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Court tosses GOP lawsuit seeking more Republican election inspectors in Flint
A Genesee Circuit Court Judge dismissed a lawsuit on Wednesday that would require Flint to hire more Republican election inspectors.
The lawsuit was filed by the Michigan Republican Party and the Republican National Committee due to concerns the city had violated the party’s rights under Michigan state law for an “equal number as nearly as possible” of Republican and Democratic election inspectors.
While the party offered to help the city in recruiting more Republican election inspectors in the predominantly Democratic area, a letter from Flint City Attorney William Kim said a list of potential inspectors from the party included “duplicative names,” individuals who were already working as inspectors in other jurisdictions, and at least one person who yelled profanity at the staff and asked not to be contacted in the future.
According to the letter, the city had hired more than 120 Republican inspectors. However the suit argued 120 election officials is only 17.6% of an estimated 682 election inspectors hired by the city.
In its response, the city argued the Michigan Republican Party and Republican National Committee lacked legal standing, as state law specifies only major party county chairs can challenge the appointment of election inspectors through a specified process.
Genesee Circuit Court Judge Mark W. Latchana ultimately dismissed the suit on these grounds, according to a report from MLive.
The Michigan Republican Party released a statement following the decision, saying it would appeal the case.
“Flint has over 80% Democrat inspectors, and over 90% Democrat inspectors for the Absentee Vote Counting Boards. This is unacceptable,” said spokesperson Gustavo Portela.
Democrats criticized the lawsuit, as well as another suit from Republican Secretary of State Candidate Kristina Karamo targeting absentee voting in Detroit as attempts at suppressing Democratic votes.
The city argued the suit was intended to sow doubt in the election.
“The use of these types of politically motivated lawsuits to create political theatre have no place in the judicial system,” the city said in its response to the complaint.
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