By: Amy Jo Underwood
A Michigan judge ruled that the Secretary of State broke the law when she unilaterally changed election rules concerning absentee ballots. The judge’s ruling upheld a major claim made by the Trump legal team when challenging the 2020 Presidential Election results. Michigan was one of several states that changed election laws without going through the legislative process.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D-MI) unilaterally changed election rules in Michigan in 2020, specifically in regard to absentee voting requirements. Judge Christopher Murray ruled that the changes violated the Michigan Administrative Procedures Act, thus upholding statements made by the Trump legal team earlier this year.
Biden won Michigan by just over 154,000 votes, leaving a narrow margin wherein results could have been affected by the changes made by Secretary Benson (presumably fraud, according to the Trump team, due to loosened signature requirements on absentee ballots).
State Senator Matt Hall (R-MI) stated, “The Legislature is an equal branch of government charged with crafting laws. This is not the role of the Secretary of State, and there is a clear process that must be respected. Unfortunately, Secretary of State Benson has a pattern of not respecting that process. She issued a mandatory directive requiring local election officials to apply a presumption of validity to all signatures on absent voter ballots, but there is nothing within state law allowing for that type of power from her position. As a result, this directive was found to be not in accordance with our laws and not valid.”
Michigan was one of many states wherein members of the executive branch unilaterally altered election laws, leaving room for doubt as to the validity of election results.
“I’m glad the court sees Secretary of State Benson’s attempts at lawmaking for what they are – clear violations of her authority. If she wants to make changes like these, she needs to work with the Legislature or properly promulgate them through the laws we have on the books.” - Sen. Matt Hall (R-MI)