Joe Biden may be preparing for a repeat of the 2000 presidential election. A new report from New York Magazine claimed that he has a team of 4,000 lawyers on standby to address legal challenges in the key battleground state of Florida.
The former vice president has invested a significant amount of resources in the Sunshine State, which has emerged as one of the most important races in the 2020 presidential election. A series of recent polls have shown the candidates within a close margin of each other in the state that has decided many an election. With the potential for a long recount and challenges that could evoke memories of the extended legal battle that followed election day in 2000, Biden has reportedly amassed an enormous team of lawyers.
Both Biden and the Democratic Party have set up many financial and legal resources in Florida to prepare for a recount, which would be triggered automatically if the final margin is half a percentage point or less. The report noted that the Democrats have also been putting in work to monitor the status of each county, keeping a close eye on canvassing boards to make sure that as many votes as possible count.
“Biden’s team has 4,000 lawyers on standby or working already in Florida,” the report noted. “On the ground, Democratic attorneys have examined the ballot designs in each of Florida’s 67 counties to make sure they know about potential problem areas for voters in advance. (Remember 2000’s “butterfly ballots” in Palm Beach County?)”
Donald Trump’s campaign and Republicans have already issued a series of challenges that could reduce the number of ballots counted, including a challenge in another key battleground — Pennsylvania, as CNBC reported. The Supreme Court ruled this week on a case brought by Republicans challenging a ruling from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court which extended the deadline for receiving absentee ballots by three days. The decision allowed the votes to be counted, though there is still a possibility the ruling could be reversed.
A number of states have instituted rules allowing for the expansion of mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic, though the GOP has challenged a number of these rulings, taking some cases as far as the Supreme Court.
Trump’s campaign is looking to hold onto Florida after winning by a narrow margin in 2016, though polls have shown that may be difficult. The poll aggregation website FiveThirtyEight showed that, as of Friday, Biden was in the lead in Florida according to a series of surveys. On Friday afternoon, the site concluded that Biden has roughly a two-in-three chance of winning in the state on election day.