Michigan Judge Rejects Challenge to Detroit Election Results

Election challengers yell as they look through the windows of the central counting facility in Detroit last week. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT (CN) — Finding that two voters’ claims about election fraud lack credibility, a Michigan judge on Friday shut down a lawsuit demanding an audit of results in the Detroit area.

Wayne County Circuit Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny’s opinion denying an injunction locked in on an affidavit filed by Jessy Jacob, a furloughed city worker temporarily assigned to the Detroit clerk’s office.

Jacob alleged that election workers were coaching voters to only choose Democratic candidate Joe Biden or simply vote a straight Democrat ticket, even going as far as standing next to them at a voting station. Jacob claimed she was specifically instructed not to ask for photo identification from voters.

Kenny acknowledged the seriousness of the accusations but was not convinced. 

“Ms. Jacob’s information is generalized. It asserts behavior with no date, location or frequency or names of employees,” he wrote. “In addition, [she] offers no indication of whether she took steps to address the alleged misconduct or to [alert] any supervisor about the alleged voter fraud. Ms. Jacob only came forward after the unofficial results of the voting indicated former Vice President Biden was the winner in the state of Michigan.”

Jacob is not a party to the lawsuit, which was filed by Wayne County voters Cheryl A. Costantino and Edward P. McCall Jr. The complaint, relying on affidavits from Jacob and others, alleges poll workers were instructed by election officials to not verify signatures on absentee ballots and process them regardless of their validity.

Kenny rejected Jacob’s assertion of a “sinister motive” on the part of election officials, pointing specifically to her claims that supervisors told her not to compare signatures to verify voter eligibility and directed her to pre-date absentee ballots received at Detroit’s TCF Center the day after Election Day.

“Evidence offered by long-time State Elections Director Christopher Thomas, however, reveals there was no need for comparison of signatures at the TCF Center because eligibility had been reviewed and determined at the Detroit election headquarters,” the ruling states. “As to the allegation of ‘pre-dating’ ballots, Mr. Thomas explains that this action completed a data field inadvertently left blank during the initial absentee ballot verification process.”

The judge also took issue with an affidavit filed by Republican state Senator Ruth Johnson, who advocated for an audit of the Wayne County election results based on allegations from the lawsuit.

“Nothing in Senator Johnson’s affidavit indicates she was at the TCF Center and witnessed the established protocols,” Kenny wrote. “Senator Johnson’s conclusion stands in significant contrast to the affidavit of Christopher Thomas, who was present at the TCF Center for many hours on November 2, 3 and 4.”

Costantino and McCall filed the complaint in Wayne County Circuit Court on Monday against Detroit, the city’s Clerk Janice Winfrey, Wayne County Clerk Cathy M. Garrett and the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.

The complaint asserted that election workers processed and counted ballots from voters whose names were not listed in the qualified voter file and used random names from the list when a voter’s name could not be confirmed.

“After election officials announced the last absentee ballots had been received, another batch of unsecured and unsealed ballots, without envelopes, arrived in trays at the TCF Center. There were tens of thousands of these absentee ballots, and apparently every ballot was counted and attributed only to Democratic candidates,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit further alleged that election workers barred Republican vote challengers from entering the TCF Center and removed them from the premises when they “politely” raised objections.

The Detroit Free Press reported that hundreds of vote challengers converged as election night wore on and the limits for both Republicans and Democrats were reached. The challengers who were excluded continued to gather in front of the TCF Center to protest and in the process intimidated workers who eventually covered the windows with cardboard to eliminate the distraction.

The Trump campaign recently filed suit in the Michigan Court of Claims in an effort to overturn the results of the election and announced the filing of a federal complaint in the Western District of Michigan alleging irregularities with the voting process. Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled against the campaign last week.

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