Pennsylvania, Nevada certify Biden wins as battlegrounds make 2020 results officialNovember 24, 2020
Key states continue to certify their election results Tuesday, blowing past attempts by President Donald Trump and allies to undermine or overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, announced Tuesday morning that the Pennsylvania Department of State had certified state election results and he had appointed Electoral College electors for President-elect Joe Biden, while Nevada did the same in the early afternoon. The moves finalized the results in a critical battleground that had been a target of Trump’s efforts to change or block results showing Biden winning.
In addition to launching a sprawling range of court cases in battleground states, Trump also invited Michigan state legislative leaders to the White House, as he pushed the prospect of GOP legislators in Biden states appointing their own pro-Trump electors. But that legally dubious plan has quickly faded as states including Georgia, Michigan and now Nevada and Pennsylvania follow their election results and the normal processes laid out in their election laws.
“It’s readily apparent to everyone besides Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Jenna Ellis that this election is over and that Joe Biden won resoundingly,” Bob Bauer, a legal adviser for the Biden campaign, said in a statement following Pennsylvania’s certification. “Trump did not succeed in Pennsylvania and he will not succeed anywhere else.”
Earlier, Wolf wrote on Twitter: “Today [the Pennsylvania Department of State] certified the results of the November 3 election in Pennsylvania for president and vice president of the United States. As required by federal law, I’ve signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for the slate of electors for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”
Trump and allies tried to block Pennsylvania’s certification in both state and federal courts. But the president’s federal case was eviscerated by a district court judge over the weekend, and the campaign is currently trying to appeal to the Third Circuit. Meanwhile, a case brought in state court by plaintiffs including Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) and Republican congressional candidate Sean Parnell, who lost to Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), has argued that the state’s entire mail-in voting system was unconstitutional.
The Nevada state Supreme Court also certified the results in the state on Tuesday without fanfare or controversy, finalizing Biden’s win over Trump there.
The state board of elections in North Carolina, which Trump won, locked in its presidential results on Tuesday as well. Minnesota, another state Biden carried, is expected to do the same later Tuesday afternoon.
The certification process, normally a formality, has been targeted by Republicans across the country as a chokepoint in the election process to block Biden.
The most intense attempt was in Michigan, where Biden won by roughly 155,000 votes, but that effort ultimately collapsed on Monday. Republicans urged the state canvassing board to delay certification, alleging widespread but unsubstantiated malfeasance in the predominantly Black city of Detroit. The Trump campaign abandoned its federal lawsuit in the state, falsely claiming they were doing so because the Wayne County board of canvassers, which includes Detroit, declined to certify the results. In actuality, the county board did certify results.
Three of the four members of Michigan’s state election board voted Monday to certify the results, despite pleas to wait from state Republicans, including the state GOP chair and a lawyer representing Republican Senate candidate John James.
Aaron Van Langevelde, a lawyer for the state legislature’s House GOP caucus and one of the two Republican members on the board, joined the two Democratic members in certifying the results. Van Langevelde argued that at the meeting that state law requires the board certify results, and it didn’t have the authority to demand an audit or otherwise delay the results.
Even as states certify results, the Trump team has insisted its fight is not over. The president’s legal advisers now say that the certifications it tried to stop are meaningless and that its losses in court are all part of a suspect plan to get the election overturned at the Supreme Court.
“Certification by state officials is simply a procedural step,” Ellis, a senior legal adviser for Trump’s campaign, said in statement on Monday following Michigan’s certification. Less than a week earlier, Ellis celebrated the canvassing board of Wayne County temporarily deadlocking on certification as a “huge win” for Trump. Lawsuits from the campaigns also argued Trump would “suffer serious and irreparable harm” unless the courts blocked certification in states.
Ellis and Giuliani, who is leading Trump’s legal efforts, said in a statement circulated by the campaign that Trump’s federal court loss in Pennsylvania over the weekend turned “out to help us in our strategy to get expeditiously to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Giulinai told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs on Monday night that the campaign’s “theory of the case” is to get to the Supreme Court “in four places,” though so far, no court has bought the allegations that the Trump campaign has brought forward.
Nick Niedzwiadek contributed to this article.