The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear a lawsuit by the Trump campaign’s legal team that requested 221,000 ballots in the state’s two largest counties to be disqualified because of voter fraud and irregularities, the Associated Press reported; the court said the case could not bypass lower courts.
It was a 4-3 decision not to hear the case, with one swing judge siding with the court’s three liberals.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden, dubbed the president-elect by the media, leads the state’s vote total by only 20,600 votes.
The Trump campaign immediately filed the case in Dane and Milwaukee Counties after the ruling, but there may not be enough time before the Dec. 8 “safe harbor” deadline for Electoral College voting to hear the case and file appeals if necessary.
The justices also noted that considerable time would be required to hear arguments and evidence on all the issues involved, and the safe harbor deadline is only a few days away.
The court’s ruling seemed to suggest that it would not rule in favor of throwing out the ballots in question even if the case did get back to it in time, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
Democratic Governor Tony Evers certified the state’s vote count on Monday. During a phone call with media, Evers said, “I was frankly amazed that it was not unanimous,” regarding the court’s ruling.
Lawyers for Evers filed briefs with the court that called the lawsuit “a shocking and outrageous assault on our democracy.”
“He is simply trying to seize Wisconsin’s electoral votes, even though he lost the statewide election,” Evers’ attorneys wrote.
The campaign is challenging ballots in the two counties that include in-person absentee ballots cast without an associated written application, incomplete and altered absentee ballots, indefinitely confined absentee ballots, and ballots collected at Madison’s Democracy in the Park event prior to the early voting period.
These ballots likely did not follow the state’s election laws and could be excluded from vote totals if the Trump campaign can conclusively prove that they were illegal.
It is entirely possible that Trump really did win Wisconsin and other states with even closer vote totals, but there may not be enough time to prove it.