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Judge dismisses lawsuit seeking to de-certify Michigan's 2020 election results

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for August 3, 2023
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for August 3, 2023 03:16

(CBS DETROIT) - A federal judge dismissed a case in Michigan claiming that illegal votes were counted in the 2020 presidential election, the Michigan Attorney General's office announced Thursday.

The lawsuit, filed in September 2022, sought a temporary restraining order, requesting a court order to prevent the destruction of records and documents related to the election and prevent the use of alleged uncertified voting equipment in the 2022 election, according to a press release.

On Wednesday, Judge Paul Maloney ruled the lawsuit "appears to be yet another brought by misguided individuals who reject the outcome of the 2020 presidential election."

"Many of plaintiffs' allegations rely on tired examples of alleged malfeasance that have been debated for several years, most without proof or resolution. The wrinkle added to this lawsuit concerns the use of allegedly uncertified voting machines," Maloney concluded. "Plaintiffs, however, have not pled facts to connect the use of uncertified voting machines to a concrete and particularized injury sufficient to maintain a cause of action."

The plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit were the Macomb County Republican Party, Donna Brandenberg, the Election Integrity Fund and Force, Irving Township Clerk Sharon Olson, and two voters.

Court documents show Brandenburg ran for governor in the U.S. Taxpayers Party; however, she was disqualified from the primary race after submitting fraudulent signatures collected in a scheme.

Officials say three people, Shawn Wilmoth, Jamie Wilmoth-Goodin and Willie Reed, collected hundreds of thousands of fraudulent petition signatures in the lead-up to the 2022 race for governor. The scheme led to their arrest and eight candidates across multiple races being found ineligible. 

In response to the ruling, Attorney General Dana Nessel called the lawsuit "another baseless case invoking wild and unfounded claims in the 2020 election."

"The Court appropriately saw this suit for what it was, an effort to de-certify the results of a free and fair election and disregard the votes of millions of Michigan residents," Nessel said in a statement. 

"Those responsible for these lawsuits should not be permitted to continually assault our democracy and undermine the electorate's faith in the accuracy of our elections in craven pursuit of partisan goals in a court of law. The integrity of our elections is paramount if we are to remain a representative democracy and my department is committed to safeguarding that process."   

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