By Elizabeth Dallam-Ayoub | July 27, 2023
When the people of Michigan voted Dana Nessel into the office of Attorney General, they received a whole lot more than they voted for. Not only did they receive an attorney general whose job, as the chief attorney for the people, is to protect Michigan citizens, but they also obtained a mind reader and a jury, a real triple play.
According to the law, the Electoral Count Act of 1887, electors from each state are to cast their ballot “immediately after the election results are certified,” which is typically accomplished about five weeks after the November election and by December 11.
On Dec. 11, 2020, however, two election lawsuits in Michigan were ongoing, Leaf et al. v. Whitmer and Bailey v. Antrim County. Many citizens of Michigan were requesting an audit of this election. The Secretary of State was performing 250 risk-limiting audits, but these RLAs were not set to become complete until March 2, 2021.
On the morning of Dec.14, 2020, concerned citizens of Michigan, who had been duly elected to serve as Republican electors, realized that the electors had to cast their ballots that day. While the Democrat electors case their votes for Joe Biden, Republican electors knew that there were still questions about the election. These questions could be answered ultimately at the conclusion of the lawsuits and the audits. But these lawsuits and audits were alive and kicking on this mid-December day.
AG Nessel, who has a staff of 250 attorneys (AAG) (Attorney at michigan.gov), stated, “Every serious challenge to the election had been denied, dismissed, or otherwise rejected by the time the false electors convened.” Apparently, neither the AG nor her 250 Assistant Attorneys General (AAGs) researched the issue of ongoing lawsuits or audits.
Had the courts found in favor of Donald J. Trump and had the Republican electors failed to cast their ballots before the deadline, Michigan ran the risk of forfeiting its approximately 7 million votes.
AG Nessel, who bills these 16 electors as “false electors,” must have been aware that these electors, following Michigan law, tried to enter the senate chamber of the state capitol that day and were turned away by police. These individuals—these Republican electors—were turned away by police and prohibited from entering the capitol.
If these electors were false, then they were just ordinary citizens trying to enter the capitol, a public building. Why were they turned away? Why were these particular 16 people prohibited from entering the state capitol?
If AG Nessel was so certain that there were no serious challenges to the election, what was the problem with their entering the public building?
AG Nessel went on to state, “They [the 16 Republican electors] carried out these actions with the hope and belief that the electoral votes would be awarded to the candidate of their choosing.”
Apparently, Michigan taxpayers are receiving more than a mere chief executive attorney for the annual salary of $112,410. Michigan taxpayers also have the privilege of funding a mind reader who could peer into the electors’ minds and determine their actions were done with “hope and belief.”
Clairvoyant AG Nessel went so far as to declare, “This plan—to reject the will of the voters and undermine democracy—was fraudulent and legally baseless.”
There’s the triple play. In calling the electors’ actions, “legally baseless,” Nessel gave Michigan taxpayers not only a chief executive attorney and a mind reader, she also assumed the role of the jury in rendering its decision.
Perhaps AG Nessel and her staff of 250 AAGs forgot to look at what happened in 1960 when the state of Hawaii sent two slates of electors to Washington, D.C.
Perhaps she and her 250 AAGs forgot to check into what happened in 2000 when a procession of Democratic House members objected to the electoral votes from Florida being awarded to George W. Bush and not to Al Gore.
Perhaps she and her 250 attorneys forgot to look into what occurred in January 2005 when a House member from Ohio objected to the electoral count from her buckeye state.
Perhaps it slipped AG Nessel’s memory that in 2017 several members of the House objected to the acceptance of the electoral votes for president-elect Donald J. Trump.
Representative Patsy Mink, a member of the U.S. House, spoke to Congress in 2000. “There have been apparent winners on election night, a contest by the apparent loser; and competing slates of electors presented to the Congress; and a joint session of Congress choosing which slate of electors to accept.” Perhaps Michigan’s Attorney General and staff forgot to read this Congressional record.
But Michigan taxpayers can rest easy. AG Nessel is not only the chief executive attorney. She is also a mind reader and a jury. A triple play.
 Congressional Record, Volume 146 (2000), Part 18, pages 26609-26610.
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Elizabeth Ayoub, MFE's Director of Communications, started her career working for an international company, transitioned into teaching French and Latin while her children were young, and then became a Michigan attorney. She resides in mid-Michigan.