President Trump’s late Tuesday attempt to overturn Wisconsin’s election results is an “assault on democracy,” according to attorneys for Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in a filing with the state Supreme Court.
The filing comes as the highest court in the state mulls Trump’s request to disqualify over 221,000 ballots in heavily Democratic Dane and Milwaukee counties, where Joe Biden led by a 2-1 margin as part of a 20,682 ballot win statewide, according to the Associated Press (via Washington Post).
Trump is not challenging any ballots in the state’s other 70 counties, the majority of which Trump won. Trump’s legal challenges in other states to overturn election results have failed.
In Wisconsin, Trump wants to skip lower courts, saying in his lawsuit that there isn’t time to go through the normal process due to the looming Dec. 14 date when electors will gather to cast the state’s 10 Electoral College votes. –Washington Post
Trump seeks to disqualify 170,140 absentee ballots for which he says there wasn’t a proper written request made. In addition, 28,395 ballots were cast by those who claimed to be “indefinitely confined,” 17,271 absentee ballots were collected by Madison parks poll workers, and 5,517 absentee ballots were cast in which clerks filled in missing information on the envelopes the ballots were placed in. Evers contends that there is no legal basis for the ballots not to be counted – citing an example from over four years ago in which the Wisconsin Elections Commission allowed election clerks to fill in missing information on absentee ballot envelopes.
From here, the Wisconsin Supreme Court can choose to entertain the case, or deny Trump’s request – which would force it to lower courts where it would likely die. A third, yet uncommon option, would be for the court to immediately render a decision based on written arguments.
Evers’ attorneys argued that the court should not agree to hear the case, and that it should rightfully start out in lower courts.
“President Trump’s (lawsuit) seeks nothing less than to overturn the will of nearly 3.3 million Wisconsin voters,” reads Evers’ filing. “It is a shocking and outrageous assault on our democracy. … He is simply trying to seize Wisconsin’s electoral votes, even though he lost the statewide election.“
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Justice Department says that Trump is filing in just two counties “presumably for partisan reasons,” despite the fact that similar ballots were ‘surely’ cast in other counties.
“Widespread disenfranchisement for following the rules does not comport with due process or a healthy democracy,” wrote attorneys for the state DOJ.