DETROIT — The Michigan Republican Party has referred a whistleblower complaint to the Justice Department from a Detroit city employee who alleged that she was directed to change the dates on ballots.
Laura Cox, the chairwoman of the state’s Republican Party, said during a Friday press conference that the Michigan GOP received a whistleblower complaint claiming that the complainant was told to change the dates of when ballots were received and was directed to do so by other Detroit city and state election employees. The announcement came as the state party continues to levy accusations of electoral malfeasance in Detroit.
“Our democracy works because of our nation’s commitment to the rule of law and the faith its citizens have that elections will be fair, transparent, and that all legal votes will be counted,” Cox told supporters and gathered press on Friday. “Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly clear that this has not been the case in the city of Detroit.”
She said the GOP has referred the whistleblower complaint in question to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and said that the whistleblower “was directed to change the date of receipt in the official election record on ballots which has been received after the deadline.”
According to Cox, the employees directing the whistleblower were working out of Detroit's TCF Center, which is the main hub where absentee ballots in Wayne County were being counted.
“This directive allegedly came from both city and state employees who were working at the TCF Center. These allegations are highlighted by the city of Detroit’s attempt to block Republican poll challengers from supervising this process,” Cox claimed.
In Michigan, state law only allows ballots received by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be valid.
The Washington Examiner reached out to the Justice Department for confirmation that a whistleblower complaint was sent but did not immediately receive a response.
The whistleblower claims come after lawsuits alleging election misconduct were filed in Michigan court. President Trump’s reelection campaign filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Democratic Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, alleging that a plaintiff who was “credentialed and trained as an election challenger” was “excluded from the counting board during the absent voter ballot review process.”
Judge Cynthia Stephens of Michigan’s Court of Appeals ruled against the Trump campaign lawsuit the day after it was filed.
Another lawsuit was filed by the nonprofit group the Amistad Project and made similar allegations. Phill Kline, an attorney with the group, told the Washington Examiner in a Friday interview that the legal action was meant to address allegations that state law was broken this week at the TCF Center because some of the ballots that were flawed had to be transposed onto a new blank ballot not seen by Republican inspectors.
“You’ve got ballots that somebody spilled coffee on, or that it’s torn … You’ve got all these ballots that the machine can’t read,” he said. Kline claimed that several flawed ballots were transposed with only Democratic inspectors present.
“The law requires the Republican to witness it and then sign a sheet of paper that says every one of these ballots was transferred properly,” Kline added. A court ruled against him Friday, although it is not clear if his group will appeal or what its next steps will be.
Despite claims of wrongdoing and alleged shady happenings at the TCF Center, state officials said everything was conducted in accordance with law and that there was no credible reports of wrongdoing.
“In Michigan, I am proud to confirm that all valid ballots, and only valid ballots, have been counted, securely, and accurately and that our election results reflect the will of the people,” said Benson, the secretary of state, after the election.
Furthermore, in a Friday news release, the Michigan Department of State pushed back on allegations of wrongdoing at the TCF Center.
“Hundreds of challengers from both parties were inside their absent voter counting board all afternoon and evening,” the release read. “And even after some left, there were always challengers from both parties in the room. Dozens of reporters were in the room as well. Further, some windows were covered to stop those outside from filming the people and private information in the counting board, while other windows were left uncovered to ensure additional transparency.”
The Washington Examiner reached out to Michigan Department of State about the whistleblower allegations but hasn’t received a response.
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