Judge Dismisses CaseSeeking to De-Certify 2020 Presidential Election

LANSING – Yesterday, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan dismissed a lawsuit that sought, among other relief, to de-certify the November 2020 election results, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.

The case, Ickes, et al v. Whitmer, et al, was filed in September 2022 and sought to prevent the destruction of any records related to the 2020 presidential election, along with the de-certification of that election and the conducting of a new election, and to prevent the use of allegedly uncertified voting equipment in the November 2022 election. The Court earlier denied the plaintiffs’ request for an injunction, following that with yesterday’s dismissal.   

“I’m pleased with the Court’s decision to dismiss yet another baseless case invoking wild and unfounded claims in the 2020 election,” Nessel said. “The Court appropriately saw this suit for what it was, an effort to de-certify the results of a free and fair election and disregard the votes of millions of Michigan residents. Those responsible for these lawsuits should not be permitted to continually assault our democracy and undermine the electorate’s faith in the accuracy of our elections in craven pursuit of partisan goals in a court of law. The integrity of our elections is paramount if we are to remain a representative democracy and my department is committed to safeguarding that process.” 

The Court concluded that no individual plaintiff had standing to challenge the 2020 election results because their claims of vote dilution based on the alleged use of uncertified voting equipment were unsupported by the facts and the law. And while the Court determined that two plaintiffs had standing to challenge the alleged use of uncertified voting equipment in the November 2022 election, those claimsultimately failed as well: “Plaintiffs’ allegations fail to connect the use of uncertified machines to vote dilution,”stated the Court. “Plaintiffs do not explain in any coherent manner how the use of uncertified machines causes unauthorized ballots to be cast or counted or authorized ballots to be discounted or flipped. At best, plaintiffs have pled that the use of uncertified machines violates HAVA (a federal statute) and state statutes.” The Court went on to reject other claims and arguments offered by the plaintiffsbased on federal statutes that did not apply or that were otherwise barred by immunity.  

In his opinion, Judge Paul L. Maloney concluded: 

“This lawsuit appears to be yet another brought by misguided individuals who reject the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Many of plaintiffs’ allegations rely on tired examples of alleged malfeasance that have been debated for several years, most without proof or resolution. The wrinkle added to this lawsuit concerns the use of allegedly uncertified voting machines. Plaintiffs, however, have not pled facts to connect the use of uncertified voting machines to a concrete and particularized injury sufficient to maintain a cause of action. And, plaintiffs have not pled facts to connect the use of uncertified voting machines to vote dilution. To the extent plaintiffs find fault with defendants for failing to follow state law, the Eleventh Amendment precludes this Court from exercising authority over the claim.  Accordingly, the Court will grant defendants’ motion to dismiss.”   

The plaintiffs in the case were the Macomb County Republican Party, Donna Brandenberg, the Election Integrity Fund and Force, the clerk of Irving Township in Barry County, and two voters. 


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