LANSING — A judge issued a preliminary order Friday requiring Antrim County to preserve its election records and allow forensic photos to be taken from 22 county precinct tabulators used in the Nov. 3 election, but the case is not related to the disputed presidential contest.
Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, claimed on Twitter Friday night that the ruling is a big win for the president in his fight against the election results.
But according to the order, first posted on the website of Steve Gruber, host of the Steve Gruber Show on 1240 AM in Lansing, the case relates to a challenge brought by a voter concerned about a close outcome on a village marijuana proposal. The order says voter William Bailey alleges that ballots were damaged during a recounting of the county’s ballots conducted Nov. 6, and the result was that a marijuana proposal in the Village of Central Lake shifted from a tie vote to passing by one vote.
“Big win for honest elections,” Giuliani said on Twitter. “Antrim County judge in Michigan orders forensic examination of 22 Dominion voting machines. This is where the untrustworthy Dominion machine flipped 6,000 votes from Trump to Biden.”
The Free Press has reported extensively on errors in Antrim County’s unofficial election results, posted to the state late on the night of the election, that showed Democrat Joe Biden beating Trump in the solidly GOP northern Michigan County. The county clerk, a Republican, corrected the error and officials said it was the result of a human error in which the clerk incorrectly updated the candidate information sent to the election software. The Dominions vote tabulation machines and the related software operated as it should, officials said.
Bailey, a Central Lake resident, sued the county Nov. 23, seeking a restraining order and preliminary injunction against the county, where results showing Trump defeating Biden in Antrim have been certified by both the county board of canvassers and the state.
Bailey, who declined to comment to the Free Press Saturday morning, told the Antrim Review he has evidence that voting in the county may have been compromised.
No order appears on the court docket available on the county website, but the Steve Gruber Show posted a five-page order, signed by Circuit Judge Kevin Elsenheimer and time-stamped shortly after 5 p.m. Friday, requiring preservation of election orders and placing a protective order around “forensic images and/or other information gleaned from the forensic investigation.”
Matthew DePerno, Bailey’s attorney, declined comment. The court administrator and Haider Kazim, an attorney for the county, could not be reached for comment Saturday.
According to the docket, a motion hearing in the case was held Thursday.
Elsenheimer is a former Republican state lawmaker and director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. He was appointed to the bench by former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.
Trump has suffered a series of courtroom setbacks in Michigan and around the nation as he seeks to overturn election results in battleground states that show Biden as the winner of the presidential election. One of those setbacks was in Michigan Friday, when the Michigan Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by the Trump campaign.
Just over 16,000 votes were cast in Antrim County, and Trump beat Biden there by close to 4,000 votes. Statewide, Biden beat Trump by more than 150,000 votes.