Where the Election Fight Is Playing Out in the Courts

first_imgNevada: Any candidate or campaign can request a recount within three days of the final statewide canvass of results, regardless of the margin. There are no automatic state recounts. ObserversStatus: Pending in state court and resolved in federal courtOn Thursday morning, a Pennsylvania state court handed Mr. Trump a minor victory. A judge ruled that election observers from the Trump campaign, who were allowed to stand 10 feet from the vote counting at the Philadelphia convention center, could move closer, to six feet.By the end of the day, however, lawyers for the Trump campaign had filed an emergency petition in federal court claiming that election officials in the city were not abiding by the state court’s decision and asking that the count in Philadelphia be delayed.At a hastily scheduled hearing Thursday night, however, Mr. Trump’s campaign admitted that “a nonzero number” of Republican observers had in fact turned up.“Then what’s the problem?” Judge Paul S. Diamond asked.The Trump campaign ultimately agreed to drop its request to halt the vote count after Judge Diamond, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, allowed for a total of 120 observers at the convention center — 60 for the Democrats and 60 for the Republicans. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the question of the observers.Cured/Provisional BallotsStatus: Pending in state and federal courtsRepublicans have brought suits in federal and state courts alleging that Ms. Boockvar provided improper guidance to counties by allowing them to contact voters whose mail ballots had been rejected because of errors so that those voters could fix, or “cure,” their ballots or cast provisional ballots.Both cases focus on votes in Montgomery County, where officials say only 98 ballots might be affected..A judge in the federal case, who is also a George W. Bush appointee, expressed skepticism during a hearing on Wednesday about the validity of the Republicans’ challenge. A decision is pending. With Joseph R. Biden Jr. edging closer to victory in the presidential race, President Trump and the Republican Party have been intensifying efforts to halt the counting of ballots and to challenge the ballots of Democratic voters in lawsuits across the country.Nearly a dozen suits were already making their way through the courts in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, four key states where Mr. Biden leads or has won the vote count.- Advertisement – Mail-in Voter IDStatus: Pending in state courtThe Trump campaign has also sued Ms. Boockvar for her decision to extend by three days, to Nov. 12, the deadline by which mail-in voters must submit materials confirming their identity if they are first-time voters in certain districts. It is unclear how many votes that case would potentially affect. NevadaObservers/Signature Matching in Clark CountyStatus: Pending appeal at state levelMr. Trump’s campaign filed suit before Election Day seeking to stop the processing of mail-in ballots in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas. The campaign alleged that county officials were failing to give Republican observers adequate access to monitor mail-in ballot processing and that the county’s signature matching system violated election equal protection laws because it was not being used elsewhere in the state.A judge denied the Trump campaign’s request earlier this week, citing a lack of evidence. An appellate court rejected Republicans’ request that it order an immediate stop to counting but agreed to hear arguments into next week.On Thursday, Republicans indicated that they would drop their case in return for an agreement from the county to expand their observers’ access to ballot counters, but Democrats refused to agree to a dismissal, so the case is still pending. Republicans have since filed a similar suit in federal court. Ineligible ballotsStatus: Resolved in federal courtIn an effective extension of the state lawsuit, two Republican House candidates in Nevada filed a lawsuit on Thursday alleging that there were “lax procedures for authenticating ballots” in Clark County and that more than 3,000 ballots had been cast by inelligible voters, including some cast “on behalf of deceased voters.”The case was assigned to Judge Andrew P. Gordon, an appointee of President Barack Obama’s, who dismissed it on Friday. The two Republican candidates who brought the case, however, can still appeal the decision. MichiganThe Trump campaign filed suit on Wednesday asking a state judge to halt vote counting, alleging that its observers had been blocked from meaningful access to counting rooms. The campaign also asked for access to surveillance footage of the state’s ballot drop boxes.A judge rejected that suit on Thursday, noting that the counting had finished. Mr. Biden won the state and maintains a lead of nearly 150,000 votes. But it is not clear whether the Trump campaign will appeal.RecountsGeorgia: Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state, announced on Friday that the state would conduct a recount in the presidential race, saying the results would fall within the margin of a recount. “We are literally looking at a margin of less than a large high school,” Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting implementation manager, said.Wisconsin: Mr. Trump would be entitled to a recount in Wisconsin as long as the margin between him and Mr. Biden remained less than 1 percent of the vote. The state’s preliminary results show Mr. Trump trailing by about six-tenths of 1 percent.A recount request cannot be made until all 72 of the state’s counties submit their results to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which are due by Nov. 17. The Trump campaign would have to pay for a statewide recount unless the margin shrinks to less than one-quarter of 1 percent. Pennsylvania: State law requires an automatic recount if the result is half a percent or less. If the margin is larger than that, Mr. Trump could still request a statewide recount, but he would have to pay for it.Arizona: State law requires a recount if the margin is one-tenth of one percent or less — otherwise one cannot be requested. Status: At the U.S. Supreme CourtIn September, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that election officials could accept ballots postmarked by Election Day but arriving up to three days later. Republicans subsequently sued, and the case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court.But in late October, the Supreme Court declined to intercede, saying it was too close to Election Day to make such a ruling, but it left open the possibility of a decision at a later date.- Advertisement –center_img Here are the cases currently underway or facing a potential appeal. All of them have been initiated by Mr. Trump, his party or his allies.PennsylvaniaThe Postmark Battle- Advertisement – Arizona“SharpieGate”Status: Pending in state courtIt was one of the stranger claims of the election. Hours after polls closed in Arizona, a story ricocheted around online saying that dozens, maybe even hundreds, of ballots across the state had not been counted because voters had filled them out with felt-tipped Sharpies and not with ballpoint pens.Even though cybersecurity officials from the Department of Homeland Security urged people to ignore the tale, crowds turned up outside of a polling station in Maricopa County, yelling about “SharpieGate.”On Wednesday, Laurie Aguilera, a Maricopa County voter, filed a lawsuit with help from a conservative legal group in Indiana, the Public Interest Legal Foundation, claiming that her ballot — and those of untold others — had not been read properly by vote scanning machines because she had used a Sharpie and “the ink was bleeding through.” Ms. Aguilera has asked a judge to let all voters who filled their ballots out with Sharpies to “cure” them.On Thursday, the Maricopa County Elections Department released a statement saying that Sharpies were in fact “recommended by the manufacturer” of the vote tabulations machines the county uses. Later that day, the state attorney general’s office issued a letter noting that the use of Sharpies in Maricopa County “did not result in disenfranchisement.”Georgia53 Late-Arriving BallotsStatus: Tossed by county courtThe Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in Georgia on Wednesday, claiming that a witness had observed 53 late-arriving ballots in Chatham County not being properly stored, potentially allowing for them to mix with timely ballots, and asked that ballot counting in the county be stopped.But Judge James Bass, on the Chatham County Superior Court, tossed the lawsuit on Thursday, saying that there was no evidence that those 53 ballots had been received after the 7 p.m. deadline and that there was no evidence county officials had failed to comply with the law.There was no word from the Trump campaign or its Republican allies on Friday whether an appeal was pending. But none of them appear — at least not yet — to provide Mr. Trump what he would need to prevail: the rejection of enough Democratic ballots in enough states to reverse any Biden victory.If Mr. Trump and the Republicans cannot find those rejections through the courts, they could — and will — try to do so through recounts, but the bar is high there too. Updated Nov. 6, 2020, 8:07 p.m. ET On Wednesday, the Trump campaign filed a motion to intervene in the case, and on Friday the Pennsylvania Republican Party sought to join the effort.But this fight may prove fruitless, as Mr. Biden’s lead in the state is based on ballots cast by Election Day and is expected to grow. Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, Kathy Boockvar, said on Thursday that there were not large numbers of late-arriving ballots. As of Friday night, there had been no further action on this case. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, Jan. 29

