Michigan: Antrim County holds May elections, rental voting machines brought in for some townships | Paul Steeno/WPBN

Out in Antrim County, several townships are held elections on Tuesday. A normally smaller election in rural Antrim County drawing extra attention after an error by the clerk in the November election flipped a historically red county blue before county officials eventually corrected the results. What happened back in November attracted national attention and Tuesday was the first election since the incident. Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy said things were slow Tuesday, similar to other May elections. She said the townships are all going to use the same Dominion voting machines that were used in the November election. The townships with voting machines that were examined as part of a lawsuit against the county alleging election fraud would use rental Dominion voting machines.

Full Article: Antrim County holds May elections, rental voting machines brought in for some townships | WPBN

Michigan Secretary of State: GOP bill would criminalize officials’ election Twitter posts | Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

One of the 39 bills Michigan Senate Republicans proposed to overhaul the state’s voting laws would make it a crime for certain officials to share information about an upcoming election on Twitter or other social media platforms. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, raised the criticism Wednesday as the Senate Elections Committee began debating the proposal that seeks to bar the “name or likeness” of an official from appearing in any “communication” funded with public money that involves an election-related activity. The bill specifically defines communications as advertisements, billboards, mail or “social media posts.” Under the bill, a violation would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $100. “Senate Bill 305 would inexplicably bar the most trusted sources of voter education and election information in our state — the secretary of state and election clerks — from educating citizens about the mechanics of voting,” Benson said in a statement. “At a time when misinformation is escalating and election administrators are the most reliable and informed voices available to counter it, this bill would ban them from doing so.”

Full Article: Benson: GOP bill would criminalize officials’ election Twitter posts

Michigan: Judge will hear arguments on whether to dismiss Antrim County election lawsuit | By Mardi Link/Traverse City Record-Eagle

A 13th Circuit Court judge will hear arguments on whether to dismiss an Antrim County election-related lawsuit, after denying a motion by the plaintiff to adjourn an upcoming summary disposition hearing. The remote hearing is scheduled for May 10, although that could change depending on scheduling issues, officials said. “No doubt, given the desire of the parties to present their discovery and present their factual witnesses to the court, to the court writ large, and to the public, it would be an easy thing to want to move past the question of legal sufficiency,” said Judge Kevin Elsenheimer. “But the fact is, the court has an obligation to review legal sufficiency issues when they are raised,” Elsenheimer said. Bill Bailey, of Central Lake Township, sued Antrim County in November, accusing the county of violating his constitutional rights, after about 2,000 votes cast for then-President Donald Trump were temporarily and mistakenly assigned to challenger Joe Biden. Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy previously acknowledged errors by her office caused the mistake, which was corrected before the vote tally was certified. Yet in court filings Bailey’s attorney, Matthew DePerno of Portage, suggested the county’s Dominion Voting Systems machines could be intentionally fraudulent, and among other examples, pointed to the passage of a marijuana ordinance by a single vote, as possibly suspect.

Full Article: Judge will hear arguments on whether to dismiss Antrim election lawsuit | News | record-eagle.com

Michigan: No, an algorithm did not manipulate election results | Clara Hendrickson/Detroit Free Press

Antrim County, the site of a human error that briefly produced inaccurate unofficial results on election night in November, remains the target of a misinformation effort that aims to sow doubt about the integrity of the 2020 election. A resident’s lawsuit against the county, filed in late November, helped fuel a debunked conspiracy theory that tabulators made by Dominion Voting Systems switched votes on behalf of Joe Biden, who was erroneously shown as having won the county on election night. Former President Donald Trump seized upon an analysis filed in the suit that was rife with inaccurate information to advance his claims of a stolen election. A hand recount of every ballot cast in Antrim County affirmed the results and Trump’s victory there. … David Becker, founder and executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Election Innovation & Research, called the allegations in the pleading “fantastical.” In an email to the Free Press, Becker said such a conspiracy would have had to be carried out by thousands of people and leave behind a mountain of evidence: meddling with the voter file, extra ballots that couldn’t be explained, voters who tried to vote but couldn’t because someone else had cast their ballots and audits confirming tabulators were tampered. “There is literally zero evidence of any conspiracy, involving thousands of people, in any state,” including Michigan, Becker wrote.

