Monday, November 23, 2020

Trump Campaign Seeks to Stop Certification of Votes in Michigan and Pennsylvania

Vice-President, now President-Elect, Joe Biden won Michigan by 155,000 votes (2.8%) and Pennsylvania by 81,000 (1.2%).  Since both states are outside the range of recounts, the Trump campaign has taken a new tact...claiming that fraud and irregularities in those states should cause Republican election officials in those states to not certify the results, a task which is normally just ministerial in nature.   The hope of the Trump campaign is that the Michigan and Pennsylvania legislatures would then step in and appoint a slate of Trump electors to replace Biden electors.  If not, at least the 36 Biden electors would be gone and Michigan and Georgia would have no electoral votes.

Let's say Trump's efforts in Michigan and Pennsylvania were successful.  That would mean the 306-232 electoral vote result would instead be 270-268 in favor of Biden.  The Trump campaign would need one more electoral vote, which would put the election into the U.S. House of Representatives, a maneuver that would favor Trump since Republicans have a majority (26) of state delegations that would be voting in that chamber.

If the split is 270-268, one more electoral vote could come from a Biden faithless elector or it could come from Trump's efforts in Wisconsin (10 electoral votes) and Arizona (11 electoral votes), which certifies their popular vote totals on December 1st and November 30th, respectively.   Georgia already certified the vote total favoring Biden on Friday after the automatic recount.   Another recount is taking place in that state at the request of the Trump campaign...and paid for by the Georgia taxpayers.

If Michigan and Pennsylvania, because of the disputes, do not end up appointing any electors, Biden's lead would shrink from 306-232 to 270-232. However, the electoral vote need for a majority would also shrink from 270 to 251.

OOP's short takes:

  • Apparently Attorney Lindsey Powell has been booted from the Trump legal team for being too crazy.  Since the Trump legal team is led by bat-shit crazy Rudy Giuliani, that is quite accomplishment.
  • President-Elect Biden's appointments are being announced.  It is so refreshing to see quality, competent people appointed to those positions.  After Trump's initial appointments resigned, his administration was staffed with sycophants, most of which were not competent enough to run a Seven Eleven much less part of the executive branch.  As I've long said, voting for Trump was never an option because of the President's extreme incompetence and unfitness for office.  The issues simply does not matter when you have a candidate for the Presidency who demonstrates not even a modicum of competence or ability to do the job.  But it wasn't just Trump...that can be said of most of the people the President chose to surround himself with from the mid-point of his first term.
  • Biden needs to make a point to reinstate the Trump administration whistleblowers who lost their job for trying to expose misconduct and other abuses within the administration.  There also needs to be action taken to protect those whistleblowers in the future.  A President's intimidation of whistleblowers can never be allowed to happen again.

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