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionMLK Day: We have a long way to goThe Jan. 21 edition of The Daily Gazette illustrated American racism well.Gazette first page: 1) A long article under the headline “Siena poll: Most say racism persists.” 2) A photo of a parade of largely segregated Union College students, celebrating MLK’s legacy. 3) A long article under the headline “Union students rally to MLK’s message,” continued on page 7 with large photo of Union College’s Dr. Gretchel Hathaway, minority dean of diversity and inclusion, lecturing on MLK’s legacy. First page Local Section: Three photos of fully segregated Americans acting “in the spirit of MLK.” Opinion page: Sympathetic letter suggesting NAACP change its name to eliminate the words “Colored People.”All reminders that earlier this month we celebrated the only national holiday we have that is based on a single person. (in itself racist?) If the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were to return, I suppose he would be shocked to see what we have done to this nation in his name.From his famous speech: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” What did we get: A nation ruled by “affirmative action,” judged by the color of the skin. That’s precisely what MLK wanted eliminated.This nation will never eliminate racism until we eliminate government racism and help each other on the basis of need, not government edict.Clyde MaughanSchenectadySidewalk plan has plenty of problemsWe are writing to express our concerns regarding the Schenectady Sidewalk Initiative Pilot Project that was rolled out on Ardsley Avenue, and is supposed to roll out in April on our street, DeCamp Avenue.Under this project, residents are expected to pay assessed fees to replace the sidewalks.On Ardsley, residents got “sticker shock” when their tax bills indicated that they were to pay nearly twice as much as they were told, now that the work is done.New bills are supposed to be generated to correct the error.When we were unable to obtain information from the city, The Daily Gazette provided information that allowed us to review expected fees for DeCamp residents; like Ardsley, the costs appear that they, too, will be close to twice what was projected by the city.Some streets have been upgraded in recent years, with no assessed fees, yet others have not. As of today, we still have nothing in writing on when the sidewalks will be repaired, what the paving schedule is or what the actual costs will be.It seems to us that this sidewalk project is not viable.Residents should not have to hound the city to get streets paved and get signed petitions to get sidewalks repaired under a special initiative, especially when downtown and many other streets exactly like DeCamp (Wright, Parkwood and Glenwood) are upgraded with no fees required from residents.This is Councilman John Polimeni’s initiative. What is your response?Laurie and David BacheldorSchenectadyLaurie Bacheldor is an officer for the 12309 Neighborhood Association and vice president of Schenectady United Neighborhoods.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Make a game plan for voting. Do it now.EDITORIAL: No more extensions on vehicle inspectionsEDITORIAL: Take a role in police reformsHIGH NOTES: PPEs, fighting hunger, backpacks and supplies for kidsEDITORIAL: No chickens in city without strong regslast_img read more

