Twenty years ago, as Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush battled for weeks over who’d won the U.S. presidential election, Florida’s Republican secretary of state, Katherine Harris, helped hand the White House to Bush by declaring an end to recounts that showed him clinging to the slimmest of leads.
If the outcome of November’s election comes down to fights over counting mail-in ballots and claims of fraud by President Donald Trump, Democrat Joe Biden may have a quiet advantage: the top election officials in many of the key states that could decide the election are Democrats.
In Michigan and Pennsylvania — two Democratic-leaning states Trump won in 2016 — the top elections officials belong to Biden’s party. That’s also true in Arizona, which Trump carried but Biden is now leading in the polls, and Minnesota, which the president has targeted as a potential pickup.
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