Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson defended her state’s election process on Wednesday after President Donald Trump claimed in a lawsuit that he was not granted access to the ballot counting process.
Michigan has 16 votes on the electoral college. While the ballots are still being counted in the state, the Associated Press assumed that the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden Michigan had won. In an interview with ABC News, Benson said the allegations in the lawsuit did not reflect how the Michigan election process actually works.
“We have always had a lot of faith in the truth under our work, which everyone can see for themselves is meticulous, accurate, safe and something we are pretty proud of here in this state,” Benson said on Wednesday.
Questions about Michigan’s ballot calculation process are inevitable, Benson said. “We always knew we would be here when the polls closed, and while we were doing these calculations there was a lot of effort to undermine people’s perception of the integrity of our process,” Benson said.
In the lawsuit filed against Benson in the Michigan Court of Claims, Trump’s campaign called on election officials to stop counting ballots.
“President Trump’s campaign has not been given meaningful access to numerous counting sites to observe the opening of the ballots and the counting process as guaranteed by law in Michigan,” according to a Trump campaign press release. The campaign also asked to review all ballots that were opened and processed without the campaign’s “meaningful access.
Washington Newsday turned to the Michigan Democratic Party for comments.
Michigan state law prohibits election workers in the state of Michigan from processing and sorting postal ballots until the day before election day. However, the counting of ballots must wait until election day.
In 2016, Trump narrowly won Michigan by defeating his opponent Hillary Clinton by three-tenths of one percentage point.
During his last campaign meeting before Election Day, Trump indicated that he was confident that his campaign would win another victory in Michigan.
“We will win this state so easily,” Trump told a crowd in Grand Rapids on Monday. “We want to do it just like last time, but give me a little more leeway, if you don’t mind.
According to Wednesday’s Associated Press, Biden received 50.5 percent of the popular vote, while Trump received 48 percent of the vote, with 99 percent of Michigan’s precincts reporting.
The Trump campaign has filed similar lawsuits in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia, calling for a stop to the counting of votes. In Wisconsin, where Biden is expected to win by less than one percentage point, the Trump campaign said it would demand a recount.