Full Article: Algorithm did not manipulate Michigan election results

Michigan: The ‘loophole’ Republicans could use to sidestep Whitmer on voting laws | Jane C. Timm/NBC

Michigan Democrats have promised that any bills that attempt to place new restrictions on voting won’t get past Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Those bills will not get signed into law,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, a Democrat, told NBC News of the proposals. He called the efforts part of an “anti-voter, anti-democratic participation movement that is sweeping Republican-led legislatures across the nation.” But the state’s GOP lawmakers, who enjoy majorities in both chambers but not enough to override a veto, have a unique option that could allow them to enact sweeping changes to elections in a critical presidential battleground without the governor’s support: a little-used quirk in the state’s ballot initiative process. “It’s like this special loophole where they get to cram through a whole raft of bills,” said Nancy Wang, executive director of Voters Not Politicians, the group that led the effort to use a ballot initiative to create an independent redistricting commission in the state a few years ago. Under the Michigan Constitution, citizens can put an initiative on the ballot if they gather a certain number of signatures — at least 8 percent of the total number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial race. This year, that would be about 340,000 voters’ signatures. But before an initiative reaches the ballot, the state Legislature has the ability to pass the proposed law with simple majority vote in each chamber, and such a measure cannot be vetoed. This process is rarely used: Just nine other initiatives have become law this way in the last 58 years, according to the state.

Full Article: The ‘loophole’ Michigan Republicans could use to sidestep Whitmer on voting laws

As Michigan G.O.P. Plans Voting Limits, Top Corporations Fire a Warning Shot | Reid J. Epstein and Trip Gabriel/The New York Times

At first glance, the partisan battle over voting rights in Michigan appears similar to that of many other states: The Republican-led Legislature, spurred by former President Donald J. Trump’s lies about election fraud, has introduced a rash of proposals to restrict voting access, angering Democrats, who are fighting back. But plenty of twists and turns are looming as Michigan’s State Senate prepares to hold hearings on a package of voting bills beginning Wednesday. Unlike Georgia, Florida and Texas, which have also moved to limit voting access, Michigan has a Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, who said last month she would veto any bill imposing new restrictions. But unlike in other states with divided governments, Michigan’s Constitution offers Republicans a rarely used option for circumventing Ms. Whitmer’s veto. Last month, the state’s Republican chairman told activists that he aimed to do just that — usher new voting restrictions into law using a voter-driven petition process that would bypass the governor’s veto pen. In response, Michigan Democrats and voting rights activists are contemplating a competing petition drive, while also scrambling to round up corporate opposition to the bills; they are hoping to avoid a replay of what happened in Georgia, where the state’s leading businesses didn’t weigh in against new voting rules until after they were signed into law. The maneuvering by both parties has turned Michigan into a test case of how states with divided government will deal with voting laws, and how Republicans in state legislatures are willing to use any administrative tool at their disposal to advance Mr. Trump’s false claims of fraud and pursue measures that could disenfranchise many voters. The proposal puts new restrictions on how election officials can distribute absentee ballots and how voters can cast them, limiting the use of drop boxes, for example.

Source: As Michigan G.O.P. Plans Voting Limits, Top Corporations Fire a Warning Shot – The New York Times

Michigan: Judge quashes Antrim County ‘fishing expedition’ subpoenas | Mardi Link/Traverse City Record-Eagle

A judge characterized subpoenas filed by a plaintiff’s attorney in an Antrim County lawsuit as a “fishing expedition,” as he ruled clerks in four Michigan counties do not need to provide election data as part of discovery in the case. “The plaintiff must have more than mere conjecture, more than speculation, to support its request to discover information from these other counties,” said 13th Circuit Court Chief Judge Kevin Elsenheimer, during a four-hour motion hearing Monday. The ruling is among the latest court action in an ongoing election-related lawsuit filed Nov. 23 by attorney Matthew DePerno, on behalf of a Central Lake Township man, Bill Bailey, who accuses the county of voter fraud and of violating his constitutional rights. “Without same, requiring non-parties to comply with requests like this would indeed be burdensome, would be tantamount to a fishing expedition,” Elsenheimer added, “and as I said, would be unnecessarily burdensome to the clerks.” In March DePerno subpoenaed clerks in eight Michigan counties — Barry, Charlevoix, Grand Traverse, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne — seeking their poll tapes, ballots, logs, tally servers, election management servers, election media, spreadsheets and canvasser notes from the 2020 election. DePerno contended in court filings that Michigan was among four “battleground” states that had implemented an “algorithm used to regulate and shift votes in the 2020 elections” and that data from the eight counties would be used as a “control group” to discern fraud in Antrim County.

