Skip to main content

DNC Asks Judge to Reject Trump’s Attempt to Nullify 6.5 Million Pennsylvania Votes: ‘That Is Not How Democracy Works’


Then-candidate Joe Biden gestures during a campaign stop outside Johnstown Train Station September 30, 2020 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) asked a federal judge on Thursday to dismiss the Trump campaign’s efforts to ignore the roughly 6.5 million ballots cast in Pennsylvania over a hodgepodge of conspiracy theories and suppositions.

“That is not how democracy works,” their counsel Clifford Levine, from the firm Dentons Cohen & Grigsby, wrote in a 52-page motion to dismiss. “Instead, voters cast secret ballots; those ballots are counted; and if there are genuine reasons to doubt the outcome of the election, losing candidates may file an election contest in state court.”

Earlier this week, the Trump campaign asked a federal judge to block the certification of the Pennsylvania election results that tipped Joe Biden decisively across the threshold to become President-elect of the United States, in a complaint that fails to specifically allege a single of instance of voter fraud in any of the seven Democratic counties sued.

The only suspected instances of voter fraud cited in the complaint occurred in two Keystone State counties that voted for Trump by double-digits: Fayette and Luzerne.

“And the Trump Campaign’s sensational claims of voter fraud regarding nine mail ballots found in a Luzerne County wastebasket […] and an Erie County mail carrier’s observations of purported anomalies [ …] have been exposed as untrue,” the DNC noted, citing reports by CNN and the Washington Post.

The DNC noticed that this fact-pattern has been playing out across the country since Biden was declared the winner.

“Plaintiffs have instead enlisted the federal judiciary to air a laundry list of purported election administration grievances—from the notification provided to voters whose absentee and mail-in ballots were deficient … to the distance between a poll watcher and the canvassing proceedings—and attempt to evade the Commonwealth’s election contest procedures, but effectively seek the same remedy: to overturn the election,” they wrote.

The DNC pointed out the irony that the Trump campaign is advancing an argument they opposed some four years ago, when Green Party candidate Jill Stein called the integrity of the vote into question in federal court and lost.

Back then, the Trump campaign argued and the district court agreed that Stein’s interest in a “free and fair election’ was no more than a generalized grievance, giving her no legal right to sue. A federal judge found back then that interjecting itself in the dispute would “jeopardize Pennsylvania’s ability to identify and certify its Presidential electors and thus the State’s place at the Electoral College table,” which—in the word’s of the Trump campaign at the time—“could disenfranchise millions of Pennsylvania voters.”

The Democrats added that the evidence put forward by the Trump campaign, such as it is, could not justify what they were asking for even if proven.

“Even if plaintiffs’ allegations were true (they are not) and there were isolated and sporadic incidents in which the election laws were violated, not by voters but by election workers, this occurrence could not possibly justify widescale disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of Pennsylvanians,” their brief states. “Such a remedy—unlike the election irregularities Plaintiffs allege—would place an undue burden on the right to vote.”

The Trump campaign’s attorney from Porter Wright did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

Read the DNC’s 52-page dismissal motion below:

[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime:

Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."