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

Adkins focused on relegation fight

first_imgNigel Adkins refuses to accept defeat in Reading’s battle to stay in the Barclays Premier League, despite conceding their outlook is bleak. The Royals, who are eight points adrift of safety with six games remaining, host Liverpool on Saturday knowing an eighth successive loss in the competition would all but doom them to relegation. Yet Adkins insists hope remains provided they can stage a late revival, drawing on last season’s drive for promotion from the npower Championship as inspiration. “We are where we are in the league, let’s not hide away from that. We face an uphill task but all we can do is focus on one game at a time,” he said. “We have to have the mentality of playing winning football and keep looking to the future. The momentum has gone against us with the run of results we’ve had recently, so we need to see if we can establish some momentum. “Last season this club showed in the Championship that if you get the right momentum you can go the other way as well.” Adkins has lost all three matches since becoming manager last month and Reading chairman Sir John Madejski has revealed he would not have sacked his predecessor Brian McDermott. Madejski also stated that some Royals fans prefer the Championship to the Premier League, which he described as “bit of a procession”, but Adkins wants to spend another season in the top flight. “I was as gobsmacked as anyone when Brian was relieved of his duties but that’s football. And I speak from my own experience,” the former Southampton boss said. “This is my first season in the Premier League and I’ve loved every second of it. It’s where I want to ply my trade. “We have several games left and we’ll see where we are at the end of the season, but my desire is to make sure Reading stay here. If we’re not in the Premier league next season, we’ll strive to get ourselves back in straightaway.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Only 50% loan applications for small businesses approved by banks

first_imgDespite having less than half per cent delinquency in loan payments by small businesses, Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Bureau, Dr Lowell Porter lamented that a significant amount of loan applications are rejected.“Small Business Bureau does not lend any money, we do not have a lending programme so all loans are done by the banks and there’re only two commercial banks in Guyana that support the programme; and those banks are the ones who have the final decisions on who gets the loan and how much they get”, he added.Further, he added that the bureau prepares the clients and ensures that they meet with the banks. “But the rejection rate, however, is also very high [with] only about 50 per cent of our loans are approved [by the banks]. So here again is something for us – all of us to start thinking… Why does that happen, why aren’t [the banks] more interested in lending money to businesses so that that rejection rate can go down?” Dr Porter asked during a press conference on Tuesday at the Bureau’s Head office.The two commercial banks currently on board the Bureau’s programme are Republic Bank Limited (RBL) and the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI).According to the CEO, they had approached the other banks to join the programme but have been unsuccessful thus far.“Some banks said they’re not interested in working with clients who are less than two years old… Some of them said straight out ‘we’re not interested in working with Government’. These are private institutions so they have to report to their shareholders. They want to make a profit and if they don’t feel this is a good fit, they don’t take it and that’s their prerogative,” asserted the Bureau’s CEO.Nevertheless, Dr Porter said that the Bureau will continue to work with its clients to ensure that they maintain the half per cent delinquency rate on loans.“We screen our clients, we try to make sure they have everything in line, and we continue that relationship with them. I believe that is important because we know when they’re gonna fall short and they even tell us and we try to see ways we can work around it so that we can keep them in the paying mode. We want them to service their loans, we want them to be successful,” the CEO posited.Currently, the Small Business Bureau has approximately $1 billion in loans that have been approved for clients since 2014 that it is standing in as guarantor for. In fact, it was disclosed that for 2018, the Bureau stood as guarantor for a total of 66 loans – an increase from its initial target of 55.However, he noted that the total of dispersed loans was set at 75 but only 68 have been completed thus far. This, he explained, can be attributed to the banks’ discretion in approving the loans, which is not guaranteed even if they do their part in preparing the clients.Nevertheless, in reflecting on the Bureau’s performance over the past year, the CEO posited that the surplus trend continued in other areas including grants offered. According to Dr Porter, SBB dispersed 165 grants as of October 31, exceeding its target of 127.It was further outlined that the training target this year was 770 but 916 were recorded; similarly, jobs created and sustained by the Bureau was set at 275 but surpassed it, and instead created 345. The awareness campaign also showed a similar performance, benefiting some 2,747 persons when its target was 2,500.On the other hand, outlining that most businesses tend to fail within first two years of establishment, the Bureau’s CEO posited that a survey carried out this year of its database, which has over 10,000 clients, showed that those businesses which started within the past five years and benefited from programmes offered by SBB – whether training or financial – amounted to about 78 per cent of clients that are still in business. This, he stated is a record number.To this end, Dr Porter assured that the SBB will continue to offer programmes to benefit its clients moving forward in 2019 and also come up with new initiatives to not only sustain and expand small businesses but also encourage new ventures. One such programme he mentioned is a pilot project launched in schools to foster entrepreneurs. According to the SBB CEO, the project has been successful thus far.last_img read more