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MI Court: Michigan Secretary of State’s Absentee Ballot Order Broke Law, Vindicating Trump Claim


Reported by KYLE OLSON | 1

Read more at https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2021/03/16/mi-court-michigan-secretary-of-states-absentee-ballot-order-broke-law-vindicating-trump-claim/

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson speaks at a news conference about election security and later-than-typical results being expected in the state’s presidential primary next week on Thursday, March 5, 2020, at the Romney Building in Lansing, Mich. Benson said clerks will face challenges because it is the first major … David Eggert/AP Photo

Benson issued several unilateral orders during the 2020 election including sending absentee ballot applications to all registered voters. She also issued “guidance” on how to evaluate absentee ballots, a move Michigan Court of Claims Chief Judge Christopher Murray held violated the state’s Administrative Procedures Act.

Genetski v. Benson, No. 20-216-MM in the Court of Claims for the State of Michigan by Breitbart News on Scribd

In the guidance, Benson said “slight similarities” in signatures on absentee ballots should lead a counter to decide “in favor of finding that the voter’s signature was valid.”

Murray ruled Benson violated the law “because 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 (APA).”

“I’m glad the court sees Secretary of State Benson’s attempts at lawmaking for what they are — clear violations of her authority,” Michigan state Rep. Matt Hall (R) said in a statement.

“If she wants to make changes like these, she needs to work with the Legislature or properly promulgate them through the laws we have on the books — in this case the Administrative Procedures Act,” he continued.

Murray’s ruling came after Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski sued Benson and state Director of Elections Jonathan Brater over Benson’s order which Hall described as a “mandatory directive requiring local election officials to apply a presumption of validity to all signatures on absent voter ballots.”

According to the suit, Genetski argued “the presumption contained in the guidance issued by defendant Benson will allow invalid votes to be counted,” but Genetski did not allege “that this guidance caused him to accept a signature that he believed was invalid.”

The court’s opinion concluded:

…nowhere in this state’s election law has the Legislature indicated that signatures are to be presumed valid, nor did the Legislature require that signatures are to be accepted so long as there are any redeeming qualities in the application or return envelope as compared with the signature on file. Policy determinations like the one at issue — which places the thumb on the scale in favor of a signature’s validity — should be made pursuant to properly promulgated rules under the APA or by the Legislature.

Like other progressive secretaries of state, Benson put an aggressive emphasis on voting by absentee ballot in the name of safety amid the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. Over 3.1 million Michigan voters cast an absentee ballot out of a possible 7.7 million voters, WWMT News reported.

In May 2020, Benson used $4.5 million in funds from the CARES Act — the original coronavirus stimulus — to send absentee ballot applications to all voters, according to Breitbart News.

“By mailing applications, we have ensured that no Michigander has to choose between their health and their right to vote,” Benson said according to NBC 25.

“Voting by mail is easy, convenient, safe, and secure, and every voter in Michigan has the right to do it,” she continued.

Hall noted, “The Legislature is an equal branch of government charged with crafting laws. This is not the role of the Secretary of State, and there is a clear process that must be respected.”

Signature validation rules created without the approval of a legislature was one of the issues the Trump campaign and Republicans claimed was done illegally in the 2020 election. Trump’s campaign and Republicans argued in cases nationwide that Article II of the Constitution requires state legislatures to make the rules governing presidential elections, and state election officials and courts lack the authority to change those rules.

Murray’s ruling undercuts the Democrat narrative that Republican legal challenges to 2020 election procedures were without merit and had therefore all been rejected by the courts. The original suit was filed October 6, 2020 — prior to the presidential election — but was not decided until March 9, 2021.

The case is Genetski v. Benson, No. 20-216-MM in the Court of Claims for the State of Michigan.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays — download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Parler.

Detroit Absentee Ballot Chaos: ‘So Inaccurate We Can’t Even Attempt to Make Right’


Reported by KYLE OLSON | 

URL of the originating web site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/08/23/detroit-absentee-ballot-chaos-inaccurate-cant-even-attempt-make-right/

A voter cast her mail-in ballot at in a drop box in West Chester, Pa., prior to the primary election, Thursday, May 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Detroit News reported:

Recorded ballot counts in 72% of Detroit’s absentee voting precincts didn’t match the number of ballots cast, spurring officials in Michigan’s largest county to ask the state to investigate ahead of a pivotal presidential election.

Without an explanation from Detroit election workers for the mismatches, the Wayne County Board of Canvassers requested this week for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office to examine the “training and processes” used in Detroit’s Aug. 4 primary, which one official described as a “perfect storm” of challenges. The board is charged with certifying election results.

Forty-six percent of all precinct numbers were askew, canvassers were told.

According to state law, precincts cannot be counted where poll books — that is, a list of registered voters in that precinct — are not matched with the ballots.

Data presented to the board said 81 precincts, including 73 absentee voter precincts, were +/- 5 votes “without explanation.”

Monica Palmer, one of the Republican members of the four-person Wayne County Board of Canvassers, told the News procedures were not followed.

“It was so inaccurate that we can’t even attempt to make it right,” she said.

Breitbart News obtained an affidavit from Bob Cushman, who was appointed as a “poll challenger” by the Michigan Republican Party and was present as ballots were being counted at the TCF Center, formerly known as the Cobo Center. Cushman said he stayed on site until 5:10 a.m. after Election Day.

Cushman recounted several counting tables “had opened ballots with no poll book” to check whether the individual was authorized to cast that ballot.

In another instance, he “noticed pages being inserted into several poll books.”

According to Cushman, some workers left early as the day dragged into the night.

Polls closed at 8:00 p.m., but Cushman observed at 12:37 a.m., “The threat was made that the $100 bonus that had been promised earlier (over the public address system) would not be paid.”

Cushman said an order was made around 2:00 a.m. to open the remaining ballots “for immediate tabulation without additional processing or notation.”

Cushman will be appearing on The Kyle Olson Show this week and his interview will be released exclusively at Breitbart News.

The Detroit News reported 1.6 million Michiganders cast absentee ballots in August and that number is expected to be higher in November.

Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on weekends. Listen to segments on YouTube or download full episodes at iHeartRADIO. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Parler.

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