What lawsuits have been filed about the election in America?

In the 2020 election Joe Biden has managed to get 306 electoral votes and thus putting him in line for the next President of the United States. However, his opponent, current President Donald Trump has so far refused to concede.

Him and his allies have filed lawsuits across America, trying to overturn the result. Here is a run down of some of the cases.


Election Court Ballot Observation Case, filed on November 3.

The Trump Campaign filed a suit in a court in Philadelphia claiming that observers were blocked from vote counters.  

The result? The court in Philadelphia rejected this, however the Trump campaign won on appeals  in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvanian Supreme Court has said that it will hear this case and briefs were due next week.

Donald J. Trump for President vs Boockvar, filed on November 4.

Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee launched a petition in the state’s court challenging the decision by Ms. Boockvar to extend the deadline for absentee voters to give proof of identification so their vote would be counted. The Trump Campaign asked for those votes to be separated and not counted.

On November 12 the state court ruled that Ms. Boockvar lacked the legal authority to extend the deadline and granted the request to separate and not count the votes.

Donald J. Trump for President vs Boockvar, filed on the November 9.

The Trump Campaign filed a lawsuit in a federal court arguing that Ms. Boockvar and seven counties in Pennsylvania saying that poll observers were kept too far from vote counters, Republican votes in Democrat controlled counties got different treatment during the election and mail-in and in-person ballots got different scrutiny, potentially violating the constitution. The suit requested tat the certification of results is blocked.

Hearings for the case are scheduled for next week.

Canvass of Absentee and Mail-in ballots, filed on the November 10.

The Trump Campaign appealed a decision made by the Philadelphia County Board of Elections. This suit claims that envelopes of ballots were not filled out with the correct information in accordance with state law.

The Court of Common Pleas denied the challenges.

Pirckle vs Wolf, filed on the November 10.

Four voters sought to block votes in several counties from being included in the state total. They claim that the state violated the right to equal protection by allowing different absentee ballot practices among counties.

The case is being consolidated with Donald J. Trump for President vs Boockvar.


Donald J. Trump for President vs Benson, filed on November 4.

The Trump Campaign filed this suit in an attempt to stop the count of ballots. They also claimed that they had been denied ‘meaningful access’ to watch the counting of mail-in ballots.

The assistant attorney general said that no relief could be granted because “there are no more counting boards that are functioning”. Another lawyer pointed out that the suit had been filed against the Secretary of State incorrectly, as he does not oversee the counting sites.

On November 7 a judge denied the attempt to block counting, because the lawsuit had been filed against the wrong person and also because all the votes had already been counted. The Trump Campaign is seeking to appeal this result.

Constantino v. City of Detroit, filed on November 9.

A Conservative legal group called The Great Lakes Justice Centre filed a state suit claiming that election officials in Detroit counted ineligible absentee ballots and elected observers from watching ballot counts. An employee for the Detroit election claimed that she saw other employees coach people to vote for Biden before the election. The group call against the certification of the election results.

The court has rejected the suit.

Donald J. Trump for President vs Benson, filed on November 10.

In a federal lawsuit the Trump Campaign claimed that Ms. Benson and other officials blocked Republican poll watchers for seeing the counting of mail-in ballots. The suit wants to block the results from being finalised.

A court appearance hasn’t been scheduled yet.


Stokke vs Cegavske, filed on November 5.

Republicans filed this in a federal court, asking the judge to halt the use of a machine to match signatures and give people better access to watch the counting of ballots.

On November 6, a judge rejected the request to change how state officials count votes.


Donald J. Trump for President vs Hobbs, filed on November 7.

The Trump Campaign filed a suit alleging that some ballots were incorrectly rejected in a county. The suit also claims several voters were alerted that there were errors on their ballots, and that state law says they should be allowed to fix them. Some poll workers encouraged voters to ignore the message causing the ballot to be casted with a defect on it, those making it invalid.

The complaint requested that a manual inspection be completed of the ballots in issue and that the state’s final vote should be blocked until the review is done.

Trump lawyers later dropped the case, as it effected too few votes to change the outcome of the election.


Chatham County Absentee Election Case, filed on November 3.

Republicans and the Trump Campaign filed a challenge against Chatham County Board of Elections claiming that officials had mixed absentee ballots received after the polls had closed, thus violating state law. The suit asked a state court to stop the counting of absentee ballots received after the election.

On November 5 the state court ruled there was no evidence that the Election Board broke the law.


Langenhost vs Pecore

Four voters sought to exclude all the votes in three counties based on different in absentee voting rules among the counties. The suit also complained that some people received absentee ballots without requesting them, and that ballots were sent to dead people.

This case is pending in a state court.

State Recounts


The Secretary of State for Georgia ordered a manual recount by hand. Joe Biden currently leads by over 14,000 votes in Georgia.


On November 4 the Trump Campaign requesting a recount in the state. Biden is currently leading by 20,000 votes in Wisconsin.

These suits will likely struggle to do well in court, as the Trump Campaign has so far presented no significant evidence that would shift the result of a state. The result of the election would require Donald Trump to change the result in at least three states in order to retain the presidency.

By Kieran Burt

Feature image: Gage Skidmore on Flickr

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