Full Article: Judge quashes Antrim ‘fishing expedition’ subpoenas | News | record-eagle.com

Michigan: How a Very Weird Quirk Might Let Republicans Limit Voting Rights | Reid J. Epstein and Trip Gabriel/The New York Times

At first glance, the partisan battle over voting rights in Michigan appears similar to that of many other states: The Republican-led Legislature, spurred by former President Donald J. Trump’s lies about election fraud, has introduced a rash of proposals to restrict voting access, angering Democrats, who are fighting back. But plenty of twists and turns are looming as Michigan’s State Senate prepares to hold hearings on a package of voting bills beginning Wednesday. Unlike Georgia, Florida and Texas, which have also moved to limit voting access, Michigan has a Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, who said last month she would veto any bill imposing new restrictions. But unlike in other states with divided governments, Michigan’s Constitution offers Republicans a rarely used option for circumventing Ms. Whitmer’s veto. Last month, the state’s Republican chairman told activists that he aimed to do just that — usher new voting restrictions into law using a voter-driven petition process that would bypass the governor’s veto pen. In response, Michigan Democrats and voting rights activists are contemplating a competing petition drive, while also scrambling to round up corporate opposition to the bills; they are hoping to avoid a replay of what happened in Georgia, where the state’s leading businesses didn’t weigh in against new voting rules until after they were signed into law. The maneuvering by both parties has turned Michigan into a test case of how states with divided government will deal with voting laws, and how Republicans in state legislatures are willing to use any administrative tool at their disposal to advance Mr. Trump’s false claims of fraud and pursue measures that could disenfranchise many voters. The proposal puts new restrictions on how election officials can distribute absentee ballots and how voters can cast them, limiting the use of drop boxes, for example.

Full Article: How a Very Weird Quirk Might Let Michigan Republicans Limit Voting Rights – The New York Times

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel using Sidney Powell’s words against her in pursuit of sanctions | Dave Boucher/Detroit Free Press

Admissions by former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell in a massive defamation lawsuit may imperil her efforts to avoid sanctions in a federal Michigan elections case. This week, the office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel asked a federal court whether it could include recent comments from Powell’s legal filings in a separate case as evidence that sanctions against Powell and associated attorneys are warranted in Michigan. The separate lawsuit was filed by Dominion Voting Systems, an election equipment company at the heart of conspiracy theories and misinformation offered by Powell and many other supporters of former President Donald Trump. In response to that lawsuit, Powell and her legal team specifically stated in a filing that “no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” referring to many of the claims Powell offered to argue the election was stolen from Trump. “Faced with the specter of more than $1.3 billion in damages in the Dominion action, Ms. Powell has adopted a new litigation strategy to evade Dominion’s defamation claim: the truth. Whether that strategy will be advantageous in the Dominion action remains to be seen, but it strongly underscores why sanctions and attorneys’ fees are appropriate here,” Nessel’s office wrote in a filing Tuesday.

Full Article: Dana Nessel using Sidney Powell’s words in Dominion case against her

Arizona: ASOG, one of the Antrim County MI election report firms, is dropped by Arizona offiicals | Mardi Link/Traverse City Record-Eagle

A Dallas-based firm tasked with conducting a court-sanctioned examination of Antrim County’s election equipment, was initially considered by Republican leadership in Arizona to assist with an audit there, then dropped over concerns about partisanship, records show. Antrim County, Michigan and Maricopa County, Arizona, both use Dominion Voting Systems election equipment and officials in both counties are embroiled in election-related lawsuits, which seek to question results of the 2020 election. Arizona’s Republican-led state senate won a lawsuit earlier this year, seeking to take possession of Maricopa County ballots for a forensic review, after a county-wide audit found no irregularities, the Arizona Mirror reported. State Senate President Karen Fann in February selected Allied Security Operations Group and an “ASOG scope of work” document was drafted, with a plan to pay the firm $10,000 for a forensic exam and a written report, as reported in the Arizona Mirror. ASOG in December provided similar services — though on a smaller scale — to Bill Bailey, a Central Lake Township man suing Antrim County. Bailey accuses the county of violating his constitutional rights, after he said in court filings Dominion Voting Systems equipment was intentionally error-prone or fraudulent — a characterization Dominion CEO John Poulos and election officials have said is false.

Full Article: Antrim election report firm dropped by Arizona offiicals | News | record-eagle.com

Michigan: Expert analysis of Antrim County | Andrew Appel/Freedom to Tinker

Preliminary unofficial election results posted at 4am after the November 3rd 2020 election, by election administrators in Antrim County Michigan, were incorrect by thousands of votes–in the Presidential race and in local races. Within days, Antrim County election administrators corrected the error, as confirmed by a full hand recount of the ballots, but everyone wondered: what went wrong? Were the voting machines hacked? The Michigan Secretary of State and the Michigan Attorney General commissioned an expert to conduct a forensic examination. Fortunately for Michigan, one of the world’s leading experts on voting machines and election cybersecurity is a professor at the University of Michigan: J. Alex Halderman. Professor Halderman submitted his report to the State on March 26, 2021 and the State has released the report. And here’s what Professor Halderman found: “In October, Antrim changed three ballot designs to correct local contests after the initial designs had already been loaded onto the memory cards that configure the ballot scanners. … [A]ll memory cards should have been updated following the changes. Antrim used the new designs in its election management system and updated the memory cards for one affected township, but it did not update the memory cards for any other scanners.” Here’s what that means: Optical-scan voting machines don’t (generally) read the text of the candidates’ names, they look for an oval filled in at a specific position on the page. The Ballot Definition File tells the voting machine what name corresponds to what position. And also informs the election-management system (EMS) that runs on the county’s election management computers how to interpret the memory cards that transfer results from the voting machines to the central computers.

