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Arizona and Wisconsin certify their votes

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Every state in which Donald Trump’s Elite Legal Strikeforce has launched litigation (PA, MI, GA, WI, AZ) has now certified their 2020 election results.

This means that, legally speaking, there isn’t any mechanism to stop the Electoral College from voting to make Joe Biden president fifteen days from now.

Trump is still denying this reality:

(Trump retweeted the latter tweet this morning).

Two things are going on here:

(1) The standard grift to get the rubes to pay off the campaign’s debt (the current solicitations to the legal effort to overturn the election reveal in the fine print that up to 75% [!] of anyone’s contribution can be used to pay off the campaign debt rather than on funding the litigation for which the contribution has been solicited).

(2) Trump is really stupid and lazy and ignorant, and sincerely doesn’t understand that you can’t just ask the Supreme Court to throw out the election results, and they’ll be required to consider your request.

This Guardian piece lays out the glass half full perspective on how well American institutions have held up during all this madness:

No central authority oversees US elections. National elections are broken down by 50 states and the District of Columbia. Elections within each state are run in turn by counties and by precincts within counties. People vote locally, in thousands of jurisdictions; ballots are tallied locally; and the results are reported locally, and then added up in the public eye. The sheer number of people involved defies both coordination and conspiracy. . .

Despite Trump’s false assertions, US presidential elections are not subject to widespread fraud, miscounts or other significant irregularities. This is in part thanks to the tireless work of activists and no thanks to routine attempts at voter suppression.Advertisementhttps://cbfabc6a94b410bf06b227533812c9df.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

No significant instances of fraud emerged from the 2020 election, conducted over more than a month with an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots cast amid a pandemic. No Trump lawyer dared impute election fraud in court, despite the lies filling Trump’s Twitter feed. . . ,

From melting hair dye to Four Seasons Total Landscaping, Trump’s legal team has been much-derided. But in key states, the campaign also hired top-flight lawyers from firms such as Jones Day and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur. On the whole, these lawyers have fared miserably, winning only one minor case out of 43 in six states, while losing 35 cases so far, according to a running tally maintained by the Democratic lawyer Marc Elias.

The judges who threw out Trump campaign cases include Trump appointees. Judge Steven Grimberg in the northern district of Georgia booted a complaint by a Trump elector seeking to block certification of the state’s vote. “I didn’t hear any justification for why the plaintiff delayed bringing this claim until two weeks after this election and on the cusp of these election results being certified,” Grimberg wrote.

Before the election, another Trump appointee, Judge J Nicholas Ranjan, threw out a Trump complaint in Pennsylvania challenging mail-in ballots. And district judge Matthew Brann of Pennsylvania, a former Republican party official and Federalist Society member, sternly jettisoned a separate Trump campaign challenge filed after the election.

“This court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence,” Brann wrote. “In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.” . . .

Apart from Congress, the media is one of the least-loved institutions in the United States, abused with glee from the White House on down. And the American media has been terribly crippled by the loss over the last decade of countless local outlets that offered irreplaceable, knowledgable coverage of local events. Pseudo-media propaganda services such as Breitbart, One America News, Newsmax and Parler, financed by conservative billionaires, represent ominous new entries on the media landscape given invaluable support by Trump.

But strong and independent media, afforded powerful protections by the first amendment, remain a vital feature of US democracy. With no central authority over US elections, it falls to the media to project a winner. Where the intimidation of voters or poll workers is reported, it falls to the media to shine a light. Where false accusations about election fraud are spread by the president, it falls to the media to investigate and explain what is true and what is false.

Trump grew enraged when Fox News called the state of Arizona for Biden early on Wednesday after the election. But in doing so, the network – in its election-calling operations, at least – demonstrated its independence and investment in the truth. The Associated Press worked for years to maintain and upgrade its elections operations while committing to unprecedented transparency in 2020 in explaining how its elections reporting worked. Other media outlets demonstrated similar will and resolve in waiting to call states until the result was plain but then calling them definitively when it was.

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