Throughout the entire aftermath of the 2020 election, numerous Republicans, including President Donald Trump, claimed that there was significant electoral fraud committed in many key swing states, such as Michigan.

The media completely disregarded this, stating that there was absolutely no evidence at all of the electoral fraud, which was an obvious lie.

Now, a Michigan judge has ruled that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson misled the city clerks into believing it was ok for them to completely disregard the state’s signature matching laws for absentee ballots, raising questions over how many absentee ballots recorded in the state are legit.

Unfortunately, many Republicans have conceded that this ruling has arrived too late, as President Joe Biden hits the two-month landmark in the office later this week.


What was the ruling?

Christopher Murray, the State Court of Claims judge, invalidated the guidance given out by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in early October, who ordered the city clerks not to attempt to match signatures to absentee ballots.

This follows a 2019 lawsuit that Benson presumably argues with.

The lawsuit, filed by Marc Elias on behalf of the activist group, Priorities USA, claimed that verifying signatures in a national election was illegal as it would ‘disenfranchise voters.’

A report published by The Detroit News claims Murray ruled that since Sec. of State Benson did not adhere to the proper rule-making process whilst issuing the guidance.

Accordingly, the city clerks were under no obligation to follow the ‘presumption’ set out by Benson.


However, although Murray ruled that Benson’s order had violated the Administrative Procedures Act, which requires state agencies and personnel to go through months of drafts, analysis, and hearings when developing new rules to implement state law, he refused to rule on whether or not Benson directly violated state election law, which many Republicans argue she did.

Instead, Murray ruled that the election law for the state of Michigan does not specify that signatures are to be presumed as valid, meaning that if Benson wanted to change this clarification, then she would have needed to go through the APA process in order to implement changes to the election law.

Reaction

The Michigan Republican party is believed to have celebrated the ruling; however, they believe that this decision has come too little too late for it to have any substantial effect on the 2020 election results, which were verified two months ago.


They stated, according to The Detroit News, that they were certain that Benson was in violation of Michigan law, yet their claims were swept away by the media in November, who constantly ran with the narrative nothing at all wrong had been committed in the 2020 elections.

Representative Matt Hall heaped further praise onto the decision, stating that Benson was in a ‘clear violation of her authority’.

He stated that if she wants to make these changes in the future, then she needs to work with the entire state legislature.

However, questions are now being asked of the court’s lack of decision to punish Benson for her actions, with many believing that a punishment-free ruling will allow her to disregard the APA again in the 2022 midterms, raising further questions over the legitimacy of Michigan’s own electoral process.