Full Article: Expert analysis of Antrim County, Michigan

Michigan: Antrim County clerk rejects demand, will use electronic tabulators in election | Beth LeBlanc/The Detroit News

Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy will use electronic vote tabulators in the county’s May election, despite demands from county commissioners to rely only on paper ballots and a hand tally of votes. Guy said in a Monday press release that she is obligated by state law to use an electronic voting system because it was selected by the Secretary of State’s office years ago as the “uniform voting system” for every precinct in the state. The state of Michigan requires the use of paper ballots that are fed through electronic voting machines or tabulators, ensuring that Antrim County will have a paper record should the Board of Commissioners request a hand recount to verify the electronic tally after canvassing, Guy said. “Since the county Board of Commissioners does not have the authority to determine which voting system to use in Antrim County, and because as county clerk, I, in consultation with township clerks, have the authority to decide which electronic voting system can be used in Antrim County, I cannot legally hold the May 2021 election with paper ballots counted by hand,” Guy said. Antrim County Board of Commissioners Chairman Terry VanAlstine referred a reporter on Monday to Guy’s press release and declined further comment due to ongoing litigation.

Full Article: Antrim County clerk rejects demand, will use electronic tabulators in election

Michigan: Dominion says ex-GOP state senator Patrick Colbeck spread ‘demonstrably false’ election fraud claims | Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post

For months, former Michigan state senator Patrick Colbeck (R) has repeated baseless claims about mass fraud in the presidential election to state senators and pro-Trump crowds, falsely insinuating that rigged voting machines and bogus ballots swayed the results. Now, Colbeck is the latest target in Dominion Voting Systems’ legal battle to combat claims by Republican allies of former president Donald Trump that the company says have damaged its reputation. Last week, Dominion demanded the onetime gubernatorial candidate retract his “demonstrably false claims” about the 2020 election results. “You have now taken your disinformation campaign on the road, touring Michigan,” said a letter sent to Colbeck by lawyers for the election machine company, the Detroit News reported. The letter demanded Colbeck retract statements “falsely blaming Dominion for stealing the election from former President Trump.” Colbeck did not immediately return a request for comment late Sunday. In recent weeks, Dominion has also sued Fox News for airing false statements made by guests on its shows, along with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who repeatedly made such claims on national TV.

Full Article: Dominion says ex-GOP Michigan state senator Patrick Colbeck spread ‘demonstrably false’ election fraud claims – The Washington Post

Michigan: Dominion Voting Systems accuses ex-senator of ‘disinformation campaign’ | Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

Dominion Voting Systems is demanding that Patrick Colbeck, a former Michigan lawmaker, retract “false claims” he’s been making about the company in PowerPoint presentations. Dominion sent Colbeck, who’s from Canton, a letter on Friday, according to a document obtained by The Detroit News. The company says Colbeck is waging a “disinformation campaign” while touring Michigan to give presentations entitled “Case for MI Decertification,” which blames Dominion for “stealing the election” from former President Donald Trump. “You are knowingly sowing discord in our democracy, all the while soliciting exorbitant amounts of money — totaling over $1 million so far — from your audiences paid directly to your personal business,” says the letter signed by attorneys Thomas Clare and Megan Meier. At one point, the letter vows, “Make no mistake — Dominion will hold you accountable for these lies.” Colbeck didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday. The former lawmaker is an influential figure among conservative GOP groups in Michigan. He came in third place in the GOP primary race for governor in 2018 with 13% of the vote. Then-Attorney General Bill Schuette received 51%, and then-Lt. Gov. Brian Calley got 25%.

