President Donald Trump has yet to concede defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, but his attempt to overturn the election results has failed over the past week.
The prosecution of the Trump campaign and its allies has failed. The main Swing States Biden won have certified their results on time. And the legislative leaders of the GOP states do not appear to be seriously trying to interfere with the nomination of voters.
Trump is still doing his best to cast doubt on the results by making false allegations of large-scale electoral fraud. His latest gadget is for his legal team to work with a sympathetic Republican legislators in key states to organize press events extolling alleged electoral irregularities. But no GOP-controlled legislature in a state Biden won appears to be making a serious effort to reverse the outcome (a move that would bring many practical and legal hurdles).
But the federal statutory deadline for states to finalize their results is December 8 – Tuesday of next week. Then, members of the Electoral College will meet (separately in each state) to vote on December 14 – two weeks from today. They are ready to vote who will officially make Biden the next president. And Trump has yet to successfully interfere with this process.
State certifications are on schedule
There were six key states in which Biden won by narrow margins, where Trump had hoped to interfere with the certification of results (certification is when a state makes its results official).
Four of those six states – Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada – have certified their results in the past week and a half, with Biden as the winner. The fifth, Arizona, certified Biden’s victory on Monday. In Sixth, Wisconsin, the board of elections finalized the canvas on Monday.
Trump has made political, procedural and legal attempts to try to delay or interfere with these certifications, but these efforts have consistently failed.
Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has rejected attempts by the Trump team to get them to endorse fictitious allegations of widespread voter fraud in the state. In Michigan, attempts by Trump’s allies to get two Republicans on the state canvassing board to block certification for similar reasons failed last week (one backed it).
In most other states, the main officials responsible for certifying results were Democrats, so Trump could only hope that a judge would step in and block certification. None did – so the Trump team’s lawsuits failed.
The recounts also did not change the outcome. Wisconsin’s two-county recount is complete, and Biden’s lead of about 20,000 votes has increased by 87 votes. Georgia’s new automatic recount is still ongoing, but it is unlikely to change Biden’s 12,000-vote lead since the ballots have already been hand-checked.
No state legislature is seriously trying to steal the election from Trump
Once states have certified their results, the next step in the process is to nominate voters. And that’s the key – voters are the 538 people who make up the Electoral College and who voted who will officially determine the next president.
If Biden wins a state, he has the right to have his chosen team of people nominated as that state’s voters.
But some Republicans have embraced the theory that the Constitution allows state legislatures to ignore the outcome of the vote in their states and instead designate whoever they want as voters.
Any effort to do so would violate various state laws and possibly federal law. Lawmakers would essentially claim that the power given to them by the Constitution allows them to ignore these existing laws.
Some GOP state lawmakers have indeed spoken in favor of it, such as Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano (who met Trump last week before abruptly leaving the meeting after he was informed he had tested positive for Covid-19).
There is growing evidence that the PA presidential election has been compromised. If so, under Article II, Section 1.2 of the United States Constitution, the state legislature alone is empowered to direct the manner of selecting delegates to the electoral college. (1)
– Senator Doug Mastriano (@SenMastriano) November 28, 2020
But the legislative leaders of the GOP states have not spoken out in support of the effort, and most have bluntly said they will not. Pennsylvania legislative leaders do not intend to put this on their legislative agenda. And the Republican leaders of Michigan left a meeting with Trump earlier this month and said they would “follow the law and go through the normal process for Michigan voters.”
And although Trump’s legal team has worked with allied lawmakers Pennsylvania and Arizona to hold so-called “hearings” on electoral irregularities in recent days, they were not formal legislative hearings – they were essentially press stunts.
So with neither certifications officials nor Republican state legislative leaders willing to try to steal the election for Trump, it seems the president’s attempt to do just that is dead in the water.