tcr-121820-audit

Matthew DePerno observes an audit of Antrim County’s 2020 presidential election results Kearney Township Hall in Bellaire in December.

BELLAIRE — A judge agreed to dismiss an Antrim County election-related lawsuit — one of the last active court cases in the country seeking to cast doubt on the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

A Central Lake Township man, Bill Bailey, filed suit Nov. 23, accusing the county of voter fraud and of violating his constitutional rights, and 13th Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer ruled Tuesday the court had already provided all the relief available.

In December Elsenheimer signed court orders allowing Bailey’s forensic team access to the county’s election equipment and placing the equipment under a protective seal.

While Bailey’s attorney, Matthew DePerno, said the audit of the county’s 2020 election results had not taken place, Elsenheimer disagreed.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sent Bureau of Elections staff to the Kearney Township Hall Dec. 17 to train local volunteer poll workers for a hand recount of the county’s presidential election and later conducted state-wide audits.

“To be clear, that audit is not what the plaintiff would have liked,” Elsenheimer said. “However it did occur, and it appears to have been done so pursuant to authority set forth.”

“There is no right either in the constitutional section or the statute for the independent audit that Mr. Bailey seeks,” Elsenheimer said.

The judge stayed all discovery in the case, pending a possible appeal.

A motion by Bailey’s attorney, Matthew DePerno, seeking to add Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy and Bureau of Elections Director Jonathan Brater as defendants was not argued, also pending appeal the judge said.

Initial results of the election showed about 2,000 votes cast for then-President Donald Trump had mistakenly been assigned to then-challenger Joe Biden.

Guy acknowledged her office’s human error, an assertion later backed by the state’s Senate Oversight Committee, following lengthy election-related hearings.

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