Joe Biden’s campaign has assembled an extensive legal team to focus on voting and election issues.
The effort comes as the campaigns brace for voting amid a pandemic with legal battles already underway and as President Donald Trump makes baseless claims about fraud in order to cast doubt heading into the fall election.
“We can and will be able to hold a free and fair election this November and we’re putting in place an unprecedented voter protection effort with thousands of lawyers and volunteers around the country to ensure that voting goes smoothly,” Dana Remus, the campaign’s general counsel, said.
The Biden campaign’s voter protection effort is led by Remus and former White House Counsel Bob Bauer, who has joined the campaign full-time as a senior adviser, a campaign official said. Bauer also served as general counsel for the Obama-Biden campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
“Notwithstanding Donald Trump and his Republican allies’ hollow threats and constant misinformation, election officials around the country are working tirelessly to hold a free and fair and election, and we have an extraordinary national team in place to ensure that every eligible voter is able to exercise their right to vote and have their vote counted,” Bauer said.
How to vote
The program includes thousands of lawyers and volunteers on the ground focusing on voter protection work across the country.
Remus is also overseeing a “special litigation” unit, which includes former solicitors general Donald Verrilli and Walter Dellinger, the official said. Hundreds of lawyers will be part of that effort, including a team from the law firm of Perkins Coie led by Marc Elias, which is focusing on state-by-state voter access issues and vote counting.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder is serving as a liaison of sorts between the campaign and outside groups working on voting rights issues, the official said.
The Biden campaign’s expanded voter protection efforts, which were first reported by The New York Times, will focus on offering assistance to election jurisdictions as they prepare for voting amid a pandemic; voter education about in-person and mail-in voting; combating voter suppression; and developing programs to identify and tackle foreign interference and misinformation from both foreign and domestic sources.
The push comes as the campaign is navigating how voting will play out during a pandemic with states preparing for an unprecedented number of voters casting ballots remotely in the coming weeks. Many voting experts and political strategists area also bracing for the possibility of delayed results on election night.
After casting an early ballot in person Monday ahead Delaware’s statewide primary, Biden was asked if he’s confident about November’s election and if all votes will be counted.
“I have confidence that Trump will try to not have that happen but I’m confident the American public’s gonna insist on it,” Biden said.
Trump has baselessly claimed there is widespread voter fraud in US elections. He’s railed against mail-in voting and recently told supporters to become poll watchers at voting locations as he baselessly claimed Democrats will attempt to commit fraud. Trump’s campaign team has also started questioning local officials in swing states about vote-counting.
The President has also told voters in North Carolina to vote twice – in mail and in person – to ensure their initial vote was counted, despite Americans only being able to vote once per election.
Ben Ginsberg, a top Republican election lawyer, recently wrote an op-ed slamming Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud, saying “the lack of evidence renders these claims unsustainable.”