A Pennsylvania judge on Saturday threw out Donald Trump’s claims of widespread electoral fraud there, dealing a new blow to the Republican’s bid to overturn his loss in the US presidential election.
The decision — announced in a scathing judgment which excoriated the Trump team’s legal strategy — paves the way for Pennsylvania to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s victory there, which is scheduled to take place Monday.
With the clock ticking down to Biden’s January 20 inauguration, Trump’s team has focused on trying to stop battleground states from certifying election results, in addition to his numerous legal challenges that have so far failed.
Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his ruling that Trump’s team had presented “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations” in their complaints about mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.
“In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state,” Brann wrote.
“Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.”
Biden won the state-by-state Electoral College votes that ultimately decide who takes the White House by 306 to 232.
The Electoral College is due to formally vote on December 14, with certifications to take place beforehand.
States’ certification of results of their popular votes is usually routine following a US presidential election.
But Trump’s refusal to concede has complicated the process and drawn concerns that he could cause long-term damage to Americans’ trust in their voting system.