GOP Fraud Allegations in Michigan Are Unproven, Washington Post Finds

November 09, 2020, 6:14 AM


President Donald Trump and some of his surrogates insist that election fraud led to Joe Biden's victory.

The Washington Post reports on those allegations in Michigan and four other swing states in a story headlined: "Here are the GOP and Trump campaign’s allegations of election irregularities. So far, none has been proved."

In one case, Republicans said GOP election observers in Detroit were being excluded when city officials fixed, or “cured,” ballots that their machines couldn’t read. In these cases — which might be caused by a stray mark or a coffee stain — officials can make a duplicate ballot, with the same votes, and run that one instead.

Republicans said they had “information and belief” that this curing process had been done repeatedly without a GOP official there to observe it. They asked a judge to delay certifying Detroit’s results. The judge said no. He said the GOP’s evidence of misconduct was “mere speculation.”

“The City of Detroit should not be harmed when there is no evidence to support accusations of voter fraud,” Judge Timothy M. Kenny wrote.

In another suit, Trump’s presidential campaign asked a judge to stop processing absentee ballots in Michigan. The Trump lawyer mentioned that a GOP election observer in Detroit said she’d been given a sticky note by an unnamed poll worker alleging that late-arriving ballots were being counted improperly. But she couldn’t provide the poll worker’s name or any other proof. Election officials in Michigan said the allegations were totally unfounded.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens said the evidence was hearsay, and therefore inadmissable. She also noted in a written ruling the following day that the case was largely moot because most of the votes had been counted.

Additionally, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who lives in Michigan, claims election workers in Detroit were told to backdate certain ballots. Detroit officials denied the accusation, and explained that no ballots were received after 8 p.m. Tuesday in compliance with state law. Chris Thomas, senior Detroit election director, told WDIV's Devin Scillian on Sunday that the allegation was unfounded. 

McDaniel, the Post reports, acknowledged that her allegations had not been fully vetted and said the information had been shared with federal prosecutors, who have referred the case to the FBI. . It was unclear what, if any, action the agency planned to take, the publication reports.

Additionally, McDaniel also asserted that 2,000 Republican ballots in Rochester Hills, Mich., had been “given to Democrats . . . due to a clerical error.”

Tina Barton, the GOP city clerk of Rochester Hills, said in a video posted on Twitter that McDaniel was referring to an “isolated mistake that was quickly rectified” and called her allegation “categorically false.”

“As a Republican, I am disturbed that this is intentionally being mischaracterized to undermine the election process,” she said in the video.

She told the Post there was a technical issue that temporarily created duplicate results when mail ballots were scanned, but it was immediately fixed.

“I have spent 15 years building my reputation of being a good election official — not only a good one, but a great one — and to have someone make a statement that we committed fraud of some kind, that 2,000 ballots were found, I couldn’t stand by and not respond,” she said.

Some reports in media outlets suggest that while some Trump backers are going along with the challenges because they think they will help sooth the president's bruised ego. 

The president and his supporters are expected to launch an aggressive legal battle to challenge the outcome of the election. Only two U.S. Senators so far -- Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski have reportedly called Biden to congratulate him.  

Additionally, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee issued a statement:

“After counting every valid vote and allowing courts to resolve disputes, it is important to respect and promptly accept the result. The orderly transfer or reaffirming of immense power after a presidential election is the most enduring symbol of our democracy.”

Read more:  The Washington Post

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