A judge dismissed a Trump-endorsed lawsuit to audit votes in a Michigan county

Trump
Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • A Michigan judge dismissed a 2020 election lawsuit heavily hyped by former President Trump.
  • The lawsuit over a local ballot proposal challenged the integrity of the county’s election.
  • Antrim County’s results were fully audited and hand-recounted in December, affirming Trump’s win.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Michigan judge formally dismissed a lawsuit seeking to audit and recount votes that former President Donald Trump heavily hyped as a “major” case, the Washington Post reported Monday

Trump posted a May 11 statement posted on his website cheerleading the Antrim County lawsuit, even though he was formally certified as winning the most votes in the county during the 2020 presidential election.

Trump touted the baseless contents of a “bombshell pleading” in a “major Michigan Election Fraud case” that he said will show that votes were “intentionally switched” to harm him, a claim for which there is no evidence.

He also compared the nonexistent fraud in the 2020 election to a heist of precious jewels, writing that if “a thief robs a jewelry store of all of its diamonds (the 2020 Presidential Election), the diamonds must be returned.”

Trump won a majority of votes in Antrim County but lost Michigan overall to now-President Joe Biden.

A human error with tabulating the results initially showed Biden winning the county. Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy, who happens to be a Republican, swiftly rectified the problem and certified the county’s election results for Trump, who carried the county with 61% of the vote with 37% going to Biden. Trump and his allies have seized on a quickly-corrected counting error in the county to spread disinformation about the 2020 election results.

The crux of the lawsuit filed by Antrim County resident Bill Bailey was about the results of a marijuana-related ballot initiative in the village of Central Lake, 9 & 10 News reported.

Bailey claimed he has the standing for the lawsuit because three ballots were spoiled during a recount for the initiative, though he does not actually live in Central Lake. Bailey asked the judge to allow him to conduct his own audit of all the 2020 election results, baselessly alleging that software developed by Dominion Voting Systems used in the election was intentionally programmed to falsify results.

The state of Michigan already audited the results

The Antrim County election results were already audited nearly five months ago, as lawyers for the townships and the Michigan secretary of state’s office noted in a May 11 hearing.

On December 17, officials from the secretary of state’s office oversaw a risk-limiting audit of the county’s election, conducted by bipartisan counting boards, that included a full hand-recount of all 15,000 ballots cast in the county affirmed Trump’s win over Biden. It boosted the margin of Trump’s win by 11 votes from 9,748 to 9,759. As the secretary of state’s office noted, it’s common for there to be slight changes in hand recounts due to human counters interpreting pen marks or write-in votes differently than ballot scanners.

The judge overseeing the case, 13th Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer, dismissed the case as moot because Antrim’s results had already been fully verified in both the December recount and in a statewide post-election audit that finished up in March, according to the Post.

trump rally traverse city michigan
U.S. President Donald Trump leaves after a campaign rally at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, U.S., November 2, 2020.

Despite the recount, Bailey continued to press his lawsuit. His attorney Matthew DePerno, who has embraced Trump’s support for the legal efforts on social media, issued subpoenas to various Antrim County lawsuits, according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Bailey also tried to expand the scope of the lawsuit by adding state and local election officials as defendants. In a hearing Money attended by 9 & 10 News, he claimed that expanding the lawsuit and having Elsenheimer enforce the subpoenas would allow him to prove the existence of widespread fraud. There is no evidence of widespread fraud.

Read more: Church attendance is to President Biden as golf outings were to President Trump

DePerno is also seeking a subpoena for Dominion. The election technology company has been the subject of a number of conspiracy theories falsely alleging it used its devices and software to “flip” results from Trump to Biden. The December audit found that Dominion’s technology accurately tabulated the county’s votes and played no role in the initially erroneous tabulation.

Jocelyn Benson
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Dominion is involved in several defamation lawsuits against election conspiracy theorists and right-wing media organizations it says pushed those false theories. Bailey’s lawsuit has been bolstered by an error-ridden “report” by Russell Ramsland, a conspiracy theorist championed by Trump. Attorneys for Dominion sent both Ramsland and DePerno document-retention letters in December, warning of “imminent” defamation litigation. A representative for Dominion directed Insider to a fact-check of Ramsland’s claims.

Attorneys for Antrim County and the Michigan secretary of state’s office asked Elsenheimer to dismiss the case in the May 11 hearing, arguing that Bailey’s legal rights had been satisfied by the December audit, which found that the results were sound. Elsenheimer said he’d decide whether to grant the dismissal next week, according to 9 & 10 News.

Despite his electoral loss, Trump has continued to falsely claim he was the true winner of the 2020 presidential election, and has endorsed a recount in Arizona’s Maricopa County that has been condemned by election experts.

If Bailey loses his Antrim County lawsuit, it will be another addition to the list of more than 40 failed election lawsuits from Trump and his allies.

