Arizona certifies Biden victory as Giuliani and Ellis testify before GOP state legislators about election security

I wonder who counterprogrammed whom here. Did state election officials certify when they did because they knew Trump’s lawyers would be ranting before Republican lawmakers about fraud at that precise moment, or did the lawmakers invite Rudy and Jenna Ellis to rant this morning because they knew that state officials would be certifying?

Presumably Doug Ducey will be the next governor whom Trump says he’s ashamed to have endorsed. Either way, I think it’d be sweet if Fox News invited its decision desk crew onto the air for a standing ovation this afternoon for having projected the eventual outcome in Arizona accurately on election night.

(Kidding. Fox moved way too soon on that projection, accurate or not.)

Wisconsin should also be certifying its results today, having completed its recount of Milwaukee and Dane counties over the weekend. Trump’s campaign paid $3 million for that; in the end, Biden was the one who ended up gaining votes from the process. Once Wisconsin seals the deal, that’ll mean all six battlegrounds that decided the election — Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada are the other five — will have made it official.

Seems like a fine time for a concession. Instead, Team Trump is resorting to this:

As Ed explained for the 9,000th time this morning, there’s no way to get mail-in ballots thrown out once the initial signature verification has been performed. At that point the ballot is separated from the envelope. Even if you could show a mismatch in the signatures on the ballot application and the ballot envelope — which, again, poll workers already examined when first processing the ballot — there’s no way to know whether the ballot that arrived in that envelope was for Trump or for Biden. There’s also no way that Team Trump is so stupid that they don’t understand this by now. Repeatedly insisting on a signature check is nothing more than them pounding the table. They want to create an appearance of impropriety by demanding that Brian Kemp do something that (a) was already done and (b) can’t be done again after the fact.

Besides, I thought the big fraud in Georgia had to do with Dominion voting systems, not mail-in ballots. The CEO of Dominion has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this afternoon reminding readers that their systems have been verified as safe by auditors and that the paper trail left by their ballots means that votes couldn’t be rigged electronically:

• Voters mark a paper ballot to vote. Absentee voters use pens, while in-person voters use “ballot marking devices,” which display a digital ballot for voters to make a selection and then print a paper record. In both cases, voters verify the marked paper ballot before casting it in a secure ballot box through an air-gapped scanning tabulator.

• After polls close, results are tallied by local officials. Paper ballots are safeguarded by thousands of poll workers distributed across 2,656 precincts.

• The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office certified election results after hand-auditing five million ballots, which showed that the paper-ballot voting system counted and reported results accurately. The small change to the final tally was due entirely to the addition of ballots that had been uncounted due to human process errors.

• The state also enlisted Pro V&V, a certified third-party testing laboratory, to audit a random sample of Dominion machines. No tampering was found.

The claims against Dominion are made in the same bad faith as the claims about a signature check. Trump can’t admit that Biden got more votes than he did so he’s casting doubt on any mechanism in the voting process that comes to his attention in order to create an appearance of impropriety. The mail ballots were frauds! But also the in-person computer systems were rigged! I’m surprised he hasn’t accused Brad Raffensperger of having broken into a polling place on the eve of the election and personally stuffed the ballot box with votes from Biden.

More Americans are getting exasperated by this spectacle. Paul Mitchell is a Republican congressman from Michigan…

…but he’s also retiring in a few months or else he never would have dared use a “stopthestupid” hashtag. This result from a few weeks ago suggests that Mitchell’s sentiment is more widely shared than one might think, though:

There’s a decent chance that this spectacle will be effectively over in the next week. Now that nearly every state has certified its results, and with the electoral college “safe harbor” deadline on December 8 approaching, it may take just one or two more legal failures for Trump to throw in the towel. SCOTUS refusing to hear his team’s appeal of the Third Circuit’s ruling on Friday might do it. Watching Sidney Powell’s “Kraken” lawsuit (which is now being opposed by respected lawyers) get tossed might do it too. Trump himself said on Thanksgiving that of course he’ll leave office if the electoral college votes for Biden on December 14. By this time next week, the White House’s line may well have shifted from “we’re going to fight these results all the way” to “looks like they got away with fraud after all.”

Then it’ll be time to look ahead to 2024. According to the Daily Beast, Trump is already planning campaign events — possibly even a rally on Inauguration Day, which will annoy everyone outside his base by seeming to muscle in on the spotlight that properly belongs to the new president. But getting him thinking about 2024 would be an improvement in the sense that it would mean he’s no longer trying to overturn the results in 2020. I’ll leave you with this clip of Kamala Harris being asked a few days ago about the prospect of facing Trump four years from now. When she says “please,” I think she means it in the sense of “please, we just got done with this election, it’s too soon to think about the next one.” But it’s possible she meant “please, don’t make me laugh.”

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Jazz Shaw 12:01 PM | April 15, 2024