November 29, 2022

BIZARRO WORLD: Michigan Republicans want absentee ballots to be cast in person

BIZARRO WORLD: Michigan Republicans want absentee ballots to be cast in person

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In three swing states, Republicans have sued to have certain sets of ballots thrown out uncounted, and in all three cases, there’s a clear bias centering the attacks on ballots that are more likely to carry votes for Democrats.

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All three lawsuits address absentee ballots, which on the whole tend to be utilized more by voting blocs that lean progressive. Within this, they also target locations (such as Detroit, Michigan) that have higher percentages of Democratic voters.

In both Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, the lawsuits target minor technical details — an incomplete witness address, even if the ballot itself is legitimate; and an undated envelope, even if the ballot arrives in advance of election day, respectively. In Pennsylvania, the State Supreme Court has sided with Republicans, supporting the potential dismissal of thousands of ballots, which are likely to skew heavily Democratic.

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Michigan’s GOP lawsuit, brought by Secretary of State candidate Kristina Karamo, goes further, targeting Detroit and calling to throw out absentee votes if they’re not cast in person, even though that negates the very point of being able to cast an absentee ballot.

From The Washington Post:

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“Experts say the litigation — which could significantly affect Tuesday’s vote — represents a parallel strategy of suing to disqualify mail ballots based on technicalities. While the rejections may have some basis in state law, experts say they appear to go against a principle, enshrined in federal law, of not disenfranchising voters for minor errors.”

In Detroit, attorneys for city officials are calling the GOP lawsuit “blatant racism,” and saying that it would be “laughable if it weren’t so serious.” According to Bridge MI, around 80k votes in the city could be thrown out if Republicans prevail in this attempt. That’s more than half of the number of votes that turned Michigan blue in the 2020 Presidential Election, and enough to severely impact midterm outcomes.

The ACLU is representing several Pennsylvania groups that are pushing back against Republicans and the State Supreme Court ruling, to ensure that all valid votes are counted and that a lack of a handwritten date on the envelope alone isn’t treated as a legitimate excuse to reject a ballot, according to WTAE.

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Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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