Advance Notice: Briefs

A Wayne County judge will handle Karamo’s lawsuit, despite her pushback

By: - November 1, 2022 12:27 pm

Sherman Smith/States Newsroom

Republican Secretary of State nominee Kristina Karamo’s lawsuit to require Detroit voters to vote in person will be handled by a Wayne County judge after Karamo asked to disqualify all judges in the county.

The suit, which says Detroit’s absentee voter counting board has “many problems that cannot be remedied, also argued that Wayne County judges have too much bias as elected officials to take the case.

During a Monday hearing, the plaintiffs withdrew that motion. 

Voting in person or through a ballot obtained in person at the clerk’s office “is the only valid process of identity in the statute because the [Michigan secretary of state] failed to promulgate a signature comparison rule,” the lawsuit says.

“The Republican party that I remember, and wish was still around, was the one that thought that fictitious lawsuits were abominable. And now we’ve seen a standard bearer for the party waging them,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said of the lawsuit during a Tuesday press conference in Grand Rapids.

“It clogs up the judiciary, wastes taxpayer resources and undermines confidence in our election system, all of which is destructive and would have been the antithesis of the GOP from eight years ago,” she said.

Karamo is up against Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in the Nov. 8 election.

Benson proposed changes to how the state verifies signatures earlier this year, but the GOP-led Legislature hasn’t taken action to adopt the rules before they take effect in late December.

In 2018, voters approved Proposal 3, known as the Promote the Vote constitutional amendment, which allows same-day voter registration and no-reason absentee voting. Karamo’s lawsuit would likely be in violation of these changes to Michigan’s election process.

Karamo was among Republicans who falsely claimed there was voter fraud in Detroit in 2020. Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, but his supporters, including Karamo and the Election Integrity Fund and Force, another plaintiff listed on the suit, have continued to sow doubt in Michigan’s election system. 

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.