Full Article: Dominion Voting Systems accuses ex-Michigan senator of ‘disinformation campaign’

Michigan expert debunks infamous report on Antrim County election | Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

A University of Michigan computer science expert says the much-discussed December 2020 report by supporters of Donald Trump on election results in Antrim County “contains an extraordinary number of false, inaccurate or unsubstantiated statements.” The Michigan Department of State last week released a 54-page analysis of what went wrong in Antrim County’s election by J. Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan. Halderman details how human errors — the failure to properly prepare ballot scanners and ballots themselves — jumbled initial results to show Democrat Joe Biden winning the conservative northern Michigan county. The incorrect unofficial results were quickly noticed and eventually fixed but led to a wave of conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Systems, the technology used to tabulate votes in the 23,000-person county. The professor also examined claims made in a Dec. 13 report from Allied Security Operations Group. The report gained national attention among conservative media outlets and alleged Dominion software was “intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results.” The report, written by Russell James Ramsland Jr., who is part of the group’s management team, said the group found an “error rate” of 68% when examining “the tabulation log” of the server for Antrim County. That “error rate” figure was touted by Trump supporters who unsuccessfully sought to discredit and overturn the election results in Michigan and other battleground states.

Full Article: Michigan expert debunks infamous report on Antrim County election

Michigan voting rights battle looms as Republicans plan to side-step Whitmer veto | Eric Bradner/CNN

Michigan is emerging as the latest battleground in Republicans’ nationwide push to restrict voting rights, with GOP officials planning to end-run Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s all-but-certain veto of proposed restrictions and progressives beginning to mobilize to stop them. The GOP attempt to circumvent Whitmer relies on a quirk of Michigan law: If Republicans gather 340,000 signatures in a petition drive, the House and Senate can enact legislation without the governor having the power to veto it. It’s the latest escalation in a years-long and increasingly ugly effort to undercut Whitmer and two other Democratic women who are statewide office-holders: Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel, all of whom are up for reelection next year. In a speech last week, Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser — who laid out the plan to implement new voting restrictions in time for the 2022 election — called Whitmer, Benson and Nessel “three witches” and said Republicans must ensure “they are ready for burning at the stake.”

Full Article: Michigan voting rights battle looms as Republicans plan to side-step Whitmer veto – CNNPolitics

Michigan: Judge limits discovery in Antrim County election lawsuit | Mardi Link/Traverse City Record-Eagle

A judge ruled communications — if they exist — between the plaintiff in an ongoing election-related lawsuit, and former President Donald Trump, his family, his campaign staff and attorney Rudy Giuliani, was not relevant to the case and struck down the request during a motion hearing. “Allowing this case to proceed down that track would open up the possibility of the plaintiff seeking similar information from the defense, and turn this case — potentially anyway — into more of a political football than it already is,” said 13th Circuit Court Chief Judge Kevin Elsenheimer. Assistant Attorney General Eric Grill said Monday he was seeking potential communications between the plaintiff and the Trump campaign, in order to determine whether outsiders were behind the case in Antrim County.  n November 23, Bill Bailey of Central Lake Township filed a lawsuit accusing the county of election fraud. Grill represents Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who was later added to the suit, by her request, as a named defendant. On Nov. 27, political operatives working on behalf of Bailey visited Antrim County, identified themselves to officials as representing Giuliani’s legal team, and accessed official election data in at least one township, as previously reported.

Full Article: Judge limits discovery in Antrim County election lawsuit | News | record-eagle.com

Michigan: Court invalidates rule on how to verify absentee ballot application signatures | Gus Burns/MLive.com

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson last year said local clerks should start with a presumption of validity when verifying signatures on absentee ballot applications, but a court ruling says that rule wasn’t properly established. A Michigan Court of Claims judge last week ruled that clerks no longer need to follow those instructions for determining whether to send an absentee ballot to applicants. According to the March 9 opinion and order issued by Judge Christopher M. Murray, Benson issued instructions that constituted “rules” without following the process for creating a formal rule under state and federal law. Murray wrote that “the guidance issued by the Secretary of State on October 6, 2020, with respect to signature-matching standards was issued in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.” The Michigan Republican Party and Allegan County Clerk Robert Genetski, who jointly filed their complaint prior to the Nov. 3 election, claimed the signature standards allowed for “invalid” ballots to be counted. Murray noted in his opinion that Genetski, however, never claimed the “guidance caused him to accept a signature that he believed was invalid.”

Full Article: Court invalidates Michigan rule on how to verify absentee ballot application signatures – mlive.com

Michigan: Antrim County clerk says political operatives ‘strong-armed’ way to Dominion machines | Zachary Halaschak/Washington Examiner

Antrim County officials say operatives who claimed they were tied to Rudy Giuliani, the ex-personal attorney to former President Donald Trump, pushed local clerks to let them examine election data in the early days of a lawsuit focused on voting machines. Sheryl Guy, who is the Antrim County clerk, said Allied Security Operations Group, a Dallas-based cybersecurity firm that conducted what it called a “forensic audit” of Dominion Voting Systems machines in the small country, visited the day after Thanksgiving and began a blitz of calls to the clerks of villages and townships in an attempt to examine election data. Included in the group, which flew into the northern Michigan county in a chartered jet on Nov. 27, was Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist Katherine Friess. Local officials said Friess “bragged” at the time about having dinner with Trump and Giuliani, who was his personal attorney at the time, the night before they arrived in Michigan, according to reporting from the Traverse City Record-Eagle. The team was able to gain access to the Central Lake Township office, where it was shown “two separate paper totals tape” from a precinct tabulator, according to court filings. The team also visited offices in the Village of Mancelona and in Star Township, which have populations of about 1,350 and 925, respectively.

