Judge rejects Michigan GOP SOS candidate’s request to disqualify absentee ballots in Detroit

Kristina Karamo sought to bar mail-in ballots from being counted in Detroit

A judge has rejected a request by Republican Michigan secretary of state candidate Kristina Karamo to disqualify mail-in ballots from Detroit in the Nov. 8 election.

Just weeks before the general election in Michigan, candidate Karamo filed a lawsuit seeking to disqualify absentee ballots in only the city of Detroit, and instead require Detroit voters to vote in person on Nov. 8. The Republican’s lawsuit claimed that the absentee ballot counting system in Detroit is flawed and violates election law.

A Wayne County judge on Monday dismissed Karamo’s lawsuit, saying the suit “failed dramatically,” and that the claims made by Karamo were “unsubstantiated and/or misinterpret Michigan election law.”

“Plaintiffs have raised a false flag of election law violations and corruption concerning Detroit’s procedures for the November 8th election. This Court’s ruling takes down that flag,” a Wayne County circuit court ruling reads Monday.

“Plaintiffs’ failure to produce any evidence that the procedures for this November 8th election violate state or federal election law demonizes the Detroit City Clerk, her office staff, and the 1,200 volunteers working this election. These claims are unjustified, devoid of any evidentiary basis and cannot be allowed to stand.”

Related: Poll: Where Michigan voters stand on attorney general, secretary of state races 1 week before election

Karamo’s lawsuit was seeking to disqualify any general election absentee ballots that were submitted by mail or via drop box by Detroit voters. Tens of thousands of Detroit voters requested absentee ballots for the Nov. 8 election -- a region that largely votes Democratic.

Karamo herself is among a number of Republican politicians who have pushed former President Donald Trump’s “big lie” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, sowing doubt in election processes nationwide and state-by-state. Absentee voting was particularly victimized with this GOP rhetoric, as it has become a more popular means of voting, especially among Democratic voters.

Numerous audits and experts, including Trump’s own attorney general, found that there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

Incumbent Democratic Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson previously said that Karamo’s lawsuit ahead of the midterm election was “egregious” and “based on nothing but lies.”

“On numerous occasions Plaintiffs have asserted the Detroit CIty Clerk’s procedures for the November 8, 2022, election violate Michigan election laws and are reflective of corruption in our state’s largest city. While it is easy to hurl accusations and violations of law and corruption, it is another matter to come forward and produce the evidence our Constitution and laws require,” the court ruling reads. “Plaintiffs failed, in a full day evidentiary hearing, to produce any shred of evidence. No exhibits, no testimony from any off the Plaintiffs, no evidence from Mr. Thomas or Mr. Thomas or Mr. Baxter indicate procedures for the November 8, 2022, election violate Michigan election laws.”

You can read the entire Nov. 7 court ruling below.

A judge has rejected a request by Republican Michigan secretary of state candidate Kristina Karamo to disqualify mail-in ballots from Detroit in the Nov. 8 election.

Below is a statement about the lawsuit from Detroit’s NAACP:


About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.