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Trump campaign files lawsuit to halt Michigan ballot counting temporarily

(NBC12)
Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 2:11 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - President Donald Trump’s campaign has filed a lawsuit in Michigan seeking to stop ballot counting until representatives are allowed to witness the operation.

Bill Stepien, who is the Trump 2020 campaign manager, released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying a lawsuit has been filed in the Michigan Court of Claims alleging violations of Michigan election laws. He said campaign representatives has not been provided with “meaningful access” to ballot counting locations, as required by law.

The campaign is asking the court to halt ballot counting until it receives “meaningful access" to watch ballot counting operations and to provide the opportunity to review ballots that were counted while campaign representatives didn’t have the access they wanted.

"President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else,” Stepien said in the statement.

Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox issued a separate statement on Wednesday afternoon claiming that irregularities were found in Antrim County. She said a software issue there caused a swing of 6,000 votes for Trump and Republican Senate candidate John James in unofficial totals.

Cox said Michigan Republicans also were investigating whether thousands of ballots were dropped off in Detroit after 3 a.m. Wednesday, which was about seven hours after the deadline at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

“The irregularities reported this morning are incredibly troubling, especially given how close the election results are in Michigan," Cox said. “At this point, it is unclear whether or not these issues were caused by incompetence or corruption, but the fact that they exist is of great concern, and the Michigan Republican Party will spare no expense to expose the truth of what happened in yesterday’s election.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s spokesman said the office hadn’t received official notification of Trump’s lawsuit and will respond when the court documents arrive.

“Michigan’s elections have been conducted transparently, with access provided for both political parties and the public, and using a robust system of checks and balances to ensure that all ballots are counted fairly and accurately," said Ryan Jarvi, who is Nessel’s press secretary.

Here is the full statement issued by the Trump-Pence campaign:

“As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely tight as we always knew it would be. President Trump’s 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. 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.”

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