A local GOP official in charge of overseeing elections in a Michigan county beat Ronna McDaniel on Friday night, calling “categorically false” the allegations of the Republican National Committee chairmen that there were thousands of ballots in a Michigan city that were improperly counted for the Democrats.
Tina Barton, the town clerk of Rochester Hills, Michigan, went on to say she was “concerned” about the unsubstantiated allegations of Republican voter fraud, apparently aimed at undermining the legitimacy of the presidential candidacy.
McDaniel, who earlier today held a press conference with Michigan GOP leader Laura Cox, claimed that on Wednesday night they “found 2,000 ballots that had been given to Democrats but were Republican ballots due to a clerical error, and this happened in Rochester Hills.
Barton, a member of the bipartisan National Election Commission, which calls itself the Election Assistance Commission Board of Advisors, was not too happy about this allegation.
“There were no ballots missing. The accusation that 2,000 ballots were found is categorically false,” Barton said in a video posted on Twitter. “As a Republican, I am concerned that this is being deliberately misrepresented to undermine the election process.
Barton said there was an error that she considered an “isolated mistake” that was quickly corrected.
“Every voter should have full confidence in our voting system,” she said, “Every vote cast was accurately counted, and there is a ballot safeguard.
“I stand by our reported results,” Barton added.
The RNC did not respond to Washington Newsday’s request for comment.
As Rochester Hills’ town clerk, this is my response to the inaccurate statement made by the @GOPChairwoman. https://t.co/TdxyIvEZ2J pic.twitter.com/t5C1VvGR01
– Tina Barton (@TLBsStory) November 7, 2020
McDaniel’s claims were reminiscent of the tactics of the Republicans and the Trump campaign of making allegations of electoral irregularities or fraud without providing evidence. The unsubstantiated claims of President Donald Trump and his entourage have led Republican legislators to blame such rhetoric, to plead for the counting of the remaining votes and for the campaign to present evidence in court to support its fraud allegations.
Trump has pressed for the counting of ballots to be stopped in some states and has falsely claimed to have won the election.
Although there was no official winner on Friday night, all signs indicated that Joe Biden would emerge as the winner, as the Democrat saw his lead grow in several contested states that could take him above the 270 mark. Michigan was appointed to Biden, who reclaimed the midst state after Trump took it in 2016. With more than 98 percent of the vote, Biden led with 2.6 percent or nearly 148,000 votes.
The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in key states such as Michigan to stop the vote count – while urging that stopping the count in Arizona helps the president win – and to demand more access to polling officials, even though officials from both parties have been given access.
A Michigan judge on Thursday threw out a Trump campaign suit to stop the counting of ballots, noting that this made little sense since the counting was essentially complete.