“We have never had anything comparable in the history of the country"

“We have never had anything comparable in the history of the country to the level of interference with democracy that the Trump people are asking these legislatures to do,” said Paul M. Smith, vice president for litigation and strategy with the Campaign Legal Center. “With the political pressure on the legislatures, that really is a scary thing.”

Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich), who represents a district outside of Detroit, said that although Trump’s threats may not have legal standing, they should be taken seriously.

“My personal view of this is, yes, it’s pathetic, yes it’s ridiculous,” Levin said. “However if you look at history, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes are born often when there’s some exit ramp out of democracy. And I’m sure a lot of the people involved at those times said, ‘Oh whatever, obviously they’re so completely breaking the rules that they’ll be stopped.’ But they aren’t.”

He said that a range of Michigan’s top elected officials have been meeting constantly to talk about the issue.

“We are not going to let Donald Trump hijack Michigan’s democratic structures,” he said.