Full Article: Antrim County clerk says political operatives ‘strong-armed’ way to Dominion machines

Michigan: Charter jets, dinners with Trump: New details surface in Antrim County election lawsuit | Mardi Link/Traverse City Record-Eagle

Political operatives working on behalf of a man who filed an election lawsuit against Antrim County, identified themselves to township officials as representing Rudy Giuliani’s legal team, and accessed official election data in at least one township, according to local officials. Court filings in Michigan and Arizona state the operatives who identified themselves as a forensics team from Dallas-based Allied Security Operations Group, visited the Central Lake Township office on Nov. 27 at 10:30 a.m. and were shown “two separate paper totals tape” from a precinct tabulator, which they later analyzed and compared. “They made calls to township people on Thanksgiving Day to set all this up, they were strong-arming local clerks to get in and see those machines,” said Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy, of the visitors. “Some clerks said no or didn’t answer their phones,” Guy said. “And as soon as we could, we sent out an email telling the clerks not to let them in. Then we learn after the fact, they’d already been in three different locations.” The group also visited offices in Star Township and the Village of Mancelona, officials confirmed. Among those arriving Nov. 27 by chartered jet, was attorney Katherine Friess, a Washington, D.C. lobbyist with past ties to Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, who local officials said “bragged” about dining with President Donald Trump and Giuliani the evening prior to her arrival. Guy, a Republican, said she thought Friess shared the information about having dinner with Trump and Giuliani, in an effort to try and impress local officials.

Full Article: Charter jets, dinners with Trump: New details surface in Antrim County election lawsuit | Local News | record-eagle.com

Michigan post-election audit completed: What results showed | Clara Hendrickson/Detroit Free Press

Almost four months after the November presidential election, Michigan has completed its most comprehensive series of post-election audits in the state’s history, confirming the results, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced Tuesday. The audits examined the ballots cast in the general election, the machines that tabulated those ballots and the election procedures used. “It is time for leaders across the political spectrum to tell their constituents the truth, that our election was the most secure in history, and the results accurately reflect the will of Michigan’s voters,” Benson said. Former President Donald Trump and his allies spent months spreading misinformation about Michigan’s election process and outcome. Polls consistently show a majority of Republican voters don’t trust the outcome of the presidential election.

Full Article: Michigan post-election audit completed: What results showed

Michigan’s most comprehensive election audit finds no widespread voter fraud | Russ McNamara/Michigan Radio

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says Michigan has finished the most comprehensive election audit in the state’s history. In short – there was no widespread voter fraud. Many of the allegations of impropriety were centered on the Democratic stronghold of Detroit. Benson says the audit proves again that those allegations were completely unfounded. “These efforts are dangerous, racist and undertaken for personal and political gain. They are also completely meritless as proven by these audits and must be treated as such in the future.” Benson says the very few ballot counting irregularities found were the product of deadlines, not misconduct. “They found that the reason many of the counting boards were left out of balance without explanation at the end of the county canvass was simply because canvassers ran out of time,” she said. “In fact, the net number of ballots out of balance was just 17.” Benson says the absentee ballot counting process could be improved by allowing poll workers to tally votes in the weeks before Election Day, and is calling on the state Legislature to allow that to happen.

Full Article: Michigan’s most comprehensive election audit finds no widespread voter fraud | Michigan Radio

Michigan: Emails reveal Antrim County’s response to problem that fueled conspiracies | Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

Antrim County has inspired nationwide conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 presidential election, but internal emails from the northern Michigan county clerk’s office show election officials quickly identified the human errors that led to problems with initial results. There wasn’t a mysterious glitch with the Dominion Voting Systems election technology, as some lawyers and advocates have suggested without providing clear evidence. Instead, late changes to the ballot and the lack of a thorough rechecking of the machinery led to the discrepancies. Antrim County election officials realized something went wrong within five hours of posting the unofficial results showing that Democrat Joe Biden won the Republican county stronghold, according to a Detroit News review of hundreds of emails from within the Antrim County Clerk’s Office.  They took responsibility for the mistakes that led to the problems, worked to share information about what had happened but were overpowered by a wave of false allegations. The 2020 election in Antrim County is defined by a handful of errors that turned into fuel for frustrated supporters of President Donald Trump, who handily won Antrim County when the official results were posted three days later but who lost Michigan by 154,000 votes. Instead of emphasizing what happened, which was clear to local election officials on Nov. 4, high-ranking Republicans spent weeks pushing to investigate the situation, which fanned the fires of conspiracy.