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Trump is cheerleading a long-shot lawsuit to audit votes in a Michigan county he already won in the 2020 election

Trump
Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • Trump is encouraging a 2020 election lawsuit in a Michigan county he already won.
  • An ongoing lawsuit over a ballot proposal challenges the integrity of the county’s election.
  • Antrim County’s results were fully audited and hand-recounted in December, affirming Trump’s win.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

More than six months after the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump is hyping a lawsuit in a small Michigan county that he already won.

In a Monday statement posted on his website, Trump touted the baseless contents of a “bombshell pleading” in a “major Michigan Election Fraud case” that he said will show that votes were “intentionally switched” to harm him, a claim for which there is no evidence.

He also compared the nonexistent fraud in the 2020 election to a heist of precious jewels, writing that if “a thief robs a jewelry store of all of its diamonds (the 2020 Presidential Election), the diamonds must be returned.”

Trump won a majority of votes in Antrim County but lost Michigan overall to now-President Joe Biden.

A human error with tabulating the results initially showed Biden winning the county. Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy, who happens to be a Republican, swiftly rectified the problem and certified the county’s election results for Trump, who carried the county with 61% of the vote with 37% going to Biden. Trump and his allies have seized on a quickly-corrected counting error in the county to spread disinformation about the 2020 election results.

The crux of the lawsuit filed by Antrim County resident Bill Bailey is about the results of a marijuana-related ballot initiative in the village of Central Lake, 9 & 10 News reports.

Bailey claims he has the standing for the lawsuit because three ballots were spoiled during a recount for the initiative, though he does not actually live in Central Lake. Bailey is asking a judge to allow him to conduct his own audit of all the 2020 election results, baselessly alleging that software developed by Dominion Voting Systems used in the election was intentionally programmed to falsify results.

The state of Michigan already audited the results

The Antrim County election results were already audited nearly five months ago, as lawyers for the townships and the Michigan secretary of state’s office noted in a Monday hearing.

On December 17, officials from the secretary of state’s office oversaw a risk-limiting audit of the county’s election, conducted by bipartisan counting boards, that included a full hand-recount of all 15,000 ballots cast in the county affirmed Trump’s win over Biden. It boosted the margin of Trump’s win by 11 votes from 9,748 to 9,759. As the secretary of state’s office noted, it’s common for there to be slight changes in hand recounts due to human counters interpreting pen marks or write-in votes differently than ballot scanners.

trump rally traverse city michigan
U.S. President Donald Trump leaves after a campaign rally at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, U.S., November 2, 2020.

Despite the recount, Bailey has continued to press his lawsuit. His attorney Matthew DePerno, who has embraced Trump’s support for the legal efforts on social media, issued subpoenas to various Antrim County lawsuits, according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Bailey is also trying to expand the scope of the lawsuit by adding state and local election officials as defendants. In a hearing Money attended by 9 & 10 News, he claimed that expanding the lawsuit and having the judge overseeing the case, 13th Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer, enforce the subpoenas would allow him to prove the existence of widespread fraud. There is no evidence of widespread fraud.

Read more: Church attendance is to President Biden as golf outings were to President Trump

DePerno is also seeking a subpoena for Dominion. The election technology company has been the subject of a number of conspiracy theories falsely alleging it used its devices and software to “flip” results from Trump to Biden. The December audit found that Dominion’s technology accurately tabulated the county’s votes and played no role in the initially erroneous tabulation.

Jocelyn Benson
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Dominion is involved in several defamation lawsuits against election conspiracy theorists and right-wing media organizations it says pushed those false theories. Bailey’s lawsuit has been bolstered by an error-ridden “report” by Russell Ramsland, a conspiracy theorist championed by Trump. Dominion sent Ramsland a document-retention letter in December, warning of “imminent” defamation litigation. A representative for Dominion directed Insider to a fact-check of Ramsland’s claims.

Attorneys for Antrim County and the Michigan secretary of state’s office asked Elsenheimer to dismiss the case in Monday’s hearing, arguing that Bailey’s legal rights have been satisfied by the December audit, which found that the results were sound. Elsenheimer said he’d decide whether to grant the dismissal next week, according to 9 & 10 News.

Despite his electoral loss, Trump has continued to falsely claim he was the true winner of the 2020 presidential election, and has endorsed a recount in Arizona’s Maricopa County that has been condemned by election experts.

If Bailey loses his Antrim County lawsuit, it will be another addition to the list of more than 40 failed election lawsuits from Trump and his allies.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump is still pinning his hopes on one last lawsuit in Michigan to overturn the presidential election

donald trump
U.S. President Donald Trump departs on travel to West Point, New York from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 12, 2020.

