Over the weekend. Republican gubernatorial candidate and known insurrectionist Ryan Kelly actively encouraged attendees at a campaign event to tamper with voting machines. Full quote below:
“The thing is, we’re going to make sure, like at the TCF Center, there was [sic] 4,800 people that were working the election, and like, 165 of them that were Republicans. Right? We want 50/50. If you see something happening you don’t like happening with the machines, if you see something going on, unplug it from the wall. Take control of the narrative.”
The rest of the field has made undermining democracy the centerpiece of their campaigns. All GOP gubernatorial candidates have either stoked distrust around our democratic processes or committed to support legislation that will make it harder for all Michiganders to vote.
James Craig, Garrett Soldano, and Tudor Dixon have all expressed support for an Arizona-style “audit” in Michigan, despite the multi-million dollar sham exercise reinforcing the fact that there is no evidence of fraud and actually netting more votes for Biden than in the certified results.
And between his issues page and intro ad, Kevin Rinke made the baseless claim that “2020 election was rife with administrative problems, leading to a tainted election” and pledged to “audit the voter rolls” – an extreme step that even the most vocal candidates on this issue have yet to take in their crusade to undermine public trust in the electoral process and limit Michiganders’ freedom to participate in democracy.
Meanwhile, Governor Whitmer vetoed several anti-voter bills that aimed to dismantle the democratic process, weaken voting rights, and suppress Michiganders’ vote.
MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:
“Ryan Kelley and the other 11 gubernatorial candidates are in lockstep, once again reinforcing that the point of advancing these election conspiracy theories was never about achieving a more secure process, but one that can be easily manipulated to suppress votes and unravel democracy. Michiganders deserve free and fair elections that let their voices be heard, which is why Governor Whitmer has used her office to protect that sacred right.”