The Trump campaign allegedly mixed up Michigan and Minnesota in its election lawsuit

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Originally Published: 

President Trump's various efforts to overturn, or at the very least disrupt, election results in key states and counties across the country have largely been a massive flop. In courtroom after courtroom, attorneys representing the president's campaign have tried — and failed — to show anything resembling the mass voter fraud alleged by a sweating Rudy Giuliani during his unmoored press conference Thursday.

Still, to understand just how laughably bad the president's legal effort has been, look no further than Georgia, where attorney Lyn Wood filed an affidavit by a cybersecurity expert who alleged "significant anomalies and red flags that we have observed" with certain voting machines — part of the debunked "Dominion" conspiracy theory that has sprung up among certain circles of the president's more enthusiastic defenders. But, as first noticed by Powerline Blog, the affidavit — which, again, was filed in Georgia — pinpoints those anomalies as having affected vote counts in Michigan instead. But that's not all.

Russel James Ramsland Jr., the cybersecurity expert and author of the affidavit, lists 19 Michigan electoral precincts "where the presidential votes cast compared to the estimated voters based on reported statistics exceeded 100%" using "data obtained by the Michigan secretary of state."

It would indeed be bad if there were more votes cast than estimated voters in those 19 Michigan precincts. Except none of the precincts and townships listed in the document are in Michigan to begin with. They're in Minnesota.

As Powerline surmises — and it's important here to note that the site is a decidedly conservative publication — someone screwed up big time, probably by looking at data classified for Minnesota (MN) and mistaking it as having come out of Michigan (MI), based on their similar(ish) abbreviations.

The Washington Post's Aaron Blake, a native Minnesotan himself, notes that the fact that Minnesota's voter turnout rates are seemingly high is not actually all that surprising, given the state's persistently above-average voting levels.

Which is all to say that what seems to have happened here is the sort of screw up that can seriously damage a lawsuit — and by extension, the reputation of those who filed it — by demonstrating an astonishing lack of due diligence and research to a judge who would then proceed to adjudicate the case with that colossal screw-up in mind.

Of course, with his legal options dwindling, Trump has signaled a different, more insidious electoral plan: to simply cajole local lawmakers to toss the race to him, regardless of whether or not he won the majority of votes in a particular state.