Chief Judge Christopher Murray validated claims made by Trump’s administration supporting the fact that The Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson broke the state’s Administrative Procedures Act, according to The Western Journal.
Benson violated the procedures act when she provided “guidance” pertaining to how absentee ballots were studied “because the guidance issued by the Secretary of State on October 6, 2020, with respect to signature matching standards was issued in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.”
“Further, the form instructs clerks to, if there are any redeeming qualities in the [absent voter] application or return envelope signature as compared to the signature on file, treat the signature as valid. (Underlining in the original.),” Murray wrote.
“’Redeeming qualities’ are described as including, but not being limited to, ‘similar distinctive flourishes,’ and ‘more matching features than nonmatching features.'”
“Signatures ‘should be considered questionable’ the guidance explained, only if they differ ‘in multiple, significant and obvious respects from the signature on file.’ (Emphasis in original).
‘[W]henever possible,’ election officials were to resolve ‘[s]light dissimilarities’ in favor of finding that the voter’s signature was valid.”
“The presumption is found nowhere in state law,” Murray stated.
“The mandatory presumption goes beyond the realm of mere advice and direction, and instead is a substantive directive that adds to the pertinent signature-matching standards.”
“Maybe we can even loosen the rules a bit? Unless, of course, you want to be undemocratic.”
“It was clear from the outset that the secretary of state had violated election law by unilaterally directing local clerks to ignore their statutory obligation to compare absentee ballot signatures,” stated Ted Goodma.
“By mailing applications, we have ensured that no Michigander has to choose between their health and their right to vote,” Benson stated.
“I think, if carefully done, according to the guidelines, there’s no reason that I can see why that not be the case.”
From The Western Journal:
A Michigan judge went a long way to validating one of the key claims made by the Trump campaign’s post-election legal challenges when he ruled last week that a state official broke the law by unilaterally changing regulations regarding mail-in voting.
According to Breitbart, Michigan Court of Claims Chief Judge Christopher Murray ruled Democrat Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson broke the state’s Administrative Procedures Act when she issued “guidance” regarding how absentee ballots were to be evaluated “because the guidance issued by the Secretary of State on October 6, 2020, with respect to signature matching standards was issued in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.”
As the Detroit News noted, the “Administrative Procedures Act requires state agencies that are developing a rule to better implement state law to go through months of public notices, drafts, impact analyses, public comment and public hearings.” Benson did none of this, of course.
This may sound like a digression, but it’s not. Relatively early in the process, conservatives in general and the Trump campaign specifically argued that mass mail-in voting was unnecessary and open to irregularities — problems that were exacerbated by states ignoring their own laws, purportedly in the name of the exigencies of COVID-19.
That basic set of facts got obscured in the wake of the election for reasons that don’t need recapitulating, else we’ll be here all morning and end with migraines. Suffice it to say, however, that the left took the opportunity to delegitimize every qualm about how the 2020 election was conducted.
Meanwhile, in almost the same breath, liberals pronounced the rules of the 2020 vote — which were only supposed to be in place as a stopgap procedure because of the pandemic — worked so superbly we should really do this every election: “This is great!” every Democrat seemed to say. “Maybe we can even loosen the rules a bit? Unless, of course, you want to be undemocratic.”
It’ll take more than one bucket of cold water to put an end to this kind of thinking, but Murray’s ruling was some pretty frigid water indeed.
First, it proved one of the Trump team’s key contentions: States violated their own laws so that election rules were more to their liking. Furthermore, you could, almost without fail, guess the party affiliation of the state official or officials who treated black-letter laws as merely suggestions.
Second, Benson’s guidance — which set as low of a bar as you can get in terms of signature-matching — is an augury of what mail-in voting will look like, particularly when politicized.
I don’t think I need to underline the potential issues with clerks who are told that if there are “any redeeming qualities in the [absent voter] application or return envelope signature as compared to the signature on file, [to] treat the signature as valid.”
The Michigan GOP is right. Murray’s ruling arrived too late to make any difference in the 2020 election. And by itself, it would likely not have affected the outcome of the election. The official count in Michigan gave victory to the Biden campaign by 150,000 votes.
However, it should, one hopes, make a difference in future elections. As much as the Democrats want to pretend otherwise, 2020 was a slapdash (and, in some cases, illegal) process of upending the entire election system in which voting rules were politicized under the pretext of COVID-19.