CIS joins institutional property rush with £48m deal

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

West Coast view

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

NBA, NHL should scrap current draft formats to prevent tanking

first_imgIt needs to end.When Lakers fans are openly pained when they beat Philadelphia twice and endanger the possession of a top-five draft pick, that is wrong.When the Arizona Coyotes are wildly cheered during a victory over the Buffalo Sabres — in Buffalo — that is also wrong. Intentional losing has many shapes and forms. The object is to finish low enough to capture a high draft pick and thus turn around your franchise.It is more likely to work in the NBA than anywhere else. One great player has a disproportionate impact. That is why the Houston Rockets nakedly tanked away two seasons to move into position to draft Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon. With Olajuwon, they won NBA titles, 11 and 12 years after his draft. But to get there, they had to undercut the very concept of competition. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Rockets’ chicanery forced the NBA to set up a draft lottery, in which the lower teams and eventually the non-playoff teams would draw ping-pong balls to decide who got the best players. Eventually the ping-pong balls were weighted so the very worst teams could get a break.Then some draft picks became “lottery protected,” meaning that the teams who got them would only keep them if they finished low enough. So now more teams are failing to try.Tanking visited the NHL this year because of Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, two can’t-miss prospects unless you’re old enough to remember Alexandre Daigle. The worst NHL team has a 20-percent chance of winning the lottery. But keep in mind that even the best players on a hockey team play only half the minutes, at best. Also keep in mind that Edmonton has had the first overall pick for three consecutive years and still has a prime seat at the lottery table.Sometimes, losing for winning works. The Indianapolis Colts went 1-15 with Peyton Manning hurt and thus took Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick. One year of pain, a decade or more of gain.The San Antonio Spurs were boosted when they synchronized their worst seasons with the arrivals of David Robinson and Tim Duncan, both first overall picks 10 years apart. But since Duncan’s draft in 1997, the Spurs have never picked higher than 20th in the first round and have won five championships anyway.The NFL gave us inverse order of finish in its first draft in 1936. It wanted competitiveness. That, plus inverse difficulty of scheduling, has served its purpose. In nearly a half-century of Super Bowls, every team has played in at least one, save Detroit, Jacksonville and Houston.Basketball is different. Since 1980, only nine franchises have won NBA championships. Since the 1977 NBA-ABA merger, Toronto, Charlotte, New Orleans, Denver, Minnesota, Atlanta, Golden State and the Clippers have all failed to get to the NBA Finals.Why should failure be rewarded, and utter failure be utterly rewarded?The pitiful nature of tanking has brought a flood of remedies to the suggestion box. Most of them are too convoluted for fans and even team officials to track.So here’s simplicity. Hold a blind draw every year. Put every team in the hat.This was done in 2005. The NHL had locked out its teams for a whole season. When they came back, it seemed unfair to base the 2005 draft on 2004 standings. So everybody’s name went in. That is how the Penguins got Sidney Crosby. The Ducks, at No. 2, took Bobby Ryan.Such a system would make the draft lottery a truly riveting event and would put a bigger premium on the accumulation of first-round picks. Thus, fewer trades and more stability.You say it introduces too much luck to the game? Tell it to the Portland Trail Blazers, who had taken Sam Bowie ahead of Michael Jordan in 1984. Now it was 2007, Portland was picking first, and Greg Oden was the obvious guy. Oden then spent most of his career in knee rehab and Seattle (now Oklahoma City) gladly grabbed Kevin Durant.Luck infects everything. A blind draw would at least quit penalizing excellence.@MWhicker03LANG on Twitter Mark.Whicker@langnews.comcenter_img Trying to win by trying to lose is not only wrong, it’s dumb. It does not work often enough to justify itself. It drives away fans. It demands the same high ticket price.More to the point, it mocks the lifelong efforts, preparations and ambitions of the players who are stuck in this charade. It turns them into placeholders, stand-ins for the new players next year. It is turning large parts of this NBA season into a parody and has even infected the ultimate competitiveness of the NHL.last_img read more