Trump campaign files lawsuit seeking to halt vote counting in Michigan

(WWJ) The Trump campaign says it has filed a lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims seeking to halt the counting of ballots.

The suit is asking that counting should not continue in the battleground state until the campaign is granted "meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process."

The Trump campaign said in a statement: "We also demand to review those ballots which are opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access."

The campaign claims it was denied access to "numerous" counting locations to observe the process, as guaranteed by Michigan law. The exact locations were not immediately specified.

Attorney General Dana Nessel's Press Secretary Ryan Jarvi issued the following response to the suit:

“Michigan’s elections have been conducted transparently, with access provided for both political parties and the public, and using a robust system of checks and balances to ensure that all ballots are counted fairly and accurately. At this time our department has not been notified by the Court of Claims about this lawsuit and when we are served, we will review it and respond accordingly. Michigan will always continue to protect the rights of all voters to have their ballots counted.”

Meanwhile, counting continued without an immediate court ruling.

And, by later afternoon, multiple media outlets had called Michigan for Joe Biden.

Taking aim at the move by the Trump campaign, the We Make Michigan Coalition called the lawsuit "a blatant attempt to disrupt the work of election officials and deny the right of every Michigan voter to have their vote counted."

The group added: "Donald Trump is trying to bully his way through this election by stopping the counting of every vote. Michigan's election processes are safe, secure and election officials are focused on getting an accurate count that reflects the will of the people, not any candidate or political party. Trump is worried and is willing to tell any lie and bulldoze over the democratic process to get what he wants. We are focused on ensuring every vote is counted and the will of the people wins the day."

This comes after Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said not to expect complete vote totals in Michigan until Wednesday night.

Updating the public before noon, Benson said around 100,000 absentee ballots were still being tallied in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and a few other smaller cities. At 3:30 p.m., the Detroit Department of Elections said it still had 16,000 absentee ballots left to count.

Benson thanked election workers who "stayed up all night" counting voted. She said more than anything she wants to "respect their work and stand back and let them do their jobs."

Benson said a record number of voters, more than 5 million, voted in Tuesday's election — and 28,000 voters registered to vote and voted on Election Day alone.

Most of those to register on the day were young voters, she said.

While the world watched Michigan with the U.S. presidency in the balance -- University of Michigan political science professor Vincent Hutchings was among those urging everyone to be patient.

"There will be a victor declared probably in the next few days," Hutchings said.

"One of the candidates will ultimately be satisfied, because one of them will be declared the victor, and the supporters of that candidate will be relieved," he added. "The supporters of the losing candidate, of course, will be very frustrated, disappointed -- and let's hope that it just ends there, at frustration and disappointment."

Trump won Michigan in 2016 by only around 10,000 votes.