Former President Donald Trump, who fought against rampant voter fraud in the 2020 election, was vindicated by a Michigan Court ruling that said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson broke the law when she allowed sending absentee balloting to registered voters, a report said.
A report by Breitbart said Michigan Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray ruled that Benson violated the Administrative Procedures Act of the state on the absentee ballot applications and other unilateral orders for the 2020 election together with releasing a "guidance" on how to evaluate the said absentee ballots.
Breitbart said Benson instructed through the "guidance," which is actually entitled "Absent Voter Ballot Processing: Signature Verification and Voter Notification Standards," that "slight similarities" in signatures should lead to a decision by the counter "in favor of finding that voter's signature as valid".
In the 16-page court ruling entitled, "Genetski v. Benson" with no. 20-216-MM, Murray sided with the plaintiffs in complaining that Benson has violated the state's laws because of three reason. These are: Benson's "characterization of the standards at issue," non-compliance to the laws of the state for mandatorily instructing clerks to presume a signature's validity, and that Benson's argument on her decisions for the conduct of elections "is too generic to support her positions" as it did not comply to APA rules.
"While defendant Benson undoubtedly has discretion under MCL 168.31 to issue guidance or to instruct local clerks regarding signature validity requirements, the implementatio of her discretionary decision can still be subject to the APA's requirements," Murray said in the ruling.
"In sum, the standards issued by defendant Benson on October 6, 2020 with respect to signature-matching requirements amounted to a "rule" that should have been promulgated in accordance with the APA. And absent compliance with the APA, the 'rule' is invalid," he added.
The plaintiffs were County of Allegheny Clerk Robert Genetski and the Michigan Republican Party who filed the case last year.
Breitbart added that Genetski sued the Secretary of State along with State Director Elections Jonathan Brater in for making it a "mandatory directive requiring local election officials to apply a presumption of validity to all signatures on absent voter ballots" -- something Judge Murray pointed out as non-existent in the state's election law.
"Nowhere in this state's election law has the Legislature indicated that signatures are to be presumed valid, nor did the Legislature require that signatures are to be accepted so long as there are any redeeming qualities in the application or return envelope as compared with the signature on file. Policy determinations like the one at issue--which places the thumb on the scale in favor of a signature's validity--should be made pursuant to properly promulgated rules under the APA or by the Legislature," the ruling said.
Breitbart explained that Benson put emphasis on the absentee voting due to the ongoing pandemic. The outlet cited a May 2020 interview of Benson with NBC 25 where she explained that it was a matter of Michiganders choosing between "their health and their right to vote."
In a statement posted at the Michigan GOP website, State Representative Matt Hall expressed appreciation that the court sided with the plaintiffs and declared Benson's acts as unlawful--"a clear violation of her authority". Hall explained that Benson would have to pass through the legislature to implement changes that are beyond the Administrative Procedures Act because it is not her "role" as Secretary of State to craft laws.