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Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismisses Trump’s election challenge

Judges say US President's lawsuit to throw out votes would 'disenfranchise all 6.9 million Pennsylvanians'

WASHINGTON: Pennsylvania's Supreme Court dismissed another legal challenge to the election by supporters of President Donald Trump on Saturday, further reducing his already near-impossible odds of overturning the results.

A Republican lawsuit had sought to invalidate mail-in ballots in the battleground state that President-elect Joe Biden won by about 81,000 votes - or to throw out all votes and allow the state's legislature to decide the winner.

The court dismissed both claims in a unanimous decision, calling the second one an "extraordinary proposition that the court disenfranchise all 6.9 million Pennsylvanians who voted in the general election".

The lawsuit argued that a Pennsylvania law from last year allowing universal mail-in voting was unconstitutional.

The judges said their Nov 21 challenge to the law was filed too late, coming more than a year after it was enacted and with the election results "becoming seemingly apparent".

Pennsylvania officially certified Mr Biden's victory on Nov 24. The lawsuit had also sought to stop certification.

The decision follows a long line of similar ones, including a ruling the day before in which a federal appeals court flatly dismissed Mr Trump's claim that the election was unfair and refused to freeze Mr Biden's win in Pennsylvania.

Mr Trump has refused to give up on his claims of fraud in the Nov 3 election despite his repeated court defeats, tweeting bizarre conspiracy theories and vowing to continue his legal fight.

On Thursday, he said for the first time that he would leave the White House if Mr Biden is officially confirmed the winner by the Electoral College on Dec 14.

But on Friday he tweeted that "Biden can only enter the White House as president if he can prove that his ridiculous '80,000,000 votes' were not fraudulently or illegally obtained".

Mr Trump's own appointee, Chairman of the US Election Assistance Commission Ben Hovland, rejected the premise of Mr Trump's tweet last week.

CONFIRMED

"Those 80 million votes that President-elect Biden has have been confirmed. They have been confirmed by the men and women who run our elections across the country," Mr Hovland told CNN.

"We have certified results in a number of states now, and again the people who run our elections have said that those are the totals.

"I believe the President and his allies have one win and 38 losses, they have failed to provide evidence of any widespread fraud to the courts," he added of Mr Trump's court battles.

"Clearly Joe Biden has won this race - the election officials who run our elections have said that - and that's how our democracy works."

Mr Biden, who is to be sworn in on Jan 20, won 306 votes in the Electoral College to Trump's 232.

The President-elect has said that Americans "won't stand" for attempts to derail the vote outcome. - AFP

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