A group of voters in Michigan are suing President Donald Trump and his reelection campaign, alleging that his legal challenges violate the rights of Black voters.
The suit, which was filed in federal court Friday, accuses the Trump campaign of committing mass voter suppression, especially among Black voters, by pressuring election officials in the state into not certifying the results.
“Repeating false claims of voter fraud, which have been thoroughly debunked, Defendants are pressuring state and local officials in Michigan not to count votes from Wayne County, Michigan (where Detroit is the county seat), and thereby disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters,” the lawsuit stated, according to Politico. “Defendants’ tactics repeat the worst abuses in our nation’s history, as Black Americans were denied a voice in American democracy for most of the first two centuries of the Republic.”
The plaintiffs include three Black residents in Detroit, Teasha Jones, Nicole Hill, and Maureen Taylor and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. All plaintiffs are represented by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The suit cited numerous attempts by the Trump campaign to seed doubt into the election, from the President’s tweets to him inviting Michigan election officials to the White House.
President-elect Joe Biden won the state with 50.57% of the vote, compared to Trump’s 47.89%, a difference of about 150,000 votes. Trump has filed numerous legal challenges in the state, but many have no merit or have been dismissed. According to the New York Times, on November 13, a state court judge dismantled the testimony of six Trump campaign witnesses who claimed they spotted irregularities in the sate’s vote-counting process.
However, Judge Timothy M. Kenny noted the witnesses skipped an information session that would have answered many of the questions they raised.
“Perhaps if plaintiffs’ election challenger affiants had attended the Oct. 29, 2020, walk-through of the TCF Center ballot-counting location, questions and concerns could have been answered in advance of Election Day,” Kenny wrote. “Regrettably, they did not and, therefore, plaintiffs’ affiants did not have a full understanding” of the absentee ballot tabulation process.
The county is one of the most Democratic areas in the state and includes Detroit. According to World Population Review, Blacks Americans make up only 13% of the state’s population but account for 82% of Detroit’s population.