Andrew Trunsky, DCNF
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is building an enormous legal operation in anticipation of November’s election which is expected to shatter turnout records and will rely on mail-in ballots more than ever before, the New York Times reported.
Biden’s campaign has described the operation as the largest election protection program in the history of any presidential campaign, and senior campaign officials said that the move was necessary to preserve the integrity of the election in response to President Donald Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting, the Times reported.
Dana Remus, Biden’s general counsel, will oversee the developing operation alongside Bob Bauer, a former White House Counsel to President Barack Obama, according to the Times.
NYT reports the Biden campaign is preparing for an extended legal battle over the election outcome, creating a new legal operation that includes two former solicitor generals and hundreds of lawyers: https://t.co/UvgMRLXdza (via @ShaneGoldmacher)
— Mary Catherine (@mcwellons) September 14, 2020
Donald Verrilli Jr. and Walter Dellinger, two former solicitors general, will oversee the campaign’s “special litigation” unit, which will be dedicated toward vote casting and counting in states across the country, according to the Times. Hundreds of independent law firms have been hired by Biden’s campaign as well, including the Democratic firm Perkins Coie, and former Attorney General Eric Holder will serve as a liaison between the campaign and the firms, the Times reported.
Both Remus and Bauer said that the operation will resemble those of previous campaigns regarding its efforts to combat voter suppression and ensure that voters cast their ballots correctly, but also said that it will help administer the election amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and guard against foreign interference, the Times reported.
“There are some unique challenges this year,” Bauer told the the Times in reference to the pandemic and voters’ increased reliance on mail-in voting.
Biden’s campaign is also far more reliant on strong turnout from mail-in and early voters, as reports have shown that Democrats have built a strong advantage over Republicans regarding the two methods. Republican voters, conversely, have said that they prefer to vote in-person on Election Day, echoing Trump’s repeated attacks on mail-in ballots and warnings of a fraudulent election, despite being rebuked by some top GOP election officials.
The operation also reflects some Democrats’ concerns that Trump will contest any results that appear after Election Day, despite the fact that secretaries of state from both parties have said that the election will likely not be decided on election night. Some have also warned that Trump may not leave office even if he loses, though Trump has never said that he will refuse to cede his position if he is defeated.
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