Full Article: Emails reveal Antrim’s response to problem that fueled conspiracies

Michigan: U.S. Supreme Court won’t rule on Sidney Powell’s lawsuit | Beth LeBlanc and Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

The U.S. Supreme Court will not weigh in on a case brought by a group of Michigan Republicans seeking to overturn President Joe Biden’s win in the state. The nine justices on Monday denied the plaintiffs a writ of certiorari, meaning the case filed by Sidney Powell and other attorneys will not proceed. The King v. Whitmer lawsuit was filed in federal court in late November on behalf of three Republican Electoral College electors and three local GOP officials who cited conspiracy theoriesunproven claims of fraudulent election software and analyses to call into question Biden’s 154,000-vote win in Michigan. The Supreme Court’s action Monday “once and for all ends these frivolous election cases,” said David Fink, lead counsel for the City of Detroit, which had intervened in the litigation. “Every claim of election fraud in Michigan has been rejected,” Fink said. “It’s time for the attorneys who filed these baseless lawsuits to be held accountable for their actions.” The Republicans who filed the suit included Timothy King, Marian Sheridan and John Haggard, who would have been presidential electors had former President Donald Trump won the election. Sheridan was elected earlier this month to serve as grassroots chair for the Michigan Republican Party. 

Full Article: U.S. Supreme Court won’t rule on Powell’s Michigan lawsuit

Michigan regent denounces ‘cynical lies’ about 2020 election | Craig Mauger Kim Kozlowski/The Detroit News

Defeating individuals who reject truth and democracy is “the struggle for our time,” University of Michigan regent Jordan Acker declared during a speech at a Thursday board meeting. Acker, a Democrat, addressed the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and unsubstantiated claims of fraud focused on the Nov. 3 election. He contended that people cannot reject others they simply disagree with but have to reject “those who disdain democracy.” “We must all live in the same basic truth: The election of 2020 was not stolen, the insurrection was not a hoax, and that our government can only endure when the losers of an election accept the legitimacy of defeat,” Acker said. The election’s results, including Democratic President Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in Michigan, are “not matters of opinion” but are facts, Acker said during his speech at the beginning of the meeting. “No man or woman can lead who denies objective truths,” he said. “We cannot claim we are a democracy while standing with those who would reject it for conspiracy-laden minority rule.” Acker’s speech did not reference fellow regent Ron Weiser, the new chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. But Weiser, an Ann Arbor businessman, has been criticized for choosing GOP activist Meshawn Maddock as his co-chair. Maddock supported efforts to overturn the results of the election last year as former President Donald Trump levied unproven claims of widespread election fraud.

Full Article: Michigan regent denounces ‘cynical lies’ about 2020 election `

Michigan election audit affirms Nov. presidential results, Benson says | Clara Hendrickson/Detroit Free Press

A statewide election audit has affirmed the results of the November presidential election in Michigan, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Friday. “This statewide audit process affirms what election officials on both sides of the aisle have said since November — that Michigan’s election was conducted securely and fairly, and the results accurately reflect the will of the voters,” Benson said. The statewide risk-limiting audit was one of many audits conducted after the November general election meant to test the accuracy of the machine count and election results.  On Jan. 11, local and state election officials and staff rolled a 10-sided die to generate a 20-digit number that was plugged into auditing software to select more than 18,000 ballots to be reviewed by hand. Clerks across the state retrieved ballots selected in their jurisdictions and reviewed the votes cast for president. In the hand count, President Joe Biden received more votes than former President Donald Trump and the share of votes each candidate received was within a fraction of a percentage point of the certified results, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Biden won the state by more than 154,000 votes. “Although a random sample of 18,000 ballots would not be expected to exactly match the percentages of votes cast for candidates out of all 5.5 million ballots, the closeness in percentages between the hand-reviewed ballots and the machine-tabulated totals provides strong additional evidence of the accuracy of the machine count,” the Secretary of State’s Office said in a news release. 

