Supporters of President Donald Trump have launched a series of protests in Michigan claiming that election fraud is the only reason Joe Biden won the state.
According to The Detroit News, hundreds of people gathered outside of the capital for a “stop the steal” rally last weekend.
But as the news notes, the claims made by Trump’s supporters are largely baseless. Numerous lawsuits were filed during the presidential campaign – in Michigan and elsewhere – that challenged election results. They claimed that postal ballot papers and voting boxes enabled widespread fraud.
However, courts across the country have responded with skepticism to such claims. A Michigan judge recently ruled allegations of electoral fraud “false” and “untrustworthy”.
Even so, Trump’s hardcore supporters have continued to mimick the president’s rhetoric. At “Stop the Steal” speakers publicly criticized Biden, left-wing media and Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. They also condemned local Republican leaders for failing to take action against the Whitmer administration, both in terms of the number of ballots and the governor’s continued efforts to contain the coronavirus.
Stop the Steal organizer Kevin Skinner even warned Michigan House spokesman Lee Chatfield (R-Lansing) and the Senate majority, Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), not to dare to re-serve search.
“We know who you are,” said Skinner. “You better go on our side or you better plan to get booted.”
Some Trump supporters went further than Skinner and appeared to be encouraging Republican voters and officials to show support for the president by breaking the law. The Detroit News notes that “trucker” Randy Bishop, a conservative radio host from northern Michigan, has asked Conservative lawmakers to ignore the referendum and send 16 Republican officials to cast the state’s 16 votes in favor of Trump – Michigan lost ballots by nearly 130,000.
Donald Trump. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0
Despite Trump’s loss, Bishop said Republicans in Congress should “break the law” and give Trump a victory.
“They will never win elections in the history of their political career if they don’t send Republican voters to the electoral college,” said Bishop.
In response to legal challenges raised by both protesters and the Trump campaign, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum claimed the allegations of electoral fraud were “ridiculous”.
“This is a 28-page press release about unsubstantiated conspiracy theories that does not set out how Ingham County should be identified as a defendant,” Byrum said of one such lawsuit.
That lawsuit, according to the Lansing State Journal, called for the exclusion of all votes cast in Ingham, Washtenaw and Wayne counties – counties not only among the most populous in Michigan, but also voting for Biden.
Interestingly, the LSJ notes that none of the plaintiffs responsible for the lawsuit are resident in any of the counties they are attempting to revoke their license.
Trump supporters contest the number of votes in Michigan in the Stop the Steal rally on the Capitol lawn
Trump Supporters Sue to Cast Ingham County Votes; District clerk calls lawsuit “ridiculous”