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Voters wait in line to cast their early ballots Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Republican Party officials say they're already looking to Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Nevada as likely battlegrounds for post-election lawsuits if the results are close.

The big picture: As pre-election lawsuits draw to a close, and with President Trump running behind Joe Biden in national and many battleground state polls, Republicans are turning their attention to preparations for Election Day and beyond, and potential recounts.

  • They have 50,000 volunteers, attorneys and staff working election day operations, with an emphasis in presidential battleground states.
  • A multi-state wave of litigation brought by both Republicans and Democrats could unfold over the course of several days next week. Where and over what depends on the margins of victory in each state.

What they're saying: "There's a good chance you won't see any litigation" if an election outcome does not hinge on the ballots set aside, one GOP official familiar with the planning said on a call with reporters. "But if it's really close, to be frank, these ballots are going to become a point of contention."

Driving the news: Republican Party officials who briefed reporters on litigation plans Friday said they're watching late-arriving ballots that will be segregated in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, and have sued for ballot counting records from Clark County, Nevada, to test whether signature-matching standards there are lower than the rest of the state.

  • Amid lawsuits over extended mail-in ballot deadlines in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, election officials will now separate ballots that arrive after Election Day in case the courts decide they should not be counted.
  • The Supreme Court denied Republicans' request to expedite review of the mail-in ballot deadline in Pennsylvania this week. But Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas notably left open the possibility of the court taking up the case after the election.
  • The Minnesota lawsuit hasn't made its way to the Supreme Court yet.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Barr says DOJ has not seen evidence of fraud that would change election results

Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr told AP on Tuesday that the Department of Justice has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: It's a direct repudiation of President Trump's baseless claims of a "rigged" election from one of the most loyal members of his Cabinet.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
9 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

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