Trump Campaign Sues to Temporarily Block Michigan Vote Counting

November 4, 2020 by Dan McCue
A Detroit police officer stops election challengers from entering the central counting board due to overcrowding, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

LANSING, Mich. — The Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit in Michigan claiming its election observers have not been granted “meaningful” access to the counting process.

As of about 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, former Vice President Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump by about 1% or 45,000 votes.

In a  statement, Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager said the campaign “has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law.

“We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted,” he continued. “We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access. President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else.”

Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson had said earlier that tens of thousands of votes remain to be counted in the state. She said she expected that the majority of them would be counted by the end of the day.

Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, a liberal advocacy group, told the Associated Press Wednesday that Trump only filed the suit to stop the AP and other media outlets from calling the race for Biden.

“This is a Hail Mary,” he said.

In neighboring Wisconsin, where Biden has been declared the winner with about a 20,000 vote lead, the Trump campaign is seeking a recount.

“Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor thin race as we always knew that it would be,” Stepien said. “There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results. The president is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”

Republicans already are mounting legal challenges involving absentee votes in Pennsylvania and Nevada, contesting local decisions that could take on national significance in the close election.

“If the president makes good on his threat to go to court to try to prevent the proper tabulation of votes, we have legal teams standing by ready to deploy to resist that effort,” Biden Campaign Manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement. “And they will prevail.”

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