Michigan AG Dana Nessel, allies fact-check during Trump rally in Macomb County

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel was joined by allies Saturday night for a livestream where the Democrat provided a fact check of former President Donald Trump's rally in Macomb County.

Joined by Ingham County Election Clerk Barb Byrum and state Sen. Jeff Irwin, the three pushed back on unsubstantiated claims of fraud made by Trump concerning the 2020 election. The topic of the previous presidential race is a common theme at Trump's rallies where he often laments the results of his loss to Joe Biden.

Despite audits done by the Michigan Secretary of State as well as a Republican-led investigation in the state Senate that found no evidence of a fraudulent election, Trump has continued to push a different narrative. 

On Saturday in Washington Township, he again repeated claims the November 2020 election was stolen and rigged. 

In the lead-up to the election in 2020, voters paid more scrutiny to the mechanisms of Michigan's election systems than in prior years. The COVID-19 pandemic placed an even greater spotlight on how those mechanisms would operate during a public health crisis. 

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Byrum, a Democrat, admonished the Michigan legislature for not addressing problems that got more attention in the 2020 election, like the mailing of absentee ballot applications to the homes of dead voters.

"That is why the Michigan Association of County Clerks has asked the legislature to allow county clerks to mark voters deceased, not just local clerks because county clerks get the death records we're often the first to know," she said.

"Republicans are not working on legislation that election officials want, they're only acting on election legislation that they want," she said.

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Irwin argued that among the fixes the state's election systems needed was more resources in cities and towns where more voters live. Voters in rural areas, the Ann Arbor Democrat said, have to wait much less time to cast a vote than voters in urban districts.

"I think the reason why they do that is because where do we see long lines? Where do we see crowded precincts? And they know that long lines are going to chase some voters away," he said.

Trump's two-hour speech Saturday night was his first visit to the state amid the midterm political frenzy brewing in Michigan. His appearance was sold as part rally, part endorsement of candidates for attorney general, secretary of state, and the legislature.