Michigan Supreme Court declines Trump lawsuit over election challengers

The president's attorneys sought to stop officials from counting absentee ballots

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The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday declined to hear a lawsuit from Trump’s campaign over poll challengers’ being obstructed from viewing absentee ballot counting at TCF Center. 

The lawsuit, filed Nov. 3rd, sought to stop officials from counting absentee ballots due to irregularities with the process, The Detroit News reports. The president’s campaign claims Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson violated the state Constitution and election law because challengers’ observing the absentee ballot counting and ballot drop boxes were undermined by local clerks. 

READ MORE: Michigan lawmaker told she’ll be ‘hanging from the gallows’ in threatening voicemails

“Kicking challengers and observers out of counting boards and denying challengers a meaningful opportunity to observe the conduct of the election and tallying of ballots further undermines confidence in the integrity of the election,” Trump’s campaign argued in its appeal.

Officials at the TCF Center, where Detroit’s absentee ballots were counted, said poll challengers were given adequate access to the counting process.

Thor Hearne, the campaign’s attorney, had requested the Michigan Supreme Court to order “that designated challengers must be granted meaningful access to observe and review the tabulation and processing of absent voter ballots.” This access would include surveillance video of ballot drop boxes installed around the state after Oct. 1.

On Dec. 2 at the Michigan Senate Oversight hearing, Republican challengers who were part of the absentee ballot-counting process, spoke about their firsthand experiences. One female witness presented by Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, appeared to be drunk.

The Michigan Supreme Court was the campaign’s last option for justice after the original lawsuit was denied by Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens last month, USA Today reported.

READ MORE: Armed protesters swarm Michigan secretary of state’s home over election results

“The application for leave to appeal the Dec. 4, 2020, order of the Court of Appeals is considered, and it is denied, because we are not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court,” the Michigan Supreme Court ordered in what appeared to be a unanimous decision.

However, Trump and associates are adamant that challengers and observers were inhibited during the absentee ballot counting process, but Stephens disagreed.

“I have no basis to find that there’s a substantial likelihood of success on the merits as it relates to this defendant, nor am I convinced that there is a clear legal duty on the part of anyone who is promptly before this court to manage this issue,” Stephens said.  

theGrio previously reported, a group of armed protesters showed up at the house of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. 

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