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Missouri AG joining challenge to vote count

Nassim Benchaabane St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt will sign a court brief with other Republican attorneys general arguing in favor of a GOP lawsuit challenging mail-in ballots before the U.S. Supreme Court, a spokesman said Sunday.

The lawsuit by the Pennsylvania Republican Party protests the state Supreme Court's decision to allow mail-in ballots three additional days to arrive, arguing the extension violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court already turned away one GOP bid to quickly block the extension before the election, but the GOP has petitioned for a second review.

A spokesman for Schmitt's office on Sunday confirmed the attorney general has joined the Republican Association of Attorneys General in filing an amicus brief, or legal argument that can be filed by someone who isn't a party in the case but has an interest in the outcome. Schmitt's spokesman would not release more details.

"The Republican AGs are already stepping up to the frontlines as "America's insurance policy" against the possibility of a Biden-Harris Administration and their liberal extremist agenda," the association wrote in a news release.

The lawsuit is among a flurry of legal actions in several battleground states filed by Republicans and President Donald Trump's campaign to challenge a vote count – despite no evidence of widespread vote fraud – declaring Democrat Joe Biden the next president of the U.S. Many involve changes to normal procedures because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden on Saturday crossed the winning threshold of 270 Electoral College votes with a win in Pennsylvania, after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of about 3 million mail-in votes that delayed processing. Under state law, elections officials were not allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day. The majority of mail-in ballots are being cast by Democrats, according to state data.

Trump however, has refused to concede, threatening further legal action on ballot counting. Trump has pointed to delays in processing the vote in some states to allege, with no evidence, that there was fraud. Schmitt, whom Gov. Mike Parson chose as attorney general in 2018 following Josh Hawley's election to the U.S. Senate, was elected to a four-year term on Tuesday after defeating Democratic opponent Rich Finneran.