President Donald Trump and U.S Senate candidate John James will challenge Michigan election results after both were narrowly defeated by their Democratic opponents last week.
After the president filed lawsuits in a handful of states, including Michigan, alleging voter fraud, James started a legal defense fund to challenge his own Michigan election results.
Last week, James announced that he wanted Wayne County officials to investigate the results of the U.S. Senate election. The James campaign argues he was well ahead of his opponent, incumbent Gary Peters, before “questionable” votes put Peters ahead in Wayne County, which includes Detroit.
According to the Associated Press, Peters won the race with 49.8% to James’s 48.3% of the vote, with roughly 85,000 votes separating the two and more than 99% of the vote reporting.
The race was much closer than polls predicted. The Nov. 1 Detroit Free Press poll had Peters lead by five points on the Sunday before Election Day. Other polls, like one conducted by the Research Co. on Nov. 2, had Peters leading James by six points.
In contrast, during the 2018 U.S. Senate election, James lost to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D‑Mich., by 6.5 points, according to the Detroit Free Press, a much larger margin than this year.
The Peters and James senate race in 2020 has been the most expensive in Michigan history, according to Mlive. The two major candidates spent more than $70 million compared with less than $30 million spent by Stabenow and James during the 2018 election.
Senior Carl Miller said that it was unfortunate that James was not able to unseat Peters.
“Peters is probably the most milquetoast senator in the whole chamber,” Miller said. “It’s really unfortunate that James wasn’t able to oust such a lousy senator.”
On Nov. 4, the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit, alleging that Republican officials were denied access to video of ballot drop boxes.
While Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens rejected this lawsuit on Nov. 10, the Trump campaign has filed another lawsuit in federal court in Michigan, which targets the Democratic stronghold of Wayne County and Michigan’s Democrat Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson. The lawsuit alleges that credentialed election challengers were blocked from having sufficient view of the vote-counting process, challenges against certain ballots were ignored and ineligible ballots were tallied, according to Fox News.
The Associated Press called the presidential race in Michigan on Nov. 4, with Biden receiving 50.6% of the vote to Trump’s 47.9%, a difference of almost 150,000 votes with more than 99% of votes reported.
This difference was also smaller than the FiveThirtyEight poll average that had Biden winning by almost a 6‑point margin.
These results differ from the 2016 election when Trump surprised a lot of pollsters and won Michigan by 0.23%. Trump took 47.50% of the vote that year, while Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton took 47.27% of the vote.
Sophomore Thomas Curro said he thinks that these court proceedings will not affect the outcome of the election.
“I don’t think Trump has a path to win in Michigan,” Curro said. “I still think that he should still see through all these legal challenges before conceding because that’s his right, but I think it’s foolish to say that Trump is going to somehow pull through in Michigan.”
Freshman Antonio Dumnich said that he thinks people should wait for the experts before jumping to conclusions about voter fraud.
“I really don’t think anything is going to change in Michigan,” Dumnich said. “It’s always good to get to the bottom of any voter fraud whatsoever, but I think it’s way more overblown than it actually is.”
Miller says that no matter how great the margin between Trump and Biden, the courts should complete their investigations in the interest of free and fair elections and faith in our electoral system.
“Credible allegations of voter fraud need to be exposed,” Miller said. “They need to be brought to the forefront so that Americans can see what’s really going on and have confidence in the republican form of government.”
Conservatives lost their 4 – 3 majority in the Michigan Supreme Court last Tuesday.
While justices are technically non-partisan in their work, two Democratic-backed justices won the race for two seats on the Michigan Supreme Court.
Elizabeth Welch won the election against Republican-backed nominee Mary Kelly, capturing 19.5% to Kelly’s 17.5% of the total votes, a difference of almost 100,000 votes. Welch will replace conservative Justice Stephen Markman, who could not run again because of an age limit, according to Bridge Michigan.
Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack also secured her re-election to the court, winning 31.9% of the total votes cast.