The Republican plan to win the election is to not only suppress votes but keep them from being counted altogether.
Trailing in the polls and facing the distinct possibility of defeat, Donald Trump and the Republican Party are running an effort to invalidate ballots cast across the country — and invalidate the will of the voters — to keep Trump and other GOP officials in office.
Trump and his allies are filing lawsuits in states across the country to prevent absentee ballots from being counted, using absurd and false claims of fraud as their excuse.
Some of these lawsuits have failed — such as an effort to prevent absentee ballots postmarked on Election Day from being counted in Pennsylvania.
However, some have succeeded. And Trump and the GOP have not stopped in their efforts.
Here are four ways Trump and Republicans are trying to not only suppress the vote but keep ballots from being counted altogether:
Republicans won a lawsuit in Wisconsin that invalidates any mail-in ballot received after Election Day, even if it was postmarked on time — even as the U.S. Postal Service has been plagued by delays following deliberate changes by the Trump appointee leading the agency.
In fact, the delays are so bad election officials have been advising voters to find alternatives to sending their ballots in the mail.
In the 2020 primary, 80,000 ballots in the state that were postmarked by the election but received in the days after were counted. If that happens next week, much less than 80,000 ballots could make a difference in who wins or loses the state, as Trump carried Wisconsin by just over 22,000 votes four years ago.
In Minnesota, Republicans are suing to force the state to separate mail-in ballots received after Election Day but postmarked on time.
Republicans want to make it easy to toss out the ballots if they are successful in a separate fight to invalidate an extension for counting absentee ballots in the state.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon extended the deadline to count those ballots for seven days, which Trump and Republicans disagree with, the Hill reported.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads in Minnesota. However, four years ago, Trump lost the state by roughly 40,000 votes. So the invalidation of tens of thousands of legally cast ballots could possibly impact the outcome of the race.
Trump and the GOP are undertaking multiple voter suppression tactics in Pennsylvania.
His campaign lost an effort to keep the state from counting absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day but received in the days after.
However, it's still trying to block the state from processing mail-in ballots before Election Day, which could make results take longer to count and allow Trump to baselessly claim there was voter fraud in the state if Biden's support grows as ballots are counted.
What's more, Trump has urged his supporters to go "watch" the polls in Democratic strongholds in the state, such as Philadelphia.
"A lot of strange things happening in Philadelphia," Trump said at a campaign stop in Allentown on Monday. "We're watching you, Philadelphia. We're watching at the highest level."
In order to prevent intimidation, state law bars poll watchers from going outside the county in which they live to do their jobs.
Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Pennsylvania Democrat who represents Philadelphia, told the American Independent Foundation earlier in October that Trump's efforts to intimidate voters in the city are "disturbing."
In Nevada, the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit to demand that observers from their campaign be allowed to watch the processing of absentee ballots in heavily Democratic areas of the state.
Democrats in the state say that the Trump campaign wants to watch absentee processing in order to try to invalidate ballots in Democratic strongholds to try to hurt Biden's campaign and boost Trump's.
"Clark County is a blue county, and this is a numbers game. And quite frankly they would like to exclude as many ballots in Clark County as they can. They want a high rejection rate," Nevada Deputy Solicitor General Gregory Zunino said at a hearing for the Trump campaign's lawsuit on Wednesday, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. "They are not challenging the process in Elko County or Humboldt County or Carson City because those are red counties."
Ultimately, it's unclear whether the Trump campaign's efforts to invalidate legally cast ballots will work.
So far, more than 80 million ballots have already been cast across the country, according to the U.S. Elections Project. That total amounts to more than half of the entire 2016 turnout, which was 138 million.
The majority of those ballots — or nearly 52 million — were cast by mail, according to the U.S. Elections Project, the very practice Trump and his Republican allies are attacking.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.