Michigan’s secretary of state ripped former President Trump for spreading lies that could encourage political violence after he drafted a series of posts casting doubt on the election integrity of the midterms before polls had closed Tuesday.
“This isn’t true,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson responded after a post from Trump that said voters in Detroit were being turned away from polling stations. The former president offered no evidence to back up his assertion.
“Please don’t spread lies to foment or encourage political violence in our state. Or anywhere. Thanks,” Benson tweeted.
In posts on his social media platform over three hours, Trump complained about voting processes in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona, at one point encouraging people to protest.
All three are states lost by Trump in the 2020 election. He has repeatedly made baseless accusations about those losses, which have been confirmed by courts and political officials of both parties.
“Same thing is happening with Voter Fraud as happened in 2020???” Trump, who is eyeing a reelection bid announcement as soon as next week, said in one of his posts.
Ahead of his 2020 election loss, Trump for several months before Election Day broadcasted doubts about its legitimacy.
His campaign would go on to lose 62 different court cases seeking to challenge the 2020 election results with his legal team unable to convince a single judge of their fraud claims.
Arizona was a top focus for Trump on Tuesday, as Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, was having issues with vote counting machines in about 20 percent of polling places. The problem was resolved by changing the printer settings, allowing votes to be tabulated.
But the issue sent Trump on a tirade, claiming in various posts that “they are trying to steal the election with bad Machines and DELAY” and that we “can’t let this happen, AGAIN!!!” Trump did not specify who he was referring to by “they” and provided no evidence for his claims.
Maricopa County’s government was on offense even before polls opened Tuesday, drafting tweets Monday night about election myths and facts in an attempt to battle disinformation.
“From how long it takes to get all ballots counted to concerns about tabulation equipment– we anticipate false election narratives to spread in the coming days,” the county wrote via Twitter.
There were no indications from authorities Tuesday of anything other than a largely routine Election Day.
During a call with reporters Tuesday, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said it has not identified any “specific or credible threats” that would disrupt the election system.
“It’s important to remember that such incidents will not affect a person’s ability to cast a ballot or know that their ballot was counted accurately, and that the election is secure,” an official with the agency emphasized.