LANSING, Mich. — While both the State House and Senate consider potential COVID relief bills, protesters gathered outside a committee hearing Tuesday on possible voting issues at the TCF Center in Detroit.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to State Legislatures last week urging them to pass a 100 million dollar COVID-19 relief bill, to make unemployment benefits permanent, and to pass laws that protect public health.
Governor Whitmer reiterated her request at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
“I do think that there's a real possibility that we could move something in the lame duck session. Obviously, as always… the devil’s in the details,” Senator Winnie Brinks told FOX 17 Tuesday.
“We need to look at a set of priorities that we have and that match up with what the Republicans have and what the Governor is proposing, and see what we can get to move through this deliberative process that is the Legislature.”
Senator Brinks says she believes we could see a bill passed before the end of the year.
“It would be just critical to help not only businesses, but families too, to the extent that it deals with unemployment, health protections, and business support.”
A Senate Oversight Committee discussing potential issues with the vote certification process at the TCF Center in Detroit went on inside the Michigan Senate building for most of the day.
A group of almost 100 protesters gathered outside, advocating for a more transparent process of verifying the legitimacy of all votes in Michigan.
“I don’t feel like we’re getting fair representation from our Legislature. I don’t think they’re doing their jobs. I think they should be standing up, saying, you know what, we need a fair election, we’re going to investigate this fraud,” said Adam Boyd, who was outside protesting.
“We’re out here to expose what they’re trying to do, We feel they’re trying to steal the election from Donald Trump.”
While there was a small group of counter protesters on the steps of the Capitol Tuesday, many in the large group outside the Senate building felt like their elected officials were failing them.
Ann Arbor resident Marc Murawski felt like the hearing Tuesday was a step in the right direction, saying, “We’ll see what the result from today is. Today is progress, the word is getting out.”
Not everyone present had as much faith in the process underway.
“We need a system that everyone can trust, because right now nobody trusts the system,” said Rose Adkins, a protester who said she worked at a polling location in Detroit this election.
Many of them felt that the process of tabulating and certifying votes had not been transparent enough. .
Jack Stearns, who was given 3 minutes to speak before the Senate Committee hearing said, “When people lose elections, the only way that people are able to accept the leadership of the candidate or party they did not vote for, it is with the knowledge and assurance that the election was decided fairly. And that assurance can’t just be words.”