(Adds details of filing)
By Makini Brice and Jonathan Stempel
Nov 24 (Reuters) - Pennsylvania officials told a federal
appeals court on Tuesday it should reject a bid by U.S.
President Donald Trump's campaign to block President-elect Joe
Biden from being declared the winner of the battleground state,
according to a court filing.
Lawyers for Trump's campaign have asked the U.S. Third
Circuit Court of Appeals to halt the "effect" of the state's
results. The results were certified earlier on Tuesday, clearing
the way for Biden to receive the state's 20 electoral votes and
dimming Trump's long-shot quest to change the outcome of the
While Trump's administration begins the process of formally
transitioning the government to Biden, Trump's campaign is
appealing a decision made by a lower court judge, who rejected
claims of inconsistent treatment of mail-in ballots. Some
counties told voters they could fix defective ballots, such as a
missing "secrecy envelope," while others did not.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann dismissed the case, saying
he had "no authority to take away the right to vote of even a
single person, let alone millions of citizens."
In appealing the decision, the Trump campaign said it was
focusing on the "narrow" question of whether Brann improperly
refused to let it amend the lawsuit a second time.
The campaign wants to add back allegations it dropped from
the case, including a claim that its due process rights were
"The Trump Campaign seeks to needlessly draw out this futile
legislation by asserting the right to reinstate meritless claims
they excised and abandoned in the District Court in a
well-publicized effort to undermine this election and,
ultimately, democracy itself," lawyers for four of the counties
involved in the lawsuit wrote in a court filing.
The campaign on Monday denied trying to disenfranchise the
state's 6.8 million voters and said it wanted an expert to
"sample" 1.5 million mail ballots to determine how many were
Those defective ballots, the Trump campaign said, should be
"deducted from Biden's votes, which may change the result of the
Biden received nearly 81,000 more votes than Trump in the
Even if Trump was able to overturn the election results in
Pennsylvania, he would need to invalidate the results in two
other key states to change the outcome of the election.
"Trump did not succeed in Pennsylvania and he will not
succeed anywhere else," Bob Bauer, an adviser to Biden, said in
a statement on Tuesday.
If the campaign loses its appeal, it could ask the U.S.
Supreme Court to take up its case.
(Reporting by Makini Brice and Jonathan Stempel; Editing by
Noeleen Walder, Chris Reese and Tom Brown)
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