From intimidation tactics to physical interference with the ability to observe the ballot tabulation process, to the improper duplication of ballots, and the counting of ineligible ballots, Detroit’s voting process paints a picture of everything an election should not be. Thus says a complaint, filed in the Western District of Michigan by the Trump campaign.
In a mostly-affidavit-supported, 31-page complaint with nearly 200 pages of enclosures, the Trump campaign charged that Wayne County officials did not follow Michigan’s Election Code. Specifically, they did not provide a “meaningful opportunity to observe the conduct of elections.” According to the complaint, there are over one hundred affidavits from “credentialed election challengers” attesting that Trump poll and process watchers were not given the opportunity to validate the legitimacy of absentee voter ballots, nor were they allowed to observe ballot counting. Some Republicans were not allowed to enter the TCF Center in Detroit where the ballot tabulations were taking place while others were not allowed to return if they stepped out. Meanwhile, Democratic challengers were allowed to freely enter the premises. The Republicans were also maintained further away from observation locations from their Democratic counterparts using techniques such as physically pushing them. When removed, they were taunted and harassed, and even when allowed to remain, their lines of site were often intentionally obstructed.
Amazingly, “Challenger Kathleen Daavettila observed that Democratic challengers distributed a packet of information among themselves entitled, ‘Tactics to Distract GOP Challengers.’ Id. (Daavettila aff., p. 2). An election official told challenger Ulrike Sherer that the election authority had a police SWAT team waiting outside if Republican challengers argued too much. Id. (Sherer aff. ¶24). An election worker told challenger Jazmine Early that since “English was not [her] first language…[she] should not be taking part in this process.” Id. (Early aff. ¶11).” At least one witness, who happened to be an attorney, described how poll workers were instructed to change the date on the ballots received after 8 pm on November 3 so as to make it appear that they were received on an earlier date.
Additionally, the Michigan complaint describes software irregularities encountered in that state including those caused by the now-infamous Dominion Voting Systems software, which is mentioned by name.
To remedy these issues, the plaintiffs pray that the court prohibit certification of ballots that were tabulated in violation of the Michigan Election Code. Based on the number of affidavits, and the estimated scope of computerized glitches, that number could amount to over one hundred thousand votes.
It remains to be seen whether the court will take up this action and how it may rule on the matter. However, a few things are clear. Detroit now joins Philadelphia as beautiful illustrations of how elections can never be conducted. Second, if these votes are allowed to stand, a plethora of legal voters will be disenfranchised through dilution. And third, the scope and magnitude of this operation suggests interstate coordination by an overarching planner, funder, and coordinator. Clearly, the stench in Detroit has spread to such a point that it will taint the actions of the judiciary, no matter what it does, and threatens to further tarnish our already tattered Constitution.
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