‘We should give president Trump his day in court’: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem tells George Stephanopoulos that the election results are ‘premature’ and expresses concerns of voter fraud
- Joe Biden was announced President-elect on Saturday after major news outlets called Pennsylvania and Nevada for the Democrat
- Throughout the week, Donald Trump’s campaign voiced claims of voter fraud
- On Sunday, South Dakota Gov Kristi Noem voiced similar claims and called the presidential election results ‘premature’
- She said Biden should ‘and make sure that we can prove we had a fair election’
South Dakota Gov Kristi Noem told ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos that the presidential elections results are ‘premature’ before expressing her concerns over possible voter fraud during an interview about working with President-elect Joe Biden.
Biden was announced the President-elect on Saturday to the shock of millions of President Donald Trump supporters after several major news outlets called Pennsylvania and Nevada for the Democrat, pushing him past the 270 electoral votes needed for him to win.
Throughout the week, and as results from key swing states slowly trickled in, Trump’s campaign team voiced claims of voter fraud.
Gov Noem echoed that same sentiment while speaking with Stephanopoulos who had asked her about working with Biden to combat the surge of coronavirus cases in South Dakota, a state that overwhelmingly voted for Trump.
‘This is a premature conversation because we have not finished counting votes,’ Noem told the anchor.
South Dakota Gov Kristi Noem (right) told ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos (left) that the presidential elections results are ‘premature’ before expressing her concerns over possible voter fraud during an interview about working with President-elect Joe Biden
‘Election Day needs to be fair, honest and transparent, and we need to be sure that we had an honest election before we decide who gets to be in the White House the next four years,’ Noem continued
‘Election Day needs to be fair, honest and transparent, and we need to be sure that we had an honest election before we decide who gets to be in the White House the next four years,’ Noem continued.
Stephanopoulos then challenged Noem, asking the governor: ‘Do you have any evidence at all of widespread fraud?’
‘People have signed legal documents, affidavits, stating that they saw illegal activities,’ Noem added.
‘I don’t know how widespread it is. I don’t know if it will change the outcome of the election. But why is everybody so scared just to have a fair election and find out?’
During the conversation, Noem repeatedly referenced 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore.
‘Why would we not afford the 70.6 million Americans that voted for President Trump the same consideration?’ she asked.
‘If Joe Biden really wants to unify this country, he would wait and make sure that we can prove we had a fair election.’
Stephanopoulos then clarified the difference between the 2000 and 2020 elections, noting that the gap between Bush and Gore was only by a hundred votes in Florida, unlike the thousands of votes that separated Trump and Biden across multiple states.
At the close of the segment, the anchor told Noem that investigations into voter fraud would start with evidence.
‘You still have not provided that,’ he added.
Meanwhile, senior officials have claimed that the Trump campaign’s strategy to file a barrage of lawsuits challenging Biden’s win is more about providing Trump with an off-ramp for a loss he can’t quite grasp and less about changing the election’s outcome.
Trump has promised legal action in the coming days as he refused to concede his loss to Biden, making an aggressive pitch for donors to help finance any court fight.
Meanwhile, senior officials have claimed that the Trump campaign’s strategy to file a barrage of lawsuits challenging Biden’s win is more about providing Trump with an off-ramp for a loss he can’t quite grasp and less about changing the election’s outcome
A person peeks through the fence surrounding the White House in Black Lives Matter Plaza the day after Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris won the US presidential election in Washington, DC
The president and his campaign have leveled accusations of large-scale voter fraud in Pennsylvania and other states that broke for Biden, so far without proof.
But proof isn’t really the point, according to 10 Trump senior officials, campaign aides and allies who were not authorized to discuss the subject publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Trump aides and allies also acknowledged privately the legal fights would – at best – forestall the inevitable, and some had deep reservations about the president’s attempts to undermine faith in the vote.
But they said Trump and a core group of allies were aiming to keep his loyal base of supporters on his side even in defeat.
There has never been a presidential election in memory where such widespread, conspiratorial fraud was alleged.
Moments after the AP called the race for Biden, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani stood in front of campaign banner taped over the garage door of a landscaping company in Philadelphia, wedged near a cremation center and an adult book store called Fantasy Island, with a handful of poll watchers and declared they’d been kept too far away to check for any inaccuracies.
‘We have no way of knowing, because we’ve been deprived of the right to inspect ballots,’ he said.
Partisan poll watchers are designated by a political party or campaign to report any concerns they may have. They are not poll workers who actually tally ballots.
Monitoring polling places and election offices is allowed in most states, but rules vary and there are certain limits to avoid any harassment or intimidation. They are not allowed to interfere with the conduct of the election and are typically required to register in advance with the local election office.
This year, because of the coronavirus that has killed more than 230,000 people across the country, there was litigation in a few states, including Pennsylvania, over where poll watchers could stand to ensure social distancing.
Lawyers could potentially argue the vote tally should be cast aside over fraud observed by poll watchers, but in order to win that argument they’d need strong evidence, not just allegations the monitors weren’t allowed to see clearly enough.
Judges are loathe to disenfranchise any voters and there would need to be substantial proof that fraud had so damaged the count it must be set aside. And it would have to happen across multiple states.
Democratic poll watchers, who were also given the same access, have not raised concerns. Giuliani called evidence of fraud circumstantial at the news conference. He said he’d be filing suit in federal court, but the issue has already been before judges.
A federal judge in Philadelphia Thursday night ordered the two sides to work out an agreement on the number of poll watchers and how close they could be to the counting.
The judge also voiced concerns about the safety of poll workers during the pandemic if poll watchers were allowed to peer over their shoulders.
On Fox News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures, Giuliani said two additional lawsuits were in the process of being drafted, in addition to existing litigation in Pennsylvania.
Moments after the AP called the race for Biden, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani (at podium) held a press conference in Philadelphia with a handful of poll watchers and declared they’d been kept too far away to check for any inaccuracies
By the end of this week, Giuliani predicted the campaign would have filed ‘four or five’ lawsuits, with a total of 10 possible. Republican lawyers planned a Monday news conference to announce additional litigation.
Voter fraud is extremely rare, and when it does happen, people are generally caught and prosecuted and it does not change the outcome of the election. Typically, it involves someone wanting to honor the wishes of a loved one who recently died and either knowingly or not commits a crime by filling out that ballot.
Trump campaign officials have also alleged that more than 21,000 had been cast in the name of the dead in Pennsylvania. The claims stem from a conservative legal group’s lawsuit against the Secretary of State, accusing her of wrongly including some 21,000 supposedly dead residents on voter rolls.
The federal judge who has the case, John Jones, has said he was doubtful of the claims. He said the Public Interest Legal Foundation that brought the claims was asking the court to accept that there were dead people on voter rolls, and he asked for proof and questioned why they had waited until the ‘eleventh hour’ to file suit.
‘We cannot and will not take plaintiff’s word for it -in an election where every vote matters, we will not disenfranchise potentially eligible voters based solely upon the allegations of a private foundation,’ he wrote in an October 20 ruling.
But even if those 21,000 votes were to be cast aside, Biden would still lead the state by more than 20,000 votes, according to AP data.
Trump’s own administration has pushed back at the claims of widespread voter fraud and illegal voting though it didn’t mention Trump was the one making the allegations.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the federal agency that oversees US election security, also noted local election offices have detection measures that ‘make it highly difficult to commit fraud through counterfeit ballots’.
Top election officials in the battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada – both Republican and Democrat – have all said they see no widespread voting irregularities, no major instances of fraud or illegal activity.