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Mid-Michigan man part of Trump campaign lawsuit over state vote

Eric Ostergren was serving as a poll challenger when he was asked to leave
Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 6:09 PM EST
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MIDLAND, Mich. (WJRT) - The campaign for President Donald Trump has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Michigan.

The legal action is targeting the vote counting process in the state, mainly in Detroit.

Eric Ostergren lives part-time in Midland. He says he was a poll challenger in Oakland County, but he was kicked out when election workers believed he was getting too close and not social distancing.

“He’s creating too much of a disturbance, he has to leave,” is what Ostergren remembers hearing.

The Republican said that’s what he was told as he was watching absentee ballots being counted on Election Day in Oakland County.

Ostergren said election workers were upset that he was getting within 6 feet of them during the coronavirus pandemic, even though he believes a legal ruling before the election allowed Ostergren to get closer.

“They had two police officers there and they told me leave, so I left,” Ostergren said.

He was part of the first lawsuit the Trump campaign filed in the Michigan Court of Claims, which has been dismissed and is being appealed.

This new lawsuit features more than 100 affidavits from mostly poll challengers at the TCF Center in Detroit, where the claims -- a few handwritten and barely legible -- ranged from ineligible ballots, ballots that were run through tabulators multiple times and lack of access for Republican poll challengers.

Ostergren said he saw no wrongdoing while he served as a poll challenger. He was asked, where is your evidence that anything wrong happened, other than what you are speculating?

“Right, the only evidence there would be is they didn’t want me there, and I wasn’t allowed to see what happened, they are not going to do anything in front of me,” he said.

Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by about 146,000 votes in Michigan, while Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the state by a little more than 10,000 votes in 2016.

Ostergren was asked if he believes this lawsuit will change the outcome of the Michigan vote.

“I don’t know if it will change it, but they weren’t ready four years ago like they are now, so they had four years to prepare and get ready if anything took place -- and I’m not saying anything did, it may be legitimate, but it needs to be audited, not recounted, audited and then recounted,” Ostergren said.

A Michigan Secretary of State spokesperson said there is no evidence of any wrongdoing in Michigan’s election.

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