Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

A Timeline of Donald Trump’s Failed Lawsuits and False Claims of Election Fraud 

Joe Biden was declared President-Elect in early November, a month ago. Donald Trump continues to deny the election results… as he disregards the Senate, House, and Presidential candidates and their respective races were all on the same ballot. Republicans are claiming fraudulent ballots are the reason why President-Elect Joe Biden won, but those same ballots bought countless Senate Republicans reelection. I guess it's only “voter fraud” when Donald Trump loses his race. With that logic, the dozen House seats lost by the Democrats are also the result of “voter fraud.” I also find it quite comical how the “silent majority” does not know the difference between voter fraud and election fraud. 


 Let me define it for them:


According to FindLaw.com...


Voter Fraud is the illegal behavior of individual voters. This constitutes duplicate voting, vote-selling, non-citizen voting, a felon voting, or a voter voting in a district where they do not reside (some of this “fraud” is not necessarily fraud and is called “fraud” to cover up laws/regulations suppressing voters, but that is a conversation for a different day). 


Election Fraud is Illegal interference with the process of an election. This includes: 


  • Campaign or agency workers throwing away voter registration cards

  • Vote-buying: when a campaign offers money for votes

  • Workers or volunteers forging signatures on a petition to get an issue or person on a ballot

  • Ballot harvesting: when a person or agency or campaign workers collect absentee or mail-in ballots to submit them 

  • Robocall campaigns spreading misinformation about election dates, polling locations, or other election-related information in order to prevent voters from voting

  • Illegal activity related to the counting and certification of election results

  • Violations of campaign finance laws


Is voter fraud possible? Yes. Was election fraud a possibility in this year’s election? Overwhelmingly, No. Trump fired Christopher Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security Director, who stated the 2020 election was "the most secure in American history." Twitter flagged Trump’s tweets regarding the firing and subsequent false election allegations for misinformation. 


Because Senate/House Republicans are seemingly more worried about their nonsensical claims of “voter fraud” rather than providing a COVID-19 Relief/Stimulus Bill, I have decided to recall their failed attempts to overturn the election… even their conservative-majority Supreme Court agrees with me! Let’s being. 


Sunday, November 1, 2020: The Texas Supreme Court rejects a petition submitted by Texas State Representative Steve Toth and two other Republican candidates running for office in Texas who sought to invalidate nearly 127,000 drive-thru votes in Harris County, Texas.


Monday, November 2, 2020: US District Judge Andrew Hanen rejects Toth and his Texas Republican group’s federal lawsuit to invalidate the 127,000 drive-thru votes in Texas. They failed to prove an "evil motive". 


Wednesday, November 4, 2020: 


2:30 a.m: Trump references remaining ballots while addressing his supporters, stating "A very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise those voters who voted for me and we won't stand for this ... We'll be going to the US Supreme Court, we want all voting to stop. We don't want them to find any ballots at 4:00 in the morning and add them to the list ... As far as I'm concerned we already have won this.”


The Trump campaign announces:


  • They are filing a lawsuit in Michigan to stop vote-counting until they are given "meaningful access" to observe ballot-counting. They also want to review all the already-counted ballots.

  • They are requesting a recount in Wisconsin. 

  • They are filing a lawsuit in Georgia based on a Republican poll watcher's claims that they witnessed an election worker in Chatham County combining late-arriving ballots with ballots arriving on time.

  • Another lawsuit is being filed in Philadelphia challenging a policy that requires poll watchers to keep 25 feet away from the ballot counting.


Thursday, November 5, 2020:


  • The Chatham County, Georgia Superior Court dismisses Trump's lawsuit regarding absentee ballots, stating, "there is no evidence that the ballots referenced in the petition were received after 7 pm on election day.”

  • The Michigan Court of Claims dismisses Trump's lawsuit to stop ballot-counting until Republican poll watchers are able to observe it. The state court states the lawsuit was incorrectly filed against the Michigan Secretary of State because the office is not directly involved with that aspect of the local counting process. Also, the lawsuit “was filed at 4:00, at which point the count had largely proceeded.”

  • A Pennsylvania state judge grants Trump's request and allows poll watchers to observe the Philadelphia ballot counting "within 6 feet while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols.” 

  • US District Judge Paul S. Diamond hears arguments for a federal case involving Trump poll watchers stating they were not given equal access to Democrats during the Philadelphia ballot counting. Diamond dismisses the case after the Trump campaign and Pennsylvania election officials reach an agreement.


Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020: 11:25 a.m: The Associated Press declares Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be President-Elect and Vice President-Elect once Biden wins Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes.


Monday, November 9, 2020: 


  • Barr authorizes the DOJ to investigate voter fraud, going against precedent. The Election Crime Branch's director resigns. 

  • Trump's team files a lawsuit in a federal district court in Pennsylvania to prohibit Pennsylvania from certifying its results. His team claims Pennsylvania used an illegal "two-tiered" system in which in-person and mail-in voters were treated differently. 

