2020-11-09 08:48:20 | What’s happening with lawsuits, postal votes and recounts in the US election?

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Donald Trump has launched legal challenges in five key US states, alleging that election officials are counting fraudulent votes. As a result, though Joe Biden has been announced the winner of the election, the process could be protracted for weeks, and the damage to public confidence in the democratic process could last much longer.

Here is what’s happening in each state. For the latest election updates, see our live blog.

2020 US election results map in full

Which states are facing voting challenges?

Michigan

The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit seeking to halt voting in Michigan on Wednesday, November 4, claiming that Republicans were not allowed to observe counts “meaningfully” in several locations, but a state court judge dismissed it.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens made the ruling during a court hearing on Thursday.  

She also said the defendant, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, was the wrong person to be suing because she doesn’t control the logistics of local ballot counting, even if she is the state’s chief election officer. 

The lawsuit claimed Ms Benson, a Democrat, was allowing absentee ballots to be counted without teams of bipartisan observers as well as challengers. She was accused of undermining the “constitutional right of all Michigan voters … to participate in fair and lawful elections”.

The state was key to Donald Trump’s victory in 2016, when he flipped it from the Democrats by less than 11,000 votes, but this year Joe Biden has won its 16 electoral votes with 99 per cent of the votes counted. 

Georgia

Joe Biden has taken a slim lead in the key state of Georgia.

Votes are still being counted in the state, meaning the race could continue to be exceptionally close – Mr Biden’s lead was just over 10,000 votes.

As things stand, Mr Biden has 49.5 per cent (2,465,781 votes), while Donald Trump has 49.3 per cent (2,455,428 votes).

Georgia was a vital state for the president, who would have needed to win more of the remaining states than Mr Biden in order to grab the presidency. 

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