Republican legislators in Michigan are requesting a full audit of the 2020 general election before any of the results are officially certified.
State senators Lana Theis and Tom Barrett on Wednesday sent letters to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the Michigan Board of Canvassers reviewing multiple allegations of voter fraud and elections crimes made in affidavits filed by the Trump campaign and others. The letters request that a “full audit” of the election be completed prior to any of the results being certified by the state.
“Every citizen deserves to have faith in the integrity of the election process and its outcome,” the letters state. “It is our responsibility, as elected public servants, to assure the people of Michigan of the process’s integrity through complete transparency and the faithful investigation of any allegations of wrongdoing, fraud, or abuse.”
The letter cites allegations of widespread irregularities in the Michigan vote-counting process made in an affidavit filed by the Trump campaign as part of a lawsuit challenging the results of the election. The allegations include counting ineligible ballots; counting late ballots after illicitly pre-dating them; illegal ballot duplication; barring Republican poll challengers from observing the transposition and certification of certain absentee ballots; and more.
“These claims deserve our full attention and diligent investigation to ensure fairness and transparency in our election process,” the letter states.
“As such, and due directly to these issues, we are requesting a full audit to be conducted of the 2020 General Election prior to the certification of any results.
“Now, we must take every possible step to ensure that all Michiganders, and all Americans, have confidence that the State of Michigan conducted this election with integrity and accuracy. That can best be accomplished by a thorough audit and a verification that our election law and processes were correctly administered. Any fraudulently processed votes and unfair obstacles placed in front of legal poll challengers and watchers disenfranchise voters of every citizen of Michigan, regardless of their political affiliation”
“Every legal vote must be counted,” the letter concludes.
Some of the claims of voter fraud mentioned in the letters have been disputed by Michigan election officials.
Reports of a Dominion Voting Systems machines “glitch” in Antrim County that caused erroneous unofficial results to show Democrat Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump in a heavily Republican area were attributed to “human error” by Secretary of State Benson. Her office said the county failed to update its election management software, which was used to report unofficial results, Bridge Michigan reports. The error was identified and corrected by county officials and is not believed to be widespread, according to the State.
“As with other unofficial results reporting errors, this was an honest mistake and did not affect any actual vote totals,” the Department of State said. “Election clerks work extremely hard and do their work with integrity. They are human beings, and sometimes make mistakes. However, there are many checks and balances that ensure mistakes can be caught and corrected.”
Other county clerks who spoke to Bridge Michigan said they experienced no errors with Dominion voting equipment.
Additionally, the city of Detroit, Wayne County, and the Michigan Democratic Party have denied the allegations made in the Trump campaign’s lawsuit, claiming the affidavits rely on “hearsay, speculation and unfounded conspiracy theories.”
“Most of the objections raised in the submitted affidavits are grounded in an extraordinary failure to understand how elections function,” the city of Detroit said, according to MLive.
The defendants responded to several of the allegations made by plaintiffs, saying they are false or misunderstand Michigan election law.
Allegations, for example, that plaintiffs were told not to verify signatures on absentee ballots are true, the city of Detroit said, because the signatures were already verified by clerks before arriving at the counting center, as mandated by state law.
More from MLive:
Claims that Republican poll challengers were denied meaningful access are false, as multiple witnesses said there were an abundance of them at the TCF Center. Once capacity was reached, officials did stop allowing in more challengers until a challenger of their party exited.
Plaintiffs also argue a bunch of unsecured ballots showed up at the TCF Center overnight. Those were not filled out ballots, but blank ballots delivered to the TCF Center for the purposes of processing ballots that were damaged or required duplication because the original couldn’t be processed.
The plaintiffs also claimed that ballots received late were being backdated. City and state officials said there was a “clerical error” where the date stamped on absentee ballot envelopes wasn’t entered into the system like it should have been.
Officials decided to have workers enter the date stamped onto the envelope into the system – all of which were from before the 8 p.m. Election Day deadline. Republican challengers were consulted and decided not to challenge the procedure at the time.
late ballots could have been counted because no ballots received after 8
p.m. Tuesday were even delivered to the TCF Center, the city of Detroit
Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner of the Michigan presidential election, leading President Trump by 146,123 votes.