A postal worker collects mail from a mailbox inside the protest pen, as a handful of supporters of President Donald Trump…
A postal worker collects mail from a mailbox inside the protest pen, as a handful of supporters of President Donald Trump continue to demonstrate, outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Nov. 10, 2020.

U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign on Sunday dropped a major part of a lawsuit it brought seeking to halt Pennsylvania from certifying its results in the presidential election, narrowing the case to a small number of ballots. 

In an amended complaint filed in federal court, the Trump campaign dropped a claim that election officials unlawfully blocked observers from watching the counting of mail-in ballots in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. 

The pared-down lawsuit now focuses on a claim that Democratic-leaning counties unlawfully allowed voters to fix errors in their mail-in ballots in violation of state law. Officials have said the dispute affects a small number of ballots in the state, where Democrat Joe Biden is projected to win by more than 60,000 votes. 

Pennsylvania officials had asked a judge to toss Trump's lawsuit, saying the election observers were allowed to assess the processing of mail-in ballots and that all the state's counties were permitted to inform residents if their mailed-in ballots were deficient, even if it was not mandatory for them to do so. 

In Pennsylvania's populous Montgomery County, fewer than 100 voters fixed ballots with technical errors, a county official testified at a court hearing on Nov. 4. 

The Trump campaign continues to seek a court order blocking the Pennsylvania secretary of state from ratifying the result. 

Biden clinched the election after news media and Edison Research called him as the winner in Pennsylvania, putting him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win.  

Trump on Sunday briefly appeared to acknowledge that Biden's victory, but then recanted and claimed he would soon file fresh challenges. His campaign has filed a string of long-shot lawsuits in several battleground states. 

On Twitter on Sunday, Trump said many cases being filed were not from his campaign. 

Legal experts say the lawsuits have little chance of changing the outcome of the election. A senior Biden legal adviser has dismissed the litigation as "theatrics, not really lawsuits." 

Pennsylvania is scheduled to certify its election results on Nov. 23. 

What Happens Next?

What It Means to Become President-Elect in the US

In the United States, Democrat Joe Biden is being called the president-elect.

President-elect is a descriptive term not an official office. As such, Biden has no power in the government, and he would not until he is inaugurated at noon on January 20, 2021.

American news networks, which track all of the vote counting, determined on November 7 that Biden’s lead had become insurmountable in Pennsylvania, putting him over the 270 electoral votes needed to be president. Within minutes of determining his lead was mathematically assured, they projected him as the winner.

That is why news organizations, including VOA, are calling Biden the "projected winner."

Sometimes, in the case of particularly close elections, when news networks make this call, the other candidate does not concede victory. President Donald Trump has not done so, alleging voter fraud without substantial evidence and vowing to fight on. The president’s position has left Washington lawmakers divided, with Republicans backing a legal inquiry into allegations of vote fraud, even as they celebrate other congressional lawmakers who won their races.

When will the dispute be resolved?

The U.S. election won’t be officially certified for weeks. In the meantime, court challenges and state recounts could occur.

So far, the Trump administration has not provided evidence for any fraud that could overturn the result, but there is still time for more legal challenges.

Once states have certified the vote, pledged electors then cast their votes in the Electoral College in mid-December. Congress then certifies the overall Electoral College result in early January, about two weeks before Inauguration Day.