Georgia Judge Hands Trump/GOP Yet Another Court Loss`

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President Donald Trump and his allies have failed to establish any kind of firm evidentiary foundation for their claims that nationwide voter fraud plagued the recently concluded election. According to a tally from voting rights lawyer Marc Elias, they’ve now lost in court at least 32 times in the time since Election Day, which doesn’t exactly bode well for their chances of coming up with a conclusive foundation for their claims anytime soon.

Two of the most recent court defeats for Trump and his allies emerged in Georgia and Pennsylvania, both of which Biden won. In Georgia, a federal court rejected a lawsuit from attorney Lin Wood that sought to block the certification of election results in the state. Wood argued that extra steps in the signature verification process for mail-in ballots had made the process untenable, but the Georgia Secretary of State’s office has roundly rejected this claim. In response to Wood’s lawsuit, Georgia Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said as follows:

‘Signature match is intact and the General Assembly passed legislation to allow voters who failed to include a signature time to add one. Fulton County only had one rejected ballot in 2018 and now they have thousands. We strengthened signature match, and will continue to do so, period.’

Trump has weighed in on the situation in Georgia. He has claimed that a recently kickstarted recount in the state is meaningless because workers aren’t re-verifying the signatures that voters submitted with their mail-in ballots — but there’s no way for them to actually do so. After signatures are verified for the first time, election workers separate ballots from the envelopes that they arrived in, helping ensure that voters’ choices remain as secret as possible. Trump’s claim that the lack of signature re-checks is some kind of malpractice is totally ignorant of actual procedure.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, a Pennsylvania court rejected a Republican challenge to a number of mail-in ballots in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which sits just north of Philadelphia.

Republicans have challenged substantial numbers of ballots in various court cases, but their challenges have frequently come up short. In another Pennsylvania case, a state Senate candidate had challenged the inclusion of 2,349 mail-in ballots in Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh. The plaintiff — Nicole Ziccarelli — had alleged that these ballots should be rejected because voters didn’t include a date alongside their signature, as directed by state law. Judge Joseph James concluded, however, that the direction was just that: a direction, rather than a mandatory requirement. Furthermore, he added, it “is well settled Pennsylvania law that election laws should be construed liberally in favor of voters.” (A Commonwealth Court judge subsequently reversed James’s decision. The case could continue.)