Supporters of President Donald Trump have launched a series of protests in Michigan, claiming that voter fraud is the only reason Joe Biden won the state.
According to The Detroit News, hundreds of people gathered outside the capitol this past weekend for a “Stop the Steal” rally.
But as the News notes, Trump’s supporters’ claims are largely unfounded. The president’s campaign has filed numerous lawsuits—in Michigan and elsewhere—challenging election results, alleging that absentee ballots and vote drop-boxes facilitated widespread fraud.
However, courts across the country have responded to such lawsuits with skepticism. One Michigan judge recently decried allegations of voter fraud as “incorrect” and “not credible.”
Nevertheless, Trump’s hardcore supporters have continued to parrot 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 relation to ballot counts and the governor’s continuing coronavirus mitigation efforts.
“Stop the Steal” organizer Kevin Skinner went so far as to warn Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Lansing) and Senate Majority Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) to not “dare” to seek office again.
“We know who you are,” Skinner said. “You better get on our side or you better plan on getting booted.”
Some Trump sympathizers went further than Skinner, appearing to encourage Republican electors 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, asked conservative legislators to disregard the popular vote and send 16 Republican officials to cast the state’s 16 electoral votes in favor of Trump—who lost Michigan by nearly 130,000 ballots.
Despite Trump’s loss, Bishop said congressional Republicans should “break the law” and hand Trump a win.
“They will never, ever win election ever in the history of their political career unless they send the Republican electors to the Electoral College,” Bishop said.
Responding to the legal challenges put forward both by protesters and the Trump campaign, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum maintained claims of voter fraud are “ludicrous.”
“This is a 28-page press release about unfounded conspiracy theories and fails to articulate how Ingham County should be named a defendant,” Byrum said of one such lawsuit.
That lawsuit, says the Lansing State Journal, demanded an exclusion of all votes cast in Ingham, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties—counties which are not only among the most populous in Michigan, but which also voted for Biden.
Interestingly, the LSJ observes that none of the plaintiffs responsible for the lawsuit reside in any of the counties they are attempting to disenfranchise.