The Antrim County election lawsuit was back before a judge Tuesday afternoon, deciding if it can move forward.
This is a story 9&10 News has followed every step of the way since November’s election.
After months of motions and hearings, Judge Kevin Elsenheimer ruled the lawsuit asking for a non-partisan audit of Antrim County’s election results, doesn’t have legal grounds to go forward, and dismissed it.
The judge said while Bill Bailey and his attorney were asking for a non-partisan audit of Antrim County election results, a hand recount along with a statewide audit was already done, backing up the certified results.
“There is no right, either in the constitutional section, or in the statute, for the independent audit that Mr. Bailey seeks a petitioner under article 2 section 4. The plaintiff does not get to choose his own audit criteria, rather the legislature is given that authority. So while a citizen may seek to audit the results of the statewide election, it must do so according to the law. That law provides for performance of the audit by the Secretary of State. There is no other relief available to the plaintiff in this on this point,” said Elsenheimer.
Judge Elsenheimer says because of that, there’s no legal footing for the lawsuit to move forward.
“Granting judgment to the plaintiff on its claims would have no practical legal effect as the audit available under article 2 section 4 1H has already been done. There is no reason to do it twice as the plaintiff has no additional relief available there is no need to review the remaining counts it has brought,” said Elsenheimer.
And the judge had this final note about the election in Antrim County.
“By deciding this motion the court is not saying there were no problems in the way Antrim County conducted its November 2020 elections, the clerk has admitted there were problems and challenges in the elections, although the hand count ultimately of the presidential election showed results largely consistent with the canvas totals that were entered by the state,” said Elsenheimer.
Bailey and his attorney can appeal the ruling.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson released this statement after the ruling:
“The dismissal of the last of the lawsuits attempting to undermine democracy in furtherance of the Big Lie affirms that despite intense scrutiny, and an unprecedented misinformation campaign, the 2020 election was fair and secure, and the results accurately reflect the will of the voters.”
Attorney General Dana Nessel also weighed in, saying:
“Today’s ruling in Antrim County should be the nail in the coffin for any remaining conspiracy theories surrounding the outcome of the Nov. 3 general election. Time and time again, people have filed frivolous lawsuits in an attempt to undermine the integrity of our democratic process in Michigan. I applaud the Court for correctly concluding that there was no relief that could properly be granted on the claims presented.”