As in 2020, much of this litigation has focused on absentee ballots, including disputes over how election officials count ballots that are incomplete, contain errors or arrive late. Many of these cases are unlikely to be resolved before Election Day on Nov. 8.
Richard L. Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, described many of them as “placeholders.”
“So, if it’s really close in Nevada, then you’ve got these lawsuits that are pending, already in the pipeline, that could provide a basis for trying to claim that there was fraud or some reason to think that a Democrat didn’t win,” he said.
Behind the surge of lawsuits is a surge of cash. Both Republican and Democratic groups are spending record sums on legal services, with Democratic committees pouring $14.5 million into legal and compliance fees as of Saturday, and Republicans spending more than $17.5 million, according to campaign finance records.
Of that Republican total, more than $10 million has gone to firms or lawyers who helped with the 2020 litigation effort, according to campaign finance records.
Several of the more far-fetched claims now, as in 2020, have been filed by the Thomas More Society. Before the 2020 election, its election project, called Amistad Project, filed several lawsuits that were ultimately dismissed. After the election, the group’s lawyers worked with Mr. Trump’s legal team, led by Rudolph W. Giuliani, to try to overturn the results and push for a slate of Trump-supporting electors to replace those elected by voters.
In early December 2020, Thomas E. Breth and Thomas W. King III, two lawyers in Pennsylvania for Thomas More, filed a motion to direct Gov. Tom Wolf to decertify the election, making a host of claims about improper and illegal ballots cast in the 2020 election. The suit was dismissed in less than a week.