Full Article: Michigan election audit affirms Nov. presidential results, Benson says

Michigan: Costs rising in Antrim County election lawsuit | Mardi Link/Traverse City Record-Eagle

Costs are rising for Antrim County officials, who continue to defend against an ongoing election-related lawsuit and respond to security tasks, said County Clerk Sheryl Guy. “Since the election, we’ve probably spent $30,000 on legal fees and overtime for deputies,” Guy said Tuesday. “And we’re not done yet.” A Central Lake Township man, Bill Bailey, filed a lawsuit against the county Nov. 23, arguing his vote was “diluted,” and his constitutional rights violated. Bailey also accuses Antrim County of using what he claims were intentionally compromised Dominion voting equipment, that deliberately “switched” votes from Republican to Democratic candidates during the 2020 election. Such claims have been repeatedly debunked by Dominion CEO John Poulos, and by national, state and county election officials. Dominion, in response to claims made about its equipment and software, filed $1.3 billion defamation lawsuits against Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, attorneys on former President Donald Trump’s election-challenging legal team, and sent a cease and desist letter to Bailey’s attorney, records show.

Full Article: Costs rising in Antrim election lawsuit | News | record-eagle.com

Michigan: Gateway Pundit video doesn’t show election fraud in Detroit | Clara Hendrickson/Detroit Free Press

An article from the conservative news website The Gateway Pundit claims that a video from the TCF Center where Detroit election workers counted absentee ballots cast by the city’s voters “shows late night deliveries of tens of thousands of illegal ballots 8 hours after deadline.”The article claims that the video is “proof of fraud in Detroit.” The video appears to show a white van at the TCF Center early in the morning on Nov. 4 containing ballots that were unloaded and brought into the counting room at the TCF Center. There is no evidence of anything nefarious. In Michigan, voters had until 8 p.m. on Election Day to return absentee ballots. The deadline was for casting ballots, not delivering or counting them.  A sworn affidavit written by Christopher Thomas, the former Michigan Director of Elections who worked at the TCF Center, in response to a lawsuit against the city says that no late-arriving ballots were ever counted. “No absentee ballots received after the deadline of 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020, were received by or processed at the TCF Center. Only ballots received by the deadline were processed,” Thomas wrote. 

Full Article: Gateway Pundit video doesn’t show election fraud in Detroit

Michigan election officials ordered to turn over communications with tech giants | Dus Burns/MLive.com

Michigan election officials were ordered to turn over a wide variety of records related to the 2020 election cycle, including any communications with Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple as part of a recent lawsuit. Antrim County Circuit Judge Kevin A. Elsenheimer also ordered Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and her Bureau of Elections to turn over election-related communications between the offices and Antrim Township, Antrim County, state and federal legislators, as well as Dominion Voting System and Election Source, companies that supply voting machines and software used in Antrim County and much of Michigan. The records were requested by Portage-based Attorney Matthew S. DePerno on behalf of his client, William Bailey, an Antrim County voter who sued Antrim County over claims the election results were fraudulent and voting machines rigged. A short-lived, nearly 6,000-vote error in Michigan’s Republican-dominated Antrim County initially benefited President-Elect Joe Biden following the Nov. 3 election. The error was quickly identified and corrected, determined to be a human error caused by the county clerk’s failure to properly update some software in the counting machines, not due to any inherent flaws with the voting machine or software. Nevertheless, the incident gave rise to much broader conspiracies related to Dominion voting machines that are used heavily in Michigan and other states across the nation.

Full Article: Michigan election officials ordered to turn over communications with tech giants – mlive.com

Michigan Attorney General Nessel files for sanctions against attorneys in election lawsuit | Clara Hendrickson/Detroit Free Press

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a motion Thursday for sanctions against the attorneys who brought a lawsuit that relied on conspiracy theories and misinformation in a failed attempt to overturn the state’s election in favor of then-President Donald Trump. The so-called “Kraken” lawsuit was filed by three Michigan attorneys and ex-Trump attorney Sidney Powell on behalf of presidential electors nominated by the Michigan Republican Party. U.S. District Judge Linda Parker denied the request to overturn the election after Michigan voters handed the state to now-President Joe Biden by more than 154,000 votes. In her opinion, Parker argued that the lawsuit appeared to be an effort to undermine faith in the democratic process. Explaining the request for sanctions, Nessel said, “These lawyers must be held accountable for betraying the trust placed in them as members of the bar.” She said the lawsuit played a role in fomenting the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump extremists. “By pursuing this suit that had no basis in either fact or law, they have only fueled the fire of distrust in our democracy that led to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.”  The motion for sanctions filed by Nessel in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan argues that Michigan attorneys Greg Rohl, Scott Hagerstrom and Stefanie Junttila along with Powell, who is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas, pursued the lawsuit in violation of their oaths as attorneys, court rules and rules of professional conduct. Nessels’ motion for sanctions follows another filed by the city of Detroit. 

Full Article: Nessel seeks action against attorneys in election lawsuit