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AP reveals lawsuits setting up midterm election challenges

FILE - A Republican election challenger at right watches over election inspectors as they examine a ballot as votes are counted into the early morning hours, Nov. 4, 2020, at the central counting board in Detroit. A review by The Associated Press in the six battleground states disputed by former President Trump has found fewer than 475 cases of potential voter fraud, a minuscule number that would have made no difference in the 2020 presidential election. Democrat Joe Biden won Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and their 79 Electoral College votes by a combined 311,257 votes out of 25.5 million ballots cast for president. (AP Photo/David Goldman, file)

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White House reporter Colleen Long was preparing for her election-night assignment monitoring litigation related to the midterm elections, when she notice she was receiving lots of notifications regarding pre-election lawsuits. She started digging and discovered more than 100 lawsuits had already been filed this year for issues related to the Nov. 8 elections.

The legal challenges, largely by Republicans, target rules for mail-in voting, early voting, voter access and registration, voting machines, the counting of mismarked absentee ballots, and access for partisan poll watchers. Long’s reporting identified the broader trend and also uncovered an entirely unreported GOP strategy of approaching the midterms with thousands of volunteers and lawyers hired across the nation.

She buttressed the new information with crucial context from her experience tracking litigation in the 2020 elections. Long’s assessment: The legal actions likely preview a contentious post-election period, stemming partly from the failure of Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the legitimate 2020 election of Joe Biden.

The story ranked near the top of AP News for the day and was later matched by at least one major national publication.

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Election workers and voters at a polling place in Las Vegas, June 14, 2022. – AP Photo / John Locher
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