DETROIT Three Detroit voters have joined a local organization to sue President Trump and his campaign over their efforts to overthrow the results of the 2020 election.
The Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, along with three Detroit residents, filed a lawsuit against the Trump campaign on Friday, arguing that the campaign seeks to dissuade black voters in their attempt to block the certification of Michigan votes – especially those from Wayne County.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, alleges that President Trump and his campaign violate section 11 (b) of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which states: “No person, whether acting under the color of the law or otherwise shall intimidate, threaten or compel or attempt to intimidate, threaten or compel any person to vote or attempt to vote, or intimidate, threaten or compel or attempt to intimidate, threaten or compel any person to urge or help any person to vote or try to vote. ”
Detroiters claim that Trump and his team have put pressure on state and local officials to delay the certification of votes in Michigan. They claim that Trump’s campaign has been to “intimidate or force state and local officials to help plaintiffs and other Detroit and Wayne County residents get their votes ‘spoken correctly and included in the relevant total votes cast'” – which, if true, is in direct violation of the action.
The Wayne County Board of Canvassers certifies results despite initial blocking
The lawsuit comes days after two GOP members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers initially voted not to certify the votes, citing discrepancies in county numbers. One of the members, Monica Palmer, reportedly said she would be open to certifying Wayne County votes, but not the votes in Detroit – which were especially cast by predominantly black voters who largely preferred President-elect Joe Biden.
According to the lawsuit, “other areas in Wayne County had similar disagreements and in at least one predominantly white city, Livonia, the disagreements were more pronounced than those in Detroit.”
Palmer and other GOP board member William Hartmann changed course and eventually voted to certify Wayne County votes the same day. However, the couple changed their minds again after President Trump called them in person Tuesday night after the certification process. On Wednesday, Palmer and Hartmann made statements to Trump’s 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 available for Wayne County GOP board members to lift their vote once the certification process is complete.
“Central to (Trump’s) strategy is to dissuade voters in predominantly black cities, including Detroit, by blocking the certification of election results from the cities or counties where they are located,” the complaint said. “President Trump and his campaign have repeatedly – and erroneously – 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 votes from those cities should not be counted. . ”
Now the certification of Michigan votes rests in the hands of the state board member and is scheduled to take place on Monday, November 23rd. The Trump administration is trying to put pressure on the state board member – consisting of two Democrats and two Republicans – in an attempt to prevent them from confirming Biden’s victory in the state.
Biden has a lead of about 154,000 votes over Trump in Michigan.
RNC asks to postpone Michigan certification of votes
As part of their efforts to delay the certification process in Michigan, members of the Republican National Committee on Saturday sent a letter to the Michigan Board of State Canvassers requesting that the certification of Michigan votes be postponed by two weeks to complete a ” revision ”Of state votes. However, according to Michigan State Secretary, the board is unable to review the election before the certification of the votes because “election officials do not have legal access to the documents needed to conduct audits until the certification.”
President Trump also invited two Republican Michigan lawmakers to meet with him in the White House Friday. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield say the meeting was focused on the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, not the election. In a joint statement issued after the meeting, representatives said they were not “aware of information that could change the outcome of the Michigan election.”
“… as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process with regard to Michigan voters, just as we have said during this election,” the couple wrote.
Yet some argue that their meeting with the president so close to the state certification meeting pertains. The lawsuit against Trump on Friday claims that “one of the president’s campaign attorneys overseeing the overthrow of the election result” attended the meeting with Shirkey and Chatfield.
The meeting also took place after the news of the GOP’s alleged plan to try to shift voters in key states to individuals who favor Trump, in an attempt to turn their states’ votes from Biden to Trump.
The system is rooted in the fact that the US Constitution gives the state legislature the power to decide how voters are elected. Each state has already enacted laws that delegate this power to voters and nominate voters for which candidate wins the state on election day. The only option for a state legislature to then get involved with voters is a provision in federal law that allows it if the current election “fails.”
If the result of the election was unclear in mid-December, Republican-led lawmakers in those states could, by the deadline for nominating voters, declare Trump won and nominate voters who supported him. Or so the theory goes.
The problem, legal experts note, is that the outcome of the election is by no means unclear. Biden won all the states in question. It’s hard to argue that the election “failed” when Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security reported that it was not manipulated and was “the safest in American history.” There has been no finding of widespread fraud or problems in the number of votes, showing that Biden leads Trump by more than 5 million votes nationally.
GOP lawmakers in key “battlefield” states such as Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have said they will not participate in this “scheme” to turn their state voters to vote for President Trump.
The plaintiffs in Friday’s trial are asking the U.S. District Court to declare that Trump and his campaign have violated the law on voting rights and to prevent them from “continuing to exert pressure on state or local officials in Michigan or in any other state to deprive” plaintiffs or other black voters by failing to certify the results of the November 2020 election or by appointing an illegal list of voters who deprive plaintiffs or other black voters or from taking other actions in violation of section 11 (b) of the Voting Rights Act. ”
Read: Trump targets Wayne County vote certification in late attempt to block Biden
Read: Rudy Giuliani resets election results in Wayne County, claims massive conspiracy
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 trying to delay and even undermine the will of the people, it is important that we take all necessary steps to protect the voice of the people. This necessity becomes even clearer when key Republican lawmakers visit the White House, jaw-dropping President Trump seeking to overthrow the election, and the Michigan Republican Party along with the Republican National Committee trying to delay certification. Said Detroit attorney Melvin Butch Hollowell. “Every quarter of a million votes cast by Detroiters and all voters is sacred. These votes were duly and properly certified by the County Board of Canvassers, and any attempt to play games with the state-level certification would be a constitutional deprivation of discrimination and a discriminatory violation of the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment. We expect the State Board of Canvassers to do its job and count the votes. ”
The Michigan Board of State Canvassers is scheduled to meet at 13 Monday.
Click here to read the full case against Trump and his campaign by the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and Detroit residents, or read it in the document below.
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