A state judge threw out President Donald Trump’s attempt to challenge 221,000 votes in Wisconsin, affirming that Trump lost the state and that President-elect Joe Biden will receive the state’s 10 electoral votes.
The lawsuit sought to invalidate votes cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties, where Trump requested a recount.
After he lost the recount – and increased his loss margin – Trump sued the counties to dispute all of the votes, arguing that Wisconsin’s election laws weren’t properly followed.
Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Stephen Simanek said the counties properly followed the law and praised them for their transparency in conducting the recount.
“The real dispute here is whether or not there were erroneous interpretations of law used in the recount involved in whether the ballots should be counted or not counted,” Simanek ruled Friday. “The court is satisfied” that Wisconsin correctly interpreted those laws, he said.
Simanek issued the ruling immediately after a hearing between lawyers for Trump, and Wisconsin’s Dane and Milwaukee counties. It also included lawyers representing Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who Trump sued personally even though the pair has no involvement in Wisconsin’s election administration.
The judge said he was acting quickly because Wisconsin was the only state that has not yet certified its votes, missing the Electoral College “safe harbor” deadline before they formalize Biden’s victory on December 14.
“The bottom line here is that the court should do everything to ensure the will of the voters prevails,” Simanek said.
Trump’s lawyers argued it shouldn’t be so easy to vote in a pandemic
The lawsuit argued that various Wisconsin election rules were unconstitutional or flew in the face of the state’s election laws. Trump sued only counties where he lost even though other counties may have followed the same rules.
Among the rules broken, Trump’s attorney’s argued, is that counties made it too easy to vote in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far killed more than 292,000 people in the United States.
More than 250,000 voters in the state gave themselves an “indefinitely confined” designation, which allowed them to vote using absentee ballots. Trump’s lawyers argued the designation was unfairly used to circumvent rules about absentee ballots.
“To review the ID requirement is no basis for throwing out the votes,” Simanek said in his oral ruling. “It’s far more likely that because of the pandemic, people would be concerned to not go out in public, that people didn’t want to stand in a polling place for hours to cast a ballot. I can’t really strike down those votes to support an inference that is not supported in fact.”
Simanek also pointed out that the rules surrounding the “indefinitely confined” status had been on the books for more than 30 years. Trump’s lawsuits often challenge election rules or laws that had been in place well before the November 2020 election even began, yet the lawsuits are brought weeks after voting is already over.
The case also drew some notoriety because Jim Troupis, the top lawyer arguing the case on behalf of Trump, said he and his wife personally voted using methods he said were illegal.
Troupis said in court Friday that he would appeal the ruling.
Trump has another ongoing lawsuit in Wisconsin, heard in federal court earlier this week. A ruling, in that case, is expected in the next few days.
This article has been updated.
Read the original article on Business Insider