UW professor: Trump challenges unlikely to change any state outcomes

MADISON (WKOW) -- Members of President Donald Trump's re-election team continued to question the absentee ballot collection process Sunday, repeating claims that, in some cases, had already been dismissed in court.

One day earlier, the Associated Press and all major broadcast networks projected former Vice President Joe Biden the winner of the election and the 46th President of the United States.

Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas, former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt questioned the machine used to verify the signatures on absentee ballot envelopes.

"In order for that system to properly work, would take months and months of testing with a large amount of experts, and that simply was not done," Laxalt said.

It's an argument the Trump campaign made during a hearing on Friday before a federal judge in Nevada.The judge denied the campaign's requestfor the machine to no longer be used in the signature verification process, citing a lack of evidence.

"I don't want to say (changing the outcome is) impossible but really borders on impossible," said UW-Madison Political Law Professor Howard Schweber. "The outcome was not based on a close result in one state, it was based on results in multiple states."

Schweber said the challenge before the Trump campaign is that, as of Sunday night, he trailed by at least 10,000 votes in each contested state. He said widescale voter fraud was rampant in the United States from the Civil War era through about the 1960s, but added there's hardly any evidence of such widespread cheating in statewide or federal races since.

"There's simply no credible basis that I've seen to any of the allegations in this election," Schweber said. "And, frankly, no credible basis to any widespread electoral fraud any time in the last several decades."

In Wisconsin, unofficial results reported by the state's 72 county clerks had Biden carrying the state by more than 20,000 votes. On Friday, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) released a statement that said he was calling on the Assembly's committee on elections to review the state's results.

"With concerns surfacing about mail-In ballot dumps and voter fraud, Wisconsin citizens deserve to know their vote counted," the statement read. "There should be no question as to whether the vote was fair and legitimate, and there must be absolute certainty that the impending recount finds any and all irregularities."

Schweber said should the Trump campaign pursue a recount in Wisconsin, which it had indicated last week it would do, past precedent shows the changes are minimal.

In the 2016 presidential election, Green Party candidate Jill Stein paid $3 million for a recount; it changes the final tally by 131 votes.

"There have been multiple recounts historically in Wisconsin and none has yielded a shift of more than 100-150 votes," Schweber said. "So when we're looking at differences of 10,000 votes, these are measures that have no capacity to have any predictable effect."

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