President’s legal team claims State Supreme Court was wrong, and the Republican-led Legislature should overrule the voters.
President Donald Trump is asking the US Supreme Court to overrule the Wisconsin Supreme Court, throw out tens of thousands of legally cast votes, and allow the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature to decide how to cast the state’s 10 electoral votes, even though he would still be far short of the electoral votes needed to keep his term from ending on Jan. 20.
In a motion filed late Tuesday with the nation’s high court, Trump is asking justices to invalidate more than 50,000 absentee ballots cast in Dane and Milwaukee counties in the Nov. 3 presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden.
Biden won Wisconsin by nearly 21,000 votes in the Nov. 3 presidential election. Dane and Milwaukee counties had the two highest vote totals for Biden among Wisconsin counties and voted strongly for Biden.
Some of the absentee ballots were cast by voters who were not required to provide a photo ID because they said they were confined to their homes because of their age or disability. Trump’s motion contends those votes, which total more than 28,000, should not count because of a lack of oversight to determine whether those voters met that criteria. Earlier this month, in a separate case, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that state law allows each voter to make the determination of whether they qualify as indefinitely confined due to age, physical illness, or infirmity. (Republican state legislators say they will try to limit that right of self-determination in 2021.)
Trump also wants to disallow nearly 6,000 ballots in cases in which election clerks filled out witnesses’ addresses on absentee ballot envelopes. In addition, he is contesting the validity of about 17,000 absentee ballots that were returned during election-related events that occurred at Madison parks.
As part of Tuesday’s court filing, Trump’s lawyers are seeking that the case be decided before Congress counts electoral votes on Jan. 6.
The state Supreme Court’s decision “refused to address the merits of our claim,” Trump’s lead Wisconsin attorney, Jim Troupis, said in a news release announcing Tuesday’s court filing. If those issues are addressed, Troupis contends, it “would change the outcome of the election in Wisconsin.”
However, Tuesday’s filing marks the most recent among dozens of legal challenges by Trump and his Republican allies in an attempt to overturn the results of the presidential election in which he lost to Biden, and courts have not ruled in Trump’s favor of any of them.
Wisconsin Elections Commission officials and election clerks across the state said the Nov. 3 election was well run and in conformance with state law regarding elections. Voting irregularities that could have changed the outcome did not occur, they said.
A recount of votes in Dane and Milwaukee counties following the election showed no substantive change in vote totals for Biden and Trump.
The US Supreme Court already ruled against overturning election results in Wisconsin and other swing states earlier this month when it rejected a challenge brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and supported by 106 Congressional Republicans, including US Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court also ruled this month against a Trump effort to overturn election results by throwing out 221,000 ballots in Dane and Milwaukee counties. The court voted 4-3 against the lawsuit, noting that the president had waited too long to file that action. The election rules Trump objected to have been in place in the state for a long time, they said, and he should have objected to them before the election, not afterward.
Wisconsin electors cast the state’s 10 Electoral College votes for Biden on Dec. 14, the same day the state Supreme Court issued its ruling against Trump.