Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by more than 150,000 votes in Michigan last November. Trump and the Michigan Republican Party still aren’t over it. The outcome — and the former president’s obsessive efforts to dispute it — has left the state party in disarray, raising questions about the GOP’s focus as it looks to unseat Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a top battleground state next year. “From a staff and leadership perspective, I don’t know that top-notch professionals would want to go into this quagmire,” said Jeff Timmer, a former Michigan GOP executive director who opposed Trump. “Unless you’re going to talk crazy talk, they don’t want you there.” Much of the trouble can be traced to the 2020 presidential election results, which Trump and his allies have alleged were marked by fraud without providing evidence.
National: Justice Department Warns States on Voting Laws and Election Audits | Katie Benner/The New York Times
The Justice Department on Wednesday sent another warning shot to Republican state legislatures that have initiated private audits of voting tabulations broadly viewed as efforts to cast doubt on the results of the presidential election. The department warned that auditors could face criminal and civil penalties if they destroy any records related to the election or intimidate voters in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 and federal laws prohibiting voter intimidation. The admonishment came in election-related guidance documents issued as part of the department’s larger plan to protect access to the polls, announced by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in June. Another document released on Wednesday outlined federal laws on how ballots are cast and said that the department could scrutinize states that revert to prepandemic voting procedures, which may not have allowed as many people to vote early or by mail. The warning was the Justice Department’s latest effort to alert state lawmakers that their audits could run afoul of federal law. Department officials cautioned the Republican-led Arizona State Senate in May that its audit and recount of the November election in Maricopa County, widely seen as a partisan exercise to fuel grievances over Donald J. Trump’s election loss, may be in violation of the Civil Rights Act.