STRAIT – Three Detroit voters have joined a local organization to sue President Trump and his campaign for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
The Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, along with three residents of Detroit, filed a lawsuit against the Trump campaign on Friday, arguing that the campaign sought to deny black voters their rights in their attempt to block Michigan’s certification of votes – especially those in Wayne County.
“Having lost the vote in Michigan and other states necessary for the Electoral College majority, President Trump and the Donald J. Trump For President, Inc. campaign are embarking on a campaign to overturn the election results in blocking certification. results, on the (legally incorrect) theory that blocking certification would allow state legislatures to override the will of voters and choose the Trump campaign voters list, ”the complaint read.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, claims that President Trump and his campaign are in violation of Section 11 (b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which reads: “No one , acting under color of law or otherwise, must intimidate, threaten or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten or coerce any person to vote or attempt to vote, or intimidate, threaten or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten or coerce any person for urging or aiding a person to vote or to attempt to vote. “
The Detroiters say Trump and his team have pressured state and local authorities to delay certification of votes in Michigan. They claim that Trump’s campaign has “intimidated or coerced state and local authorities into helping plaintiffs and other residents of Detroit and Wayne County to get their votes” properly counted and include them in the appropriate totals of votes cast “” – which, if true, is in direct violation of the law.
Wayne County Solicitors Council certifies results despite initial deadlock
The lawsuit comes days after two GOP members from the Wayne County Solicitors Council initially voted not to certify the votes, citing discrepancies in county numbers. One of the members, Monica Palmer, reportedly said she would be willing to certify Wayne County’s votes, but not the votes in Detroit – which were notably cast by predominantly black voters who largely favored the president-elect. Joe Biden.
According to the lawsuit, “other areas of Wayne County had similar gaps and in at least one predominantly white city, Livonia, the gaps were greater than those of Detroit.”
Palmer and fellow GOP board member William Hartmann changed course and ultimately voted to certify Wayne County’s votes on the same day. However, the couple changed their minds again, after President Trump called them personally on Tuesday night after the certification process. On Wednesday, Palmer and Hartmann filed affidavits with the Trump team, saying they believed the county’s vote “should not be certified” in an attempt to overturn their decision.
Michigan officials say there is no legal mechanism in place for Wayne County GOP board members to revoke their votes after the certification process is complete.
“At the heart of (Trump’s) strategy is to strip voters of their voting rights in predominantly black cities, including Detroit, by blocking the certification of election results for those cities or counties where they are located,” alleges the complaint. “President Trump and his campaign have repeatedly – and wrongly – raised the specter of widespread fraud in Detroit and other cities with large black populations, including Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Atlanta, in an attempt to suggest that the votes from these cities should not be counted. “
Michigan’s certification of votes is now in the hands of the state Solicitors Council and is expected to take place on Monday, November 23. and two Republicans – in an effort to prevent them from certifying Biden’s victory in the state.
Biden holds a lead of around 154,000 votes over Trump in Michigan.
RNC calls for delaying certification of Michigan votes
As part of their efforts to delay Michigan’s certification process, members of the Republican National Committee on Saturday sent a letter to the Michigan State Solicitors Council asking to delay certification of Michigan votes by two weeks, in order to conduct an “audit” of state votes. According to the Michigan Secretary of State, however, the board of directors is unable to verify the election before the certification of votes because “election officials do not have legal access to the documents necessary to complete the audits. until certification. “
President Trump also invited two Republican lawmakers from Michigan to meet with him at the White House on Friday. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield said the meeting focused on the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, not the election. In a joint statement issued after the meeting, officials said they were “not aware of any information that could affect the outcome of the Michigan election.”
“… as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and go through the normal process regarding Michigan voters, as we have said throughout this election,” the two wrote.
Still, some argue their meeting with the president so close to the state certification meeting is concerning. The lawsuit against Trump on Friday claims that “one of the president’s campaign lawyers overseeing efforts to overturn the election results” attended the meeting with Shirkey and Chatfield.
The meeting also took place after news of the GOP’s alleged plan to attempt to turn voters in key states into pro-Trump people, with the goal of shifting their state’s votes from Biden to Trump.
The system is rooted in the fact that the U.S. Constitution grants state legislatures the power to decide how voters are chosen. Every state has already passed laws that delegate that power to voters and nominate voters for the candidate who wins the state on election day. The only possibility for a state legislature to subsequently engage with voters is a provision in federal law allowing it if the actual election “fails.”
If the outcome of the election were not clear in mid-December, the voter nomination deadline, Republican-controlled legislatures in those states could declare Trump won and nominate voters who support him. Or so the theory goes.
The problem, lawyers note, is that the outcome of the election is by no means unclear. Biden won all of the states involved. It’s hard to say that the election “failed” when Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security said they had not been tampered with and were “the safest in American history.” There have been no findings of fraud or widespread problems in the vote count, showing Biden is leading Trump by more than 5 million votes nationwide.
GOP lawmakers in major “battlefield” states like Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have said they will not participate in this “ploy” to invite voters in their state to vote for the GOP. President Trump.
Plaintiffs in Friday’s trial ask U.S. District Court to declare Trump and his campaign violated voting rights law and to prevent them “ from continuing to pressure state officials or local Michigan, or any other state, to deprive complainants or other black voters by not certifying the results of the November 2020 election, or by naming an illegal voters list that deprives complainants or other black voters or take other action in violation of Section 11 (b) of the Voting Rights Act. “
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On Saturday, the Detroit branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) also announced that it has its own attorney in preparation for the state’s scheduled certification meeting on Monday.
“Instead of attempts to delay and even overthrow the will of the people, it is important that we take whatever steps are necessary to protect the people’s vote. This necessity becomes even more evident when leading Republican lawmakers walk to the White House, snuggle up with President Trump seeking to overturn the election, and the Michigan Republican Party with the Republican National Committee attempts to delay certification. Detroit attorney Melvin Butch Hollowell said. “Every quarter of a million votes cast in this election by the Detroiters, and by all voters, is sacred. These votes were duly and properly certified by the County Council of Solicitors, and any attempt to play games with state level certification would constitute an unconstitutional denial of the right to vote and a discriminatory violation of the protection clause. equal to the 14th Amendment. We expect the State Council of Solicitors to do their job and count the votes. “
The Michigan State Council of Solicitors is scheduled to meet Monday at 1 p.m.
Click here to read the full lawsuit filed against Trump and his campaign by the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and the residents of Detroit, or read it in the document below.
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