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Trump Doubt-Sowing Aside, A Relatively Smooth Election Was A Big Win For Voters

This Week in Voting Rights: A weekly roundup of news on Americans' access to the ballot box
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 07: Supporters of President-elect Joe Biden celebrate downtown near Trump Tower after several major news outlets declared Biden the winner in the 2020 presidential race against incumbent ... CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 07: Supporters of President-elect Joe Biden celebrate downtown near Trump Tower after several major news outlets declared Biden the winner in the 2020 presidential race against incumbent President Donald Trump on November 07, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Supporters are taking to the streets around the country to celebrate after news outlets have declared Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden winner over President Donald Trump in the U.S. Presidential race. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 9, 2020 4:35 p.m.

It isn’t great that President Trump is continuing to delegitimize the election that will kick him out of office. But the current atmosphere would be substantially worse had it not been for the heroic efforts of election officials, their partners and voters themselves to keep the election running relatively smoothly, despite the pandemic. There were some problems on Tuesday — but they were largely run-of-the-mill administrative hiccups, not the major fiascos seen during the primaries. Trump’s attempts to use small bore lawsuits to rile up fraud claims look especially ridiculous in light of  how drama-free the actual administration of the election was.

About Those Trump Post-Election Lawsuits…: The campaign and its allies have consistently struck out in its attempts to get courts to validate any of its allegations about the election. With the exemption of one order the campaign secured to lets its poll watchers observe Philadelphia ballot canvassing at a closer distance, the lawsuits the Trump camp have filed after the election to push claims of improprieties have mostly been laughed out of court. Given the lack of any Republican legal star power getting involved in the cases, it doesn’t seem that they think the lawsuits will be that effective either.

The Blockbuster PA SCOTUS Ballot Case May Not Even Matter After All: The one Trump-backed election lawsuit that was being taken fairly serious — a case seeking to reverse the ballot deadlines extensions that had been ordered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court — is looking like it will be nothing-burger, at least when it comes to the role it will play in the election. The Republicans are still asking the Supreme Court to throw out the ballots that came in after the deadline. But according to court filings and other indications from Pennsylvania officials, there are just not that many ballots in jeopardy — and not nearly enough to tip the election to Trump. But the Supreme Court could use the case for a more longterm goal of hobbling the ability of state courts and state officials to make voting easier.

Missouri Ballot Measure Waters Down Redistricting Reform: Key provisions of an anti-gerrymandering measure Missouri voters approved in 2018 were weakened by a ballot measure that passed last week. The 2020 measure could serve as a model for other states to seek to undo redistricting reform measures approved by voters.

Another Court Rules Against Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Census Plan: A third court, this one based in D.C., struck down a directive by President Trump that the Census Bureau exclude undocumented immigrants from the count used for congressional apportionment. The Supreme Court will have the final word on the legality of the policy, as it hears arguments in a similar case

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