Experts see Trump legal strategy to win White House as a longshot

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has called for a review of the statewide election process.

This comes as President Donald Trump has launched a barrage of legal challenges in several states regarding ballot counting.

Courts have decided elections before. Most notably, in the 2000 presidential election, when Florida was flipped, and George Bush became president.

But the experts we spoke with say Trump’s numerous challenges are nothing like that scenario. There are a few key differences between Florida in 2000, and President Trump’s legal challenges now.

Marquette Political Science Professor Paul Nolette said Trump is down tens of thousands of votes in several of these states, but Florida was separated by a few hundred.

“It truly was such a close election that a recount, which was underway, and then stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court, that actually could have changed the results,” Nolette said.

Also, Nolette said there was a concrete issue courts could way in on in 2000.

“It had to do with, really, voter intention," Nolette said. "And that was the whole 'hanging chads' situation, where there were questions about specific individual ballots, and whether somebody intended to vote for Al Gore or George Bush.”

The "hanging chad" situation involved an unusually large number of votes in some Florida counties for third-party candidate Pat Buchanan because of physical problems with hole-punch ballots, which are not used anymore.

Most of the president's current allegations of fraud don’t point to specific examples. Marquette election law expert Atiba Ellis said the ones that do name specifics, are nitpicking over small numbers of votes.

“There’s a lot of suits about technicalities," Ellis said. "Several of them have already been dismissed. The courts, particularly the Supreme Court, is not going to get involved unless there are enough votes on the table to actually swing the election.”

Trump also wants to discount Pennsylvania votes that were postmarked on Election Day but arrived later. However, the state Supreme Court ruled that was allowed before the election, and the U.S. Supreme Court chose to let it stand.

“In election law, when a state court rules on state law, usually the federal courts stay out of it,” Ellis said.

CBS 58 reached out to Vos’s office about his call to review Wisconsin’s election, but they did not comment.

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