Trump campaign files Michigan lawsuit claiming GOP blocked from viewing vote counting

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The Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Wayne County officials in which they allege that credentialed election challengers were blocked from having sufficient view of the vote-counting process, challenges against certain ballots were ignored, and as a result, ineligible ballots were tallied.

The complaint, filed Wednesday in the Western District of Michigan, cited dozens of sworn affidavits from Republican challengers who claimed that in Wayne County they were treated unfavorably compared to Democrats and, in some cases, intimidated.


“Wayne County excluded certified challengers from meaningfully observing the conduct of the election. This allowed a substantial number of ineligible ballots to be counted,” the complaint says.

Among the allegations, the campaign claimed that the GOP challengers’ view of the counting process “was physically and intentionally blocked by election officials,” and that while they had to remain six feet away due to coronavirus restrictions, their Democratic counterparts were permitted to come closer.

Multiple challengers claimed that they were physically pushed away to a distance where they could not see what was going on. One challenger said an election worker told her “too bad” when she complained that other workers moved a monitor away from her so that she could not see.


Several individuals alleged that when they tried to challenge ballots, they were turned away. This allegedly included dozens of ballots from people whose records were not in the poll book.

The complaint further alleges that in some cases Republican election challengers were kept out of the building, or refused entry after they had left for lunch, even though Democrats were allowed in.

Several challengers also claimed that in instances where voters were not in the poll book, election workers would create a new record for them, using Jan. 1, 1900, as a birth date.

Two challengers claimed that they saw ballots being counted despite not bearing any signature or postmark. Another challenger claimed that she saw a batch of ballots where at least 60% of them had the same signature on their outer envelope.

Benson's office emphatically denied the allegations and insisted that they conducted the election in a fair and secure manner.

"This is the same kind of irresponsible false rhetoric and misinformation that we saw throughout the election," Michigan Department of State spokesperson Jake Rollow said in a statement. "It is a press release masquerading as a legal claim designed to promote false claims aimed at eroding the public’s confidence in Michigan elections. But it does not change the truth: Michigan’s elections were conducted fairly, securely, transparently, and the results are an accurate reflection of the will of the people."

The complaint and affidavits account for allegations that dozens of ballots were improperly counted. This alone would not be enough to alter the result of the election, as President-elect Joe Biden currently leads President Trump by more than 100,000 votes in the state.


The lawsuit does, however, call for Michigan to not certify its election results until officials "have verified and confirmed that all ballots that were tabulated and included in the final reported election results were cast in compliance with the provisions of the Michigan election code[.]"

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