Advance Notice: Briefs

Nessel files brief against Karamo’s Detroit voting suit, says it’s about ‘spreading misinformation’

By: - November 7, 2022 10:02 am

U.S. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel heads to the stage to speak at a campaign rally held by U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) designed to get Michigan State University students, faculty and staff out to the polls on October 16, 2022 in East Lansing, | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel filed an amicus brief on Friday in support of the city of Detroit in the case filed against Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey, in which GOP Secretary of State nominee Kristina Karamo attempted to disqualify absentee voters in the city.

The lawsuit was filed by Karamo in an attempt to make Detroit residents vote in person or acquire their ballots in person at a clerk’s office. 

Republican nominee for secretary of state Kristina Karamo speaks at a rally with gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon and former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in Southfield, Mich. on Oct. 29, 2022. (Andrew Roth/Michigan Advance)

Karamo has alleged election fraud, but Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny indicated on Friday that she had failed to sufficiently prove that claim. Karamo is trying to oust Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Tuesday.

In a statement, Nessel said this is nothing more than an attempt to spread misinformation before the Tuesday election. 

“The City of Detroit’s use of absent voter counting boards is a process specifically authorized by the Michigan Legislature, and used by multiple jurisdictions for years,” said Nessel. “This is nothing more than a naked attempt to spread misinformation ahead of [Tuesday’s] election.”   

Michigan voters approved Proposal 3 in 2018, a constitutional amendment that includes the right to same-day voter registration and no-reason absentee voting. Karamo’s lawsuit is likely in violation of the law. 

This is not the first time Karamo has alleged voter fraud in Detroit without evidence. She did the same in a 2020 affidavit when former President Donald Trump lost to President Joe Biden in an effort to delegitimize the 2020 election results. 

Detroit and Wayne County went heavily for Biden, who won the state by more than 154,000 votes over Trump. Since then, those who have supported Trump, like Karamo and the Election Integrity Fund and Force, another plaintiff in this case, have attempted to cause confusion and suspicion toward Michigan’s election system. 

More than 250 audits, an investigation by the state GOP-led Senate Oversight Committee and other lawsuits have found there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Michigan in 2020.


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Julia Forrest
Julia Forrest

Julia Forrest is a contributor to the Michigan Advance. She has been covering Michigan and national politics for two years at the Michigan Daily and OpenSecrets. She studies public policy at the University of Michigan.