Michigan Lawsuits Against Whitmer, Benson Seek to Allow In-Person Campaigning, Ensure Election Integrity

In a pool photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, June 17, 2020. The governor says she is optimistic about a return to in-person instruction at K-12 schools in the fall, announcing she will …
Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool

Two Michigan groups filed lawsuits simultaneously Monday seeking to allow in-person campaigning and ensure election laws are not suspended in November as they were during the August primary.

The Thomas More Society is representing One Nation and the Election Integrity Fund in the suits.

“The rights of the citizenry to assemble and speak in pursuit of jointly held political goals as enshrined in the First Amendment are essential to our democracy,” said Phill Kline, director of the Amistad Project of The Thomas More Society.

“Particularly in a year in which our nation will select a president, safeguarding these rights is of fundamental importance.”

One Nation’s suit filed in federal court seeks to loosen restrictions that silence political speech.

“One Nation supports reasonable and rational dialogue on race that acknowledged our nation’s failures while respecting its goodness,” One Nation President Dr. Linda Lee Tarver said.

“However, we were told we cannot rally and continue to be confronted with ever-changing, confusing and ambiguous orders from the Governor.”

Meanwhile, the Election Integrity Fund is alleging Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is pushing increased absentee voting, which, in effect, reduces in-person voting.

The group said because Benson is attempting to make it easier to vote, she is harming election integrity.

“Secretary Benson reduced in-person voting and made absentee balloting the foundation of our elections yet she has not done anything to assist local clerks in comparing voter signatures, the only method of verifying that actual voter filled out the absentee ballot,” Glenn Sitek, vice president of Election Integrity Fund, said.

“Something needs to be done to ensure every citizen’s vote is counted and election laws are followed. We intend to do just that.”

The group cited “election irregularities” in Wayne County as a justification for the suit.

Breitbart News recently obtained an affidavit from Bob Cushman, a Michigan Republican Party-appointed “poll challenger”who was present as ballots were being counted at the TCF Center in Detroit. Cushman said he stayed on site until 5:10 a.m. after Election Day.

Cushman recounted several counting tables “had opened ballots with no poll book” to check whether the individual was authorized to cast that ballot.

In another instance, he “noticed pages being inserted into several poll books.”

According to Cushman, some workers left early as the day dragged into the night.

Polls closed at 8:00 p.m., but Cushman observed at 12:37 a.m., “The threat was made that the $100 bonus that had been promised earlier (over the public address system) would not be paid.”

Cushman said an order was made around 2:00 a.m. to open the remaining ballots “for immediate tabulation without additional processing or notation.”

“Governor Whitmer and Secretary Benson’s attempt to drastically change election processes at the eleventh hour would allow anyone with Internet access to vote by mail, with no way to verify who requested the ballot or who actually cast the vote, as long as they claim to be a self-quarantining voter,” Catherine Engelbrecht, Founder and President of True the Vote said in a news release.

Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on weekends. Listen to segments on YouTube or download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Parler.

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