LANSING — A Michigan judge decided Monday that supporters of President Donald Trump may publicly release and discuss information they’ve collected from an analysis of voting machines and data in Antrim County.
But Erik Grill, an assistant attorney general representing Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, warned that the analysis is “inaccurate, incomplete and misleading.”
“There’s no reason to hide,” Grill said during a virtual court hearing Monday morning. “There is nothing to hide.”
Antrim County with about 23,000 residents has gained the spotlight in the push from Trump’s supporters to try to discredit the results of the Nov. 3 election. Because of a failure to update voting software, President-elect Joe Biden was initially thousands of votes ahead of Trump in the Republican-leaning county’s unofficial results.
Trump later was shown to have a more than 5,000-vote lead in the county where about 16,000 votes were cast. The problem amid changing unofficial results led supporters of the president to question what had occurred in Antrim County and the integrity of Dominion Voting Systems, whose equipment the county used.
“We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results,” the audit report prepared by Allied Security Operations Group read.
“The system intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot errors. The electronic ballots are then transferred for adjudication. The intentional errors lead to bulk adjudication of ballots with no oversight, no transparency, and no audit trail.”
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After a lawsuit brought by Antrim County resident William Bailey, Circuit Judge Kevin Elsenheimer, a former Republican lawmaker, allowed Allied Securities Operation Group and Bailey to take forensic images of the county’s 22 tabulators and review other election-related material.
Their analysis had been under protective order, meaning it couldn’t be released publicly, until Monday when Elsenheimer said he would allow the release with some redactions because of information related to source code.
Grill didn’t oppose the release of the information, noting Bailey’s attorney, Matthew DePerno, had discussed it in interviews and it had been mentioned in a filing in the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Documents filed with the court and documents being used within this litigation should be public record,” contended DePerno.
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On Sunday, attorneys representing six Michigan Republicans who are challenging the state’s election results asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow themto file new evidence under seal — meaning it’s not released to the public — including a “forensic examination” of voting machines in Antrim County, according to a letter obtained by The Detroit News.
“This evidence is crucial to a just resolution of the cases pending before this court,” the Michigan Republicans’ attorneys wrote to the U.S. Supreme Court. “The petitioners stand ready to provide the evidence to the court under the procedures it deems appropriate.”
But Dominion Voting Systems and the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office continue to urge caution about false information related to Antrim County.
Officials in the county failed to update the programming in their tabulators after requiring changes to their ballot, Dominion said in a statement issued Monday.
“The post-election canvass process is designed to catch errors, which is exactly where these errors were discovered,” the company said.
Biden won Michigan by 154,000 votes in results that were certified Nov. 23 by the Board of State Canvassers. The Michigan Secretary of State’s Office has previously warned “voters to be wary of the claims” related to the Antrim County examination.
Members of the group involved in the forensic analysis in the county have previously made false statements and shared fake documents about the election, said Jake Rollow, spokesman for Benson.
“It is disappointing, though not surprising, that the primary goal of this group is to continue spreading false information designed to erode the public’s confidence in the election,” Rollow said.
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