News-Press exclusive: Local member of monitoring team discusses votes
A winner in the presidential election hasn’t been called despite Joe Biden’s progress with two states President Trump needs to win, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
As of Friday, Mr. Biden was leading by narrow margins in both states.
And according to Reuters’ electoral map as of Friday, Mr. Biden leads President Trump in the race to 270 with 253 votes compared to the president’s 214.
President Trump has filed lawsuits in several key states, with allegations ranging from individuals who are no longer residents of Nevada still voting there and GOP poll watchers not being allowed to observe ballots being counted in Michigan.
Local attorney Mike Stoker, who for the past week worked on vote monitoring as part of the legal team in President Trump’s re-election campaign, spoke to the News-Press in an exclusive interview about the current state of the election, though not in an official capacity connected to the president’s campaign.
During his week working with the campaign Mr. Stoker was stationed in Pennsylvania, perhaps the most hard-fought state this election, but said he is familiar with the legal contests the president has initiated in each hotly contested state.
Among the irregularities that Mr. Stoker said the president’s campaign has proof of include votes being cast by deceased individuals, as well as votes being cast in Nevada by people who no longer meet its residency requirements. According to the Nevada secretary of state’s website, voters in the state must have continuously resided in Nevada for at least 30 days prior to an election.
Mr. Stoker also said he sees irregularities in batches of votes that have arrived in the tens of thousands and unanimously been in Mr. Biden’s favor without a single vote for President Trump. He said that a 32,000 batch of ballots in Pennsylvania was like this, and that one-sided batches such as this are completely implausible.
“It doesn’t happen. You do not have a 32,000 election batch for anything,” he said.
In Pennsylvania, the president’s campaign filed a lawsuit to cease the vote count until Republican poll watchers were allowed better access in watching the votes get counted, alleging that state election officials weren’t allowing them to observe at the six-foot distance as they were due.
David Atkins, the California Democratic Party region 10 director and Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee south vice chair, called the president’s lawsuits “specious,” “without merit” and not consequential enough to impact the outcome of the election even if they were valid.
“There’s no reason that serious legal analysts either had any merit or that they would fundamentally affect the count even if they did,” he told the News-Press.
When asked about deceased individuals showing up among registered voters in Michigan and the president’s lawsuit alleging that there were votes cast in Nevada by people who longer qualify as residents, Mr. Atkins said that the former is indicative of problems that can arise with individual votes, not systemic voter fraud.
While he admitted to not knowing enough about the latter to comment, he said neither case is a problem that state registrars can’t handle.
“The registrars are competent and capable of dealing with invalid ballots as they arrive. There’s no reason to believe that invalid ballots are being counted in any state,” he said.
While Mr. Stoker does believe the allegations from the president’s campaign are valid, he doesn’t see any pathway to victory for President Trump by the end of the litigation.
As convinced as he is that illegal ballots are being counted along with legal ones, Mr. Stoker said they have been commingled and can never be separated after getting run through a voting machine. Even if certain voters who returned ballots are discovered to have been ineligible whether they’re deceased, are not residents of the state in which they voted or have missed the voting deadline, Mr. Stoker said there’s no way to determine exactly which ballot was theirs.
Even if these irregularities are found to be true after getting fought out in court, the attorney said there isn’t any way to remedy those findings because a judge cannot order a new election.
For this reason, Mr. Stoker said supporters of the president should come to terms with the probability that Mr. Trump won’t be occupying the White House after Jan. 21.
“Notwithstanding these irregularities, as an attorney knowing election law and knowing what it will take to reverse results and the remedies available to a judge, I think there is very little likelihood that the results will be changed, and therefore I think especially for those on my side of the aisle that have supported the president, that we should prepare ourselves for Joe Biden to be declared the winner,” he said.
If that is the case, he hopes that Republicans will wish the new president-elect success for the sake of the United States and set their eyes on the future, which he said should be focused on election reform, particularly in Democrat-run major cities.
There is one way in which Mr. Stoker believes the president’s path to victory could open back up, but it would demand extreme hubris from election operators.
“The one chance we would have is in a recount,” he said. “It is conceivable if potentially those that were behind the irregularities were so arrogant as to run ballots that have no name that corresponds to it. That is one area that a recount will clearly be able to identify.”