News and Commentary

Trump Campaign Files Suit In Michigan To Halt Count

“Campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations.”
A problem ballots box as volunteers process absentee ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the TCF Center in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. In Michigan, Biden erased Trump's lead and pulled ahead at about 9:30 a.m. New York time after early morning vote results came in from the Detroit suburbs. Photographer:
Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Trump campaign on Wednesday said it has filed a lawsuit in Michigan demanding that the counting of ballots there immediately cease.

“As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely tight as we always knew it would be,” said Bill Stepien, Trump 2020 campaign manager.

“President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law. We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted,” he said in a statement.

“We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access. President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else,” Stepien said.

As it stood on Wednesday afternoon, Biden leads Michigan by just 15,527 votes out of more than 5 million cast. Trump won Michigan in a surprise upset of Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the state is key to both candidates.

The Trump campaign’s move followed another in Wisconsin, announcing they’d “immediately” request a recount in the state. Biden currently leads by just 20,748 votes out of more than 3.2 million cast.

“Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor thin race as we always knew that it would be,” Stepien said. “There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results. The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”

A few scenarios:

  • The president leads in Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, by a hefty margin — 54.4% to 44.4%, according to Politico. Trump also leads by 2% in both North Carolina (15 EVs) and Georgia (16 EVs). If he were to win all three, he’d get to 264 EVs. With a win in Nevada (6 EVs), where he trails by just 8,000 votes out of 1.2 million cast, he’d get to the magic number of 270 electoral votes. He wouldn’t need Michigan (16 EVs) or Wisconsin (10 EVs) at all.
  • But let’s say Trump hangs on to Pennsylvania and wipe the rest of the slate clean. That means Biden’s at 238 and Trump’s at 233. Now give Biden both Wisconsin and Michigan, and he leads in EVs, 264-233. Then he’d need just Nevada to reach exactly 270 and wouldn’t need to win North Carolina or Georgia.
  • If Trump pulls out Michigan, he’d have 229 EVs. And let’s say he also wins Wisconsin: now he’s at 239. Let’s also give him North Carolina, where Trump leads by more than 75,000 votes, and Georgia, where he  leads by more than 100,000 votes. That would give Trump exactly 270 EVs, which means he wouldn’t need Pennsylvania or Nevada to win re-election. But if Trump loses Pennsylvania and Michigan, he loses. And if he loses Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, then whoever wins Nevada wins the presidency.

Related: Here Are Possible Outcomes Of The 2020 Presidential Election

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