  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agrees to hear Trump's appeal regarding the counting in Philadelphia. 


Friday, November 13th, 2020: 


  • The Third Circuit Court in Wayne County, Michigan rejects a petition by Republican poll challengers wanting to stop the county's vote certification. They claimed fraud. The court ruled that the plaintiffs' "interpretation" of the events was "incorrect and not credible" and "decidedly contradicted" an election expert the defense put forth. 

  • The Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia rejects 5 Trump petitions challenging 5 batches of votes in which voters did not print their names under their signature or print their address on the envelope of their mail-in ballot. The court ruled that Philadelphia County's Board of Elections does not make it necessary. 


Sunday, November 15, 2020: Trump states Biden "won because the Election was Rigged.” Right-wing groups claim Dominion Voting Systems’ voter tabulation machines were rigged to delete millions of Trump votes or switch them to Biden. This is an unproven conspiracy theory. 


Tuesday, November 17, 2020: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules against Trump’s lawsuit in a 5-2 decision regarding poll observers. Raffensperger announces an audit of Georgia's voting machines found no evidence of compromise. 


Wednesday, November 18, 2020: The Trump campaign files a federal lawsuit in Pennsylvania. He claims 1.5 million mail-in or absentee votes in 7 counties should be thrown out, so he should be declared the winner in Pennsylvania, or the Pennsylvania Legislature should appoint presidential electors favoring Trump. 


Saturday, November 21, 2020: US District Judge Matthew W. Brann dismisses the Trump campaign’s lawsuit to block Pennsylvania certification. He states Trump’s legal team presented "strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations" that were "unsupported by evidence". 


Monday/Tuesday, November 23–24, 2020: Trump, Murphy, and the GSA formally allow Biden's transition team access to federal resources. Biden begins receiving the president's daily classified intelligence brief. Trump states he is not conceding and is continuing his legal battles. 

Minnesota, Nevada, and Pennsylvania certify their election results. Biden wins the 3 states.


Friday, November 27, 2020: The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejects the Trump campaign's challenge to the Pennsylvania election results. In the Milwaukee County recount, Biden votes increased by 132. 


Saturday, November 28, 2020: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismisses a lawsuit seeking to declare the expanded mail-in ballot system as unconstitutional. 


Monday, November 30, 2020: Georgia governor Brian Kemp rejects Trump's request to overrule the state's certified election results with an executive order because Georgia law prohibits its governor from interfering in elections. 


Thursday, December 3, 2020: The Wisconsin Supreme Court refuses to hear Trump's lawsuit to overturn the state's certified election results because the case has not gone through the state's lower courts. The Georgia State Senate holds a hearing regarding voter fraud. The Trump campaign shows a security video of the Fulton County ballot counting, claiming false ballots were illegally counted after Republican observers left the building. The Trump campaign's witness was unable to back their claim. 


Monday/Tuesday, December 7-8 2020: 


  • The Washington Post publishes a report asserting Trump has contacted Bryan Cutler, the Republican Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, to pressure him and the Republican-controlled state legislature to ignore Pennsylvania's certified results and appoint electors favoring Trump. 

  • Texas v. Pennsylvania is filed in the U.S. Supreme Court by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. He sues Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. He claims the 4 states unconstitutionally used the COVID-19 pandemic to change voting laws and increase the number of mail-in ballots (sidenote,  my reaction: ???). 


Wednesday/Thursday, December 9-10, 2020: 


  • Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia file briefs in support of Paxton (all states voted for Trump). 

  • Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin urge the Court to not accept the case. The District of Columbia, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 20 states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington) file a brief in support of the defendants. A group of former Republican officeholders and officials also file a brief in support of the defendants.


Friday, December 11, 2020: The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Texas v. Pennsylvania because under Article Three of the Constitution: "Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections".


Saturday/Sunday, December 12-13, 2020: 



This is a great summary of the last month. I could not gather every single detail, but the timeline above summarizes the actions of the Trump Administration. The Electoral College will formally cast their vote on December 14th and President-Elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20th. Trump knows this too. Will he attend the inauguration? Will he formally issue a concession? It doesn’t matter. There is no doubt in my mind, Joe Biden is the 46th president of the United States. 


It’s a shame the Texas GOP cannot accept a safe election, but I am not surprised. How gross. Regardless, Texas is full of empty threats. Instead, focus on the Georgia runoff elections. Show your support by donating or volunteering. You don’t have to live in Georgia to make a difference. 


























































Wajeeha Kamal is a freshman at Michigan State University in the James Madison and Honors College. She is majoring in political theory and constitutional democracy. Alongside, she plans to pursue a dual-degree in journalism. She is minoring in history. Wajeeha would like to go to law school for constitutional law and work for the ACLU or as a federal prosecutor. In her free-time, she enjoys researching true-crime, reading, and watching Netflix!
Similar Reads👯‍♀️