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Michigan Trump supporters traveling to Washington for Wednesday rally

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Republicans from Michigan are traveling to Washington, D.C., to take part in a "March for Trump" rally to demand that Congress investigate allegations of election fraud, including in Michigan. 

The Oakland County Republican Party has arranged for about a dozen buses with 50 passengers apiece to transport residents from southeast Michigan.

The buses are expected to depart later Tuesday for the trip that's about 10 hours each way ahead of the planned event on Wednesday.

It will coincide with a joint session of Congress where senators and representatives will be asked to certify the Electoral College results of each state that have found President-elect Joe Biden to be the winner. Trump's supporters haven't provided concrete evidence of widespread election fraud in Michigan, where Biden won 51%-48% over Trump or by 154,000 votes.  

The Oakland County Republican Party is not sponsoring or involved in organizing the rally, nor are its members attending, said Oakland County Republican Party Chairman Rocky Raczkowski.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, in Washington.

"There are a lot of people that want to go to Washington and just have their voice be heard. They are not looking to overturn an election. They are not looking to create conspiracies," he said. "These are individuals that have wanted, for a long time, for there to be transparency and integrity in our election system and for there to be a full audit of these accusations."

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that he'd be attending a rally Wednesday being hosted by Women for America First, saying "I will be there. Historic day."

Raczkowski said there are voters in Michigan who believe there was "ballot harvesting." Those traveling to Washington, he said, want "integrity and transparency."

"A lot of these people, all they want is the trust in the voting system to be brought back," he said. 

Meshawn Maddock of Milford, a grassroots organizer in Michigan, said she and her husband flew to Washington on Monday and took part in a separate rally earlier Tuesday hosted by "Stop the Steal" and "March for Trump."

Maddock, a founding member of the Michigan Conservative Coalition and a Trump support, said she helped organize participation for thousands and didn't feel it would be right to not attend herself as well.

The response from groups of interested residents seeking travel arrangements to attend has been overwhelming, she said, and has included Republican Party activists from Traverse City, Saginaw, as well as Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties, among others. 

The Trump supporters attending, she said, argue there was fraud in the election and want a real investigation. The Trump campaign and other supporters did not provide concrete evidence of widespread election fraud in Michigan and lost state and federal court cases involving fraud allegations. 

"I had no problem accepting the last Democratic president as my president," Maddock said. "I know that we lost and knew that was my president. I don't feel that way now."

Linda Lee Tarver tips her hat during the Women for Trump Style Show.

Linda Lee Tarver, a political activist with Black Voices for Trump, said she's in D.C. to support the president and doesn't have any confidence that Michigan's election was fair. 

Tarver of Lansing said she'll be among the speakers at Wednesday's rally in Washington and took part in a prayer walk and rally there on Tuesday. Fellow supporters with Trump flags, hats and face masks who believe that the election was stolen have united for the rallies.

"It's almost like a homecoming," she said. "A lot of people want to stand with the president."

cferretti@detroitnews.com