Pro-Trump forces spin legal wheels in challenging Michigan election results

www.freep.com
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One apparent strategy is to delay the certification of results so that Michigan's 16 electoral votes would not go to Democrat Joe Biden.
CLOSE Detroit Free Press reporter Paul Egan discusses the election results and other issues with Gov. Whitmer. Detroit Free Press

LANSING — Lawsuits filed in the wrong courts.

Naming the wrong defendants.

Alleging facts with no connection to the defendants being sued.

Forces backing Republican President Donald Trump have filed at least five lawsuits in state and federal courts in Michigan seeking to delay or stop the state's certification of 16 electoral votes for Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

With every Michigander's vote cast and counted in the presidential contest, showing Biden defeating Trump by close to 150,000 votes according to the unofficial tally, elections workers statewide are now undertaking the tedious process of officially certifying the vote and converting the state's popular vote into the state's Electoral College votes. That process relies on local and state election officials meeting a series of tight deadlines and fulfilling their legal duties. And derailing this process appears to be a goal the lawsuits all share.

President Donald Trump listens during an event on Operation Warp Speed in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday in Washington. (Photo: EVAN VUCCI/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The suits could create significant complications if they produced court orders delaying certification of election results in key Michigan counties beyond Tuesday's deadline, or dragged out thecertification of statewide results beyond the Dec. 8 "safe harbor" date by which Congress is required to accept Michigan's electoral votes.

But the suits have been marked by unusual legal missteps and repeated judicial setbacks. Some analysts say it is difficult to discern a coherent strategy, other than to seek to undermine overall confidence in the elections process.

"I've heard some folks describing it as throwing a lot of stuff against the wall and hoping something sticks. It seems to be instead throwing nothing against the wall and hoping something…
Paul Egan, Clara Hendrickson
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