Judge: You Can Analyze Those Voting Machines

Rudy Giuliani calls it a 'big win,' but that might not be true
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2020 1:35 PM CST
Giuliani Claims 'Big Win for Honest Elections'
In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

A judge ruled Friday that forensic photos can be taken of Dominion vote tabulation machines in one Michigan county, a move hailed by Rudy Giuliani—although it's unrelated to the presidential election, the Detroit News reports. The judge said a voter had complained about three ballots allegedly being ignored in an Antrim County recount, upsetting a tie on a village marijuana proposal. Now a firm is slated to take photos Sunday of the county's 22 tabulators and analyze other election material. "The imaging is expected to take hours, no timeline has been given for the forensic team's investigation and results," county officials said. But Giuliani's team is trumpeting this as much more:

  • Giuliani: "Big win for honest elections," the president's lawyer tweeted. "This is where the untrustworthy Dominion machine flipped 6000 votes from Trump to Biden." The Detroit Free Press reports that Jenna Ellis, a lawyer supporting the Trump campaign's battle against election results, hailed the order Sunday on Fox News: "A judge actually granted our team access … for us to conduct a forensic audit," she said, adding that "we'll have the results in about 48 hours."

  • Bailey: Bill Bailey, the voter who complained, alleged that three ballots were damaged and went uncounted in the county's Nov. 6 recount, turning a 262-262 tie into a one-vote victory for a marijuana retailer ordinance in the Village of Central Lake. He also claimed wider election fraud in Antrim, but the judge didn't address that. "Everybody wants the same thing I want, it doesn't matter—Democrat, Libertarian, Republican—we've got to know we can trust our electoral process," he told the Antrim Review. "It's really that simple."
  • Antrim's fumble: Bailey's complaint is unrelated to the presidential election, but Antrim County—a Republican stronghold—is where officials initially said Joe Biden had beaten President Trump by about 3,000 votes. As the Free Press reported in November, the county later blamed human error and said Trump won by about 2,500 votes.
  • Dominion: There's another link to the presidential vote. Sidney Powell, a former Trump lawyer, has pushed what the Detroit News calls a "vast and implausible election-fraud conspiracy" involving Iran, China, deceased former Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, and Dominion machines overturning the election for Biden. Dominion has called her claims "wild and reckless," per Alive11.
  • Ramsland: The group taking forensic images, "ASOG," seems to be Allied Security Operations Group—a firm linked to Russell James Ramsland Jr., a cybersecurity analyst and former GOP candidate who issued an affidavit making "wildly inaccurate claims" about voting tallies in Michigan, per the Free Press. Ramsland confused Michigan towns for jurisdictions in Minnesota and made stunning allegations, like saying Detroit's voter turnout was 132%. The city's official results show turnout of roughly 51%.
  • Rejection: Michigan's appeals court on Friday rejected an attempt by the Trump campaign to stop ballot counting in the state, per the Hill. The court said the lawsuit wasn't finalized until Nov. 30, a week after the results were certified. The window to conduct a recount had apparently passed.
  • Lawsuits: The AP reports that Trump's campaign and his supporters have filed nearly 50 suits in all, but over 30 have been dropped or rejected by the courts. One victory in Pennsylvania, involving deadlines for certain mail-in and absentee ballots, didn't alter the state's election outcome.
(Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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