Michigan voters sue Trump for allegedly disenfranchising Black voters with election interference

James Crump
·3-min read
People gather at the Michigan State Capitol for a “Stop the Steal” rally in support of US President Donald Trump on 14 November 2020, in Lansing, Michigan. - Supporters are backing Mr Trump’s false claim that the 3 November election was fraudulent (AFP via Getty Images)
People gather at the Michigan State Capitol for a “Stop the Steal” rally in support of US President Donald Trump on 14 November 2020, in Lansing, Michigan. - Supporters are backing Mr Trump’s false claim that the 3 November election was fraudulent (AFP via Getty Images)

Three African-American Michigan voters have filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump and his campaign, accusing them of disenfranchising Black voters with efforts to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.

On Friday, three Black voters from Michigan filed a lawsuit alongside the Welfare Rights Organisation in federal court, which accused the Trump campaign of “openly seeking to disenfranchise Black voters”.

The lawsuit was filed a day after President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, falsely claimed in a press conference that 300,000 “illegitimate ballots” were cast in Detroit, Michigan, according to The Hill.

Friday’s lawsuit primarily targets Wayne County, which includes Detroit, and accuses Mr Trump and his presidential campaign of breaching the 1965 Voting Rights Act by falsely claiming voter fraud and trying to overturn the area’s election result.

Last week, the Republican National Committee and the Michigan Republican Party also asked for 14 days to audit ballots in Wayne County, citing “irregularities” that have not been substantiated. Detroit has a majority Black population.

Lawyers for the three Michigan voters and the Welfare Rights Organisation have asked for a judge to reprimand Mr Trump and his campaign for spreading “disinformation” about the Wayne County result.

Mr Biden was declared the winner of Wayne County with 597,170 votes, while Mr Trump only received 264,553 votes in the area. The President-elect had a winning margin of 200,000 votes in Detroit alone.

The President-elect won Michigan by 51 to 48 per cent with a winning margin of around 150,000 votes.

Although Mr Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election earlier this month, Mr Trump has still not conceded and has repeatedly falsely claimed that widespread voter fraud took place in several states.

The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in multiple swing states that were called for Mr Biden, including Michigan, and has pressed state and local authorities not to certify the election results.

“Central to this strategy is disenfranchising voters in predominantly Black cities, including Detroit, by blocking certification of election results from those cities or counties where they are located,” the lawsuit read.

The lawsuit said that the Trump campaign had falsely claimed that there was “widespread fraud in Detroit and other cities with large Black populations, including Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Atlanta, in an effort to suggest votes from those cities should not be counted.”

On 17 November, two Republican members on Wayne County's Board of Canvassers initially refused to certify the area’s results, but later relented after an outcry from Demcratic officials.

A day later, the two GOP officials then attempted to rescind their vote to certify the results, but the move was turned down by the office of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Jenna Ellis, senior legal adviser to the 2020 Trump campaign, told The Independent: “Every American deserves to know that our elections are conducted in a legal manner, no matter who they are or where they live.

“That’s our only goal: to ensure safe, secure, and fair elections. That's what our Constitution requires.”

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