Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Friday an initiative in his office to combat election interference in November and guarantee a peaceful transition of power.
Ferguson convened an internal legal team to coordinate the office’s election protection efforts, and to work with state attorneys general across the country. The legal team includes Solicitor General Noah Purcell and attorneys with expertise in election law, constitutional law and civil rights. They are focused on upholding the Constitution, preventing illegal election interference and ensuring every vote is counted in every state.
Ferguson made protecting a fair, secure and safe election a top priority in the wake of the Trump Administration’s unfounded claims that mail-in voting is not secure, and its attempts to undermine the Postal Service’s ability to deliver ballots in a timely manner. Ferguson brought his successful lawsuit blocking interference in the Postal Service on behalf of more than a dozen states, including the battlegrounds of Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin.
“Washingtonians have a stake in the integrity of elections in all 50 states,” Ferguson said. “My legal team is prepared to defend democracy and the longstanding American tradition of a peaceful transition of power.”
On Oct. 9, Oct. 12, and Oct. 13, President Trump tweeted about a “rigged election.” These are the latest of dozens of instances in which the president has suggested the November election will be “rigged.” Many Washingtonians have written the Washington State Attorney General’s Office to express fears that the president’s language is an attempt to undermine confidence in the election results and set up a constitutional challenge.
President Trump and Vice President Pence both failed to commit to a peaceful transfer of power when asked direct questions by the moderators of the presidential and vice-presidential debates.
Participating in election-related cases around the country
Ferguson joined several amicus — friend-of-the-court — briefs supporting a fair and secure election in legal challenges around the country, including:
- Texas League of United Latin American Citizens v. Hughes — Supporting mail-in voting and challenging recent changes to ballot drop box policies in Texas
- Parham v. Watson — Supporting a preliminary injunction to stop restrictions on mail-in voting in Mississippi
- Middleton v. Andino — Supporting a preliminary injunction to stop restrictions on mail-in voting in South Carolina
- Jones v. DeSantis — Supporting the restoration of voting rights in Florida
Legal challenges to protect the integrity of the election
Ferguson led a coalition of 14 states that filed a lawsuit over the changes to the Postal Service on Aug. 18. The coalition includes battleground states, including Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin. The Postal Service changes, including eliminating or reducing staff overtime, halting outgoing mail processing at distribution centers and removing critical mail sorting equipment, threaten the timely delivery of mail to millions of Americans who rely on the Postal Service for everything from medical prescriptions to ballots.
On Sept. 17, a federal judge in Yakima, Wash., granted Ferguson’s request for a nationwide injunction forcing the U.S. Postal Service to immediately halt its drastic operational changes.