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AG Nessel, SOS Benson Statements on Opinion in Bailey v Antrim County
April 21, 2022
LANSING - Today the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a published decision affirming the Antrim County Circuit Court’s dismissal in the case of William Bailey v Antrim County, which challenged the 2020 presidential elections results.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the following statement in response to the opinion:
“This decision joins a growing number of court rulings that continue to uphold the legitimacy and accuracy of our elections. As we have remained from the very beginning, my office is committed to preserving the integrity of our democratic system. The panel’s ruling is additional reinforcement in this important fight.”
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson released the following statement in response to the opinion:
“This dismissal once again affirms not only the integrity and accuracy of the 2020 election results, but that those claiming otherwise will not be able to use our legal system as a vehicle for furthering their misinformation and conspiracy theories. The court’s ruling is a heartening reminder that despite ongoing efforts to dismantle our democracy and make it easier to overturn future elections, the data, the facts, and the truth are on our side.”
In a comprehensive opinion, Court of Appeals Judges Thomas C. Cameron, Mark J. Cavanagh, and Michael F. Gadola, rejected Bailey’s argument that the Michigan Constitution, as amended in 2018, grants private citizens an individual right to request an audit of election results.
The panel also decisively rejected Bailey’s other arguments, including that the “purity of elections” clause in the Michigan Constitution entitled Bailey to access the County’s tabulators and other election equipment, and that Bailey’s equal protection rights were violated. In addition to deciding that Bailey’s current claims failed to make allegations that stated a valid legal cause of action, the panel further concluded that any motion to amend his complaint to add additional defendants and claims--including unsupported claims of fraud and conspiracy--would be futile.
“There are no allegations in the complaint to support that the purported irregularities in Antrim County ‘might have affected the outcome’ of the presidential election, as the cited case law clearly requires,” the opinion states in part. “We conclude that plaintiff failed to allege any ‘clear and positive’ factual allegations... Instead, plaintiff merely raised a series of questions about the election without making any specific factual allegations as required.”