Two battleground states, Wisconsin and Arizona, certified their presidential election results in favour of Joe Biden, even as President Donald Trump’s legal team continued to dispute the results.
Mr Biden’s victory in Wisconsin was certified following a partial recount that only added to his 20,600-vote margin over Mr Trump, who has promised to file a lawsuit seeking to undo the results.
Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, signed a certificate that completed the process after the canvass report showing Mr Biden as the winner following the recount was approved by the chairwoman of the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission.
Mr Evers’ signature was required by law and is typically a procedural step that receives little attention.
Please join me in thanking our clerks, election administrators, and poll workers across our state for working tirelessly to ensure we had a safe, fair, and efficient election. Thank you for all your good work.
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) November 30, 2020
“Today I carried out my duty to certify the November 3 election,” Mr Evers said in a statement.
“I want to thank our clerks, election administrators, and poll workers across our state for working tirelessly to ensure we had a safe, fair, and efficient election.
“Thank you for all your good work.”
The action now starts a five-day deadline for Mr Trump to file a lawsuit, which he promised would come no later than Tuesday.
Mr Trump filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in Wisconsin seeking to disqualify hundreds of thousands of ballots in a longshot attempt to overturn Mr Biden’s win in the battleground state he lost by nearly 20,700 votes.
Mr Trump is mounting a long-shot attempt to overturn the results by disqualifying as many as 238,000 ballots.
Mr Trump’s lawyers have alleged without evidence that there was widespread fraud and illegal activity.
Mr Biden’s campaign has said the recount showed that Mr Biden won Wisconsin decisively and there was no fraud.
Even if Mr Trump were successful in Wisconsin, the state’s 10 Electoral College votes would not be enough to undo Mr Biden’s overall victory as states around the country certify results.
Earlier, Arizona officials certified Mr Biden’s narrow victory in that state.
Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Republican Governor Doug Ducey both vouched for the integrity of the election before signing off on the results.
“We do elections well here in Arizona. The system is strong,” Mr Ducey said.
He did not directly address Mr Trump’s claims of irregularities but said the state pulled off a successful election with a mix of in-person and mail voting despite the pandemic.
Ms Hobbs said Arizona voters should know that the election “was conducted with transparency, accuracy and fairness in accordance with Arizona’s laws and election procedures, despite numerous unfounded claims to the contrary”.
Mr Biden is only the second Democrat in 70 years to win Arizona.
I’ve been pretty outspoken about Arizona’s election system, and bragged about it quite a bit, including in the Oval Office. And for good reason. 1/
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) December 1, 2020
In the final tally, he beat Mr Trump by 10,457 votes, or 0.3% of the nearly 3.4 million ballots cast.
Even as Ms Hobbs, Mr Ducey, the state attorney general and chief justice of the state Supreme Court certified the election results, Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis met in a Phoenix hotel ballroom a few miles away to lay out claims of irregularities in the vote count in Arizona and elsewhere.
But they did not provide evidence of widespread fraud.
“The officials certifying have made no effort to find out the truth, which to me, gives the state Legislature the perfect reason to take over the conduct of this election because it’s being conducted irresponsibly and unfairly,” Mr Giuliani said.
I’m not fighting for me, I’m fighting for the 74,000,000 million people (not including the many Trump ballots that were “tossed”), a record for a sitting President, who voted for me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2020
Nine Republican state politicians attended the meeting.
They had requested permission to hold a formal legislative hearing at the Capitol but were denied by the Republican House speaker and Senate president.
Mr Trump berated Mr Ducey on Twitter, asking: “Why is he rushing to put a Democrat in office, especially when so many horrible things concerning voter fraud are being revealed at the hearing going on right now.”
Elections challenges brought by the Trump campaign or his backers in key battleground states have largely been unsuccessful as Mr Trump continues to allege voter fraud while refusing to concede.
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.
In fact, election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed there were no serious irregularities.