President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated at noon on Jan. 20. President Trump can thunder incessantly about “this Rigged Election!” and dispatch his lawyers to court. His attorney general can try to generate accusations of voter fraud. Republican senators can act as if the result were not clear.
For those who are filled with dread that this will somehow prevent Biden from taking office: Relax. It won’t.
First, the Trump lawsuits are bogus. Trump hasn’t even made allegations involving enough ballots in enough states to negate Biden’s electoral college victory.
Trump would need to overturn Biden’s apparent victories in three states to take Biden below 270 electoral votes. In Pennsylvania, where Trump’s main claim is about being denied the right to observe the process as closely as his campaign wished, no court is going to invalidate votes for that alleged procedural failure alone.
There would need to be proof of actual unlawful ballots cast as a consequence of the procedural lapse. Moreover, the proof would have to show that the unlawful ballots made a difference in which candidate won. Demonstrating that requires not only more unlawful ballots than Biden’s lead (now nearly 49,000 in Pennsylvania) but enough invalid ballots cast for Biden to erase that lead.
Assuming that invalid ballots favored Biden at an 80-20 ratio, there would need to be almost 85,000 unlawful votes to overcome a 49,000-vote margin. But courts aren’t willing to just make such assumptions. They require actual evidence, which Trump has not produced. [Continue reading…]