In this case, Trump’s campaign wanted the court to prevent counties from using dropboxes or mobile websites to collect postal ballot papers that were not “occupied, secured, and consistently busy” in and across all 67 Pennsylvania counties. Trump’s campaign said it would address the issue of dropboxing.

More than 20 boroughs – including Philadelphia and most of the other heavily populated Democratic boroughs – have announced to the polling station that they will be using dropboxes and satellite polling stations to collect the enormous number of postal ballot papers they are likely to receive.

Trump’s campaign also wanted the court to clear the county electoral officials to disqualify mail-in ballot papers where the voter’s signature may not match the signature on the file, and to remove a legally mandated residency requirement for certified election observers.

In the lead last monthWolf’s top electoral officer informed the counties that state law does not prescribe or allow a postal ballot to be rejected only because of a perceived inconsistency of the signature. Trump’s campaign had asked Ranjan to make these guidelines unconstitutional and prevent counties from following them.

When Ranjan rejected the case, he wrote that the Trump campaign failed to prove its central claim: that Trump’s fortune in the November 3rd election in Pennsylvania is threatened by election fraud and that the adoption of changes sought by the campaign that will fix this.

Ranjan wrote that Trump’s campaign failed to prove that the president was injured by election fraud or that he was likely to have been injured by fraud.

“While plaintiffs may not be required to demonstrate actual electoral fraud, they must at least demonstrate that such fraud” is certain to be imminent, “wrote Ranjan. “You did not carry this burden. At most, they made up a series of uncertain assumptions. “

Ranjan also cited rulings by the US Supreme Court and the US 11th Circle Appeals Court in hot-button election cases in recent days, saying he shouldn’t question sensible decisions by lawmakers and electoral officials.

The decision is made because Trump claims he can only lose the state if the Democrats cheat, as in the 2016 election campaignsuggests that the Democratic bastion of Philadelphia be closely monitored for election fraud.

On Friday, Trump’s campaign lost a bid in a Philadelphia court to force the city to allow campaign officials to monitor their satellite election offices.

Democrats accuse Trump of trying to sink some of the 3 million or more mail-in votes expected in Pennsylvania’s November 3 election, with Democrats receiving mail-in ballots at the rate of nearly three apply for one to Republicans.

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Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/timelywriter.

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AP’s Advance Voting Guide tells you how to vote early by mail or absenteeism from any state: https://interactives.ap.org/advance-voting-2020/




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