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Policy Summary: On November 20, 2020 the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit on behalf of three African – American voters in Michigan contending that President Trump and his campaign team in Michigan are trying to suppress the votes of Black voters in the state. The lawsuit alleges that the President and campaign officials are pressuring state and local officials to not tally votes from Wayne County in the state. Wayne County encompasses the city of Detroit, which has a significant number of African – American residents. Joe Biden won the state over President Trump with just over 150,000 votes. In Wayne County, Biden’s margin over the President was over 333,000 votes.

Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 provides:

No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for urging or aiding any person to vote or attempt to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for exercising any powers or duties under section 3(a), 6, 8, 9, 10, or 12(e).

The case, brought in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges President Trump and his campaign officials in Michigan are in violation of Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE

Policy Analysis: In the aftermath of the November 3rd election and when it became increasingly likely that President Trump would not win re – election to a second term the President brought a number of lawsuits in key swing states hoping to show that vote tallies were not accurate. The President believed that the only reason that he trailed in a number of states was because of voter fraud brought on by the use of mail ballots and the inability of poll observers to watch the tabulation process. The President even concluded that there must have been voter fraud because of the razor thin margin of votes between him and Mr. Biden in some states. However, the President and his team did not have any evidence of this fraud and the courts dismissed many of the cases.

The lawsuit brought by the NAACP in Michigan stands out because it is a case that has not been brought by the President but brought directly against him. And it turns the table on the President and his voter fraud arguments because while the President has been the one who has constantly screamed voter fraud and irregularities in the voting process this lawsuit shows that the President himself is the one who is denigrating the democratic  voting process. Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is clear that acts of intimidation, threats and coercive attempts against persons for voting are not permitted. Nor are acts of intimidation and threats permitted against election officials for performing the duties of their office. Yet here we have President Trump and his campaign team engaged in acts of intimidation and coercion. Trump has personally called a number of Michigan legislators to “discuss” with them the certification of the election for Joe Biden and has even discussed with aides who else in other states he can call to discuss delays in certification of the election. It is clear that President Trump is trying to exert pressure on these local officials in an effort to manipulate the results of the election in his favor. But the fact remains that hundreds of thousands of people in Michigan cast their ballots and chose Joe Biden over Mr. Trump. By trying to not have their votes counted so he can claim victory in Michigan President Trump is engaging in the kind of voter suppression that only leads to a distortion in the true will of an electorate and is exactly the kind of voter fraud that President Trump has been complaining about (falsely it appears) all along. In this case in Michigan the NAACP lawsuit perfectly shows that acts of voter fraud and suppression are being encouraged by none other than President Trump himself. The lawsuit has just been filed but it will help to illustrate that the President’s claim of voting irregularities are meritless. LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE 

Engagement Resources:

This brief was compiled by Rod Maggay. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief, please contact Rod@USResistnews.org.

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