Michigan Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge To Absentee Voting

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On Monday, the Michigan state Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit challenging the mailing of absentee ballot applications to registered voters in the state, which President Donald Trump has already publicly complained about. This latest case “was filed by a Democrat hoping to head off legal challenges to the election results in the face of President Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on mail-in or absentee ballot voting ahead of November’s presidential election,” the Detroit Free Press explains. In their announcement of their refusal to hear the case – a decision that had the backing of six of the court’s seven members – the Michigan court said that they were “not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court.”

Robert Davis, the Democrat responsible for the lawsuit that the Michigan Supreme Court rejected this week, claimed that “if Benson acted illegally, it would open the door to allow candidates to challenge the legality of the election results,” the Detroit Free Press explains. Trump and his allies have challenged the election outcome using similar arguments, claiming, for instance, that supposed mishandling of the election by Wisconsin officials warranted the disqualification of hundreds of thousands of ballots across two of the state’s heavily Democratic counties, despite these voters’ adherence to official guidelines as they stood at the time. Wisconsin courts – like other courts elsewhere who handled Trump-allied challenges against the election outcome – rejected that Trump case.

Originally, Davis – the Michigan Democrat responsible for the Michigan court challenge in question – filed his lawsuit in late May. In a late August decision, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens positively ruled that Michigan authorities had the appropriate legal standing to mail out absentee ballot applications. In a mid-September decision, a three-judge panel on the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld this conclusion, although one judge dissented.

Prior to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s mailing of absentee ballot applications – not actual absentee ballots, as Trump once falsely claimed – to all registered Michigan voters, the state’s electorate already approved a measure that opened up mail-in voting to all registered Michigan voters, regardless of their reasons for utilizing the voting method. Throughout the lead-up to the general election, Trump clamored against mail-in voting, falsely claiming that the voting method was full of opportunities for fraud and would provide a method for fraudsters to rig the election. In reality, there is no actual documentation of systematic voter fraud in the United States, no matter Trump’s claims to the contrary.