Trump counsel: Mail-in voters treated differently
President Donald J. Trump’s campaign lawyers alleged Wednesday that state Secretary Kathy Boockvar and others treated mail-in voters differently depending on where they live in Pennsylvania and who voters supported. Additionally, the campaign alleges the state counted ballots that “unambiguously fail to meet the mail ballot-security requirements set forth by the state legislature.”
The campaign’s lawsuit centers on the claim that Philadelphia and six Democratic-controlled counties allowed voters to make corrections to mail-in ballots that otherwise would have been disqualified for a technicality, such as missing a secrecy envelope or a signature.
“Defendants purposefully violated the Constitution by unequally and improperly processing hundreds of thousands of mail ballots under the cover of darkness in an illegal purposeful scheme to favor Joe Biden and other Democrat candidates over Trump and Republican candidates, knowing that mail votes would favor the Democrats,” wrote Marc A. Scaringi and Brian C. Caffrey, attorneys representing the Trump campaign.
In their motion in opposition to motions to dismiss a First Amendment complaint filed by Boockvar’s counsel, the Trump counsel said Boockvar (et. al)
violated state law with the purpose of influencing the election in favor of Biden and other Democrats.
Daniel Donovan, lead defense attorney, and Mark Aronchick, a lawyer defending Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester and Allegheny counties, disputed Trump team lawyers’ assertions that it was illegal for counties to assist people in the voting process.
U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann canceled an evidentiary hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. today and granted extensions for campaign laywers and those for Boockvar to submit more documents.
Brann granted Trump counsel’s motion for extension of time to file a motion for preliminary injunction until 5 p.m. today. Deadline for Boockvar’s defense counsel to file any opposition briefs is extended from 5 p.m. Thursday to 5 p.m. Friday.
Deadline for Trump’s counsel to file any reply brief is extended from noon Friday to noon Saturday, Brann said.
Boockvar’s counsel is trying to get a motion to dismiss the case before the Tuesday deadline for state counties to certify their election results.
Biden’s margin in Pennsylvania is now about 81,000 votes, or more than 1 percentage point, according to The Associated Press.
Trump attorneys met the Wednesday deadline to file second and first amended complaints by David John Henry, of Lancaster County, and Lawrence Roberts, of Fayette County, and the campaign. The two voters alleged they could not cure their ballots.
Brann in the hearing asked Trump team lawyers why Henry and Roberts could not individually sue their county election boards.
Trump officials also contend an equal protection claim that is contrary to arguments by Boockvar, the Democratic National Committee and Northampton and Centre counties election boards.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, chief legal counsel to Trump, said if there is an evidentiary hearing the campaign would provide evidence consisting of witnesses, photographs, videos and statements of alleged of enough voting problems to possibly overturn the election results in the state.