  • President Donald Trump keeps tweeting about a “report” in a Michigan court case that “shows massive fraud” revealing he won.
  • The report, published by Trump allies, reveals nothing of the sort.
  • It was filed to a Michigan court as part of a case over Antrim County’s closely decided marijuana ballot measure, not its presidential election results, which Trump won anyway.
  • The report is the origin of the “68.5% error rate” figure Trump has tweeted about, though it offers no evidence for the claim.
  • It was written by the same person who mixed up Michigan and Minnesota in another infamous election lawsuit, brought by conspiracy theorist and ex-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Joe Biden is the President-elect. Every single state has certified its election results. The Electoral College has voted. The Supreme Court has turned down every 2020 election challenge. Around 40 lawsuits brought by President Donald Trump and his allies have failed in lower courts.

But die-hard Trumpers are still holding out for one more legal battle – though it’s more of a footnote.

In the small county of Antrim in Michigan, a judge ordered the release of a “report” on voting equipment.

“The highly respected Michigan Judge released this epic report. True all over the Country. This Fake Election can no longer stand. Get moving Republicans. Big Swing State Win!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday, six weeks after he lost the 2020 presidential election.

On Monday, Judge Kevin Elsenheimer, a Michigan district judge and former Republican lawmaker, ordered the release of a “forensic report.” It was created by Allied Security Operations Group, a Dallas-based group that has helped Trump and his allies with lawsuits seeking to overturn election results.

The report, which analyzed the county’s voting machines, said the election machines from Dominion Voting Systems had numerous errors and that the county’s results should not have been certified, according to the Detroit Free Press. And because the rest of the state uses machines from the same company, the report argues, all of Michigan’s results shouldn’t have been certified, either.

Michigan’s results have already been certified, and the case where the report was filed has nothing to do with the presidential election. It was filed to scrutinize one village’s closely decided ballot measure on permitting a marijuana dispensary.

Russell Ramsland, an Allied Security Operations Group employee, signed the report. Ramsland became infamous several weeks ago after signing an affidavit in support of ex-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell’s efforts to overturn the election results.

In that other affidavit, he mixed up voting data between Michigan and Minnesota. All of Powell’s lawsuits have failed in court, and the City of Detroit has moved to have her banned from practicing law in Michigan.

The Antrim County report also makes numerous factual errors, as the Detroit Free Press points out.

  • Ramsland wrote that Dominion machines in Antrim “observed an error rate of 68.05%” but does not explain what he’s talking about, and state officials say they have no idea what he’s referencing. President Donald Trump played up the apparently invented number in a tweet.
  • The report references system capabilities for ranked-choice voting, which Michigan does not use.
  • It says “The allowable election error rate established by the Federal Election Commission guidelines is of 1 in 250,000 ballots (.0008%).” In fact, the FEC has no such guideline and regulates campaign finance, not election software. Dominion’s election machines are certified by the Election Assistance Commission, which does regulate such software.

“[The report] makes a series of unsupported conclusions, ascribes motives of fraud and obfuscation to processes that are easily explained as routine election procedures or error corrections, and suggests without explanation that elements of election software not used in Michigan are somehow responsible for tabulation or reporting errors that are either nonexistent or easily explained,” Michigan Elections Director Jonathan Brater said in a court filing.

Dominion also rejected the claims made in the report. Testifying under oath before Michigan lawmakers Tuesday, Dominion CEO John Poulos said they were meant to sow “doubt and confusion over the 2020 presidential election.”

“The disinformation campaign being waged against Dominion defies facts or logic,” he said.”To date, no one has produced credible evidence of fraud or vote switching on Dominion systems because these things simply have not occurred.”

Dominion has also been the subject of a related conspiracy theory, advanced by Powell and Rudy Giuliani, who represents the Trump campaign in election lawsuits. That conspiracy theory claims the company has hidden ties to a different election technology company that developed software to secretly switch votes from Trump to Biden – a method rooted in a decade-old Venezuelan election used to support the now-dead president Hugo Chavez.

Representatives for the Allied Security Operations Group didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. The report was released with the consent of state and county officials. Judge Elsenheimer initially kept the report under a protective order, but state officials said any attempt to keep it private would be seen as a cover-up.

“Let’s be clear: Michigan’s Nov. 3 general election in Michigan and across the country was the most secure in the nation’s history,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement. “There continues to be no evidence of widespread fraud, as affirmed by state and federal agencies including Attorney General William Barr, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”

Trump falsely said the report produced a result that would swing the election.

“WOW. This report shows massive fraud. Election changing result!” he falsely tweeted Monday.

If the report changed the results of the 2020 presidential election, Trump would only increase his loss margin.

He won Antrim County by about 3,800 votes out of 16,000 cast.

He lost the state of Michigan overall by about 155,000 votes.

Even if Trump had won Michigan and its 16 Electoral College votes, he would still lose to Biden, who won 306